Cover photo for Kelly Wheat's Obituary
1952 Kelly 2023

Kelly Wheat

January 1, 1952 — August 27, 2023

Kelly Wheat passed away at home on August 27th, surrounded by four generations of the family he loved, and that loved him. He was at peace, and spent several of his final hours holding his infant great-grandchild, proving the truth that while his life was ending new life would carry on.

 

Kelly was born January 1, 1952 to Lorraine C. Wheat and Omar B. Wheat and was a lifelong resident of Ogden. His Aunt Mabel Boyd, sister of Kelly’s father, was a powerful and nurturing presence in his early years and can be credited with helping create the kind and caring man Kelly became.

 

He graduated from Ben Lomond High School and entered a plumbing and mechanical apprenticeship. Kelly remained on that path, attending night school for five years to become a journeyman plumber while working in the field as a plumbing apprentice every day. Over time he became especially skilled at knowing what it would take to bid and complete a job, whether large or small. For thirty years he worked for J.N Allred, Inc. helping it remain a respected and successful Weber County firm.

 

After leaving J.N Allred, Kelly and his close childhood friend Sam Slaughter created SK Insulation, Inc. The company grew rapidly as their strong reputation resulted in an accelerating stream of business including significant work from Hill Air Force Base and Thiokol. With the company well established Kelly passed the reins to his friend Sam who has continued its growth and success to this day under the name Precision Insulation.

 

Giving back to others was a large part of Kelly, both at work and in his personal life. Even as his career responsibilities grew he never lost sight of the challenges newcomers in the industry faced, and took time to mentor those who came after him. He worked for years as an instructor in the Utah Pipe Trades apprentice program. For several years he also served on the apprentice selection committee. Kelly enjoyed teaching others how to understand the drawings and operate the tools they needed to complete a project. Whether it was a commercial building, a residential home, or a toy box.

 

Kelly led and mentored by example. He rarely talked to others about his many accomplishments, instead he wanted to know what others thought, what they were doing, and what their accomplishments were, and especially how their families were doing. Rather than telling others what to do he demonstrated through his actions what was most important in his life. Those who knew Kelly saw a man of honor, intelligence, integrity, and deep caring.

 

And persistence - in 2003, at a time in his life when Kelly probably had more experience and knowledge than many of his professors, he worked to fulfill a lifetime goal and earned an Associates Degree in Applied Science from Salt Lake Community College.

 

Kelly was a tinkerer. He could build and fix anything. His career was but one facet of his ingenuity. From creating a wildflower seed processing facility to a metalworking forge he was always thinking how to build and improve processes. He said “I have to keep my mind busy” when asked why he never stopped inventing.

 

Kelly truly valued his lifelong connection with his Ogden community. He remained active with his high school classmates, staying in touch with old friends and helping with the 50+1 reunion. He was also a longtime member of the Ogden Golf and Country Club and more recently a member of the Red Rock Country Club of Las Vegas. Kelly had many circles, from business associates, to golf and fishing buddies, to competitive trap shooting friends, to neighbors - and he cared deeply about all these connections.

 

He was active with the Ogden Boy Scouts and in 2012 was awarded the Silver Beaver, the highest recognition within scouting, for his volunteer efforts. With his wife Barbara he was active with the Weber School Foundation and the Ogden School Foundation where he and Barbara were recognized in 2015 as “Partners in Education” by the Ogden-Weber Chamber. While appreciative of such recognitions they weren’t what was important to him. His passion was for the action, not the accolades.

 

Kelly was curious about and interested in everyone, regardless of how they appeared. He sometimes put himself at risk to help strangers, including the disoriented man who pounded on his door in the midnight hours of a rainy evening whom he brought into his kitchen, provided a towel and a change of clothes and served coffee while listening to his story and offering counsel. To Kelly, this man was equally deserving of his attention and help as any other person.

 

Through all these many interests and accomplishments, it was family that was primary in Kelly’s life. He met Barbara Morris as a child as their fathers were friends. In high school their acquaintance grew to something far greater; they married and spent over five decades as one another’s irreplaceable companions. Together they built their lives in Ogden, raised their children, created a tight and caring extended family, and worked to make their community a better place.

 

Kelly loved to laugh and had a light – and on point - touch when ribbing others. His caring nature came through even in his gentle teasing. Saturday morning cartoons with his children and slapstick movies with his grandchildren were a special treat. While the cartoons and movies were funny the real entertainment was the joy of Kelly’s laughter.

 

He is survived by Barbara Morris Wheat, his wife of fifty-two years, his brother, Terry Wheat of Washington State, his sister Kathleen Wheat Johnston of Ogden, his daughter Lisa Ann Murphy and her husband Colin Forrest Murphy, his daughter Jodi Wheat Smith and her husband Matt Smith, his grandchildren Cassie Ann Murphy, Cortnie Kelly Christensen and her husband Corbin Christensen, Colton Forrest Murphy and his wife Vanessa Murphy, and Shaelee Quayle and her husband Kolby Quayle. He is also survived by his great-grandchildren Margot Kelly Christensen, Scarlett Rae Christensen, Hudson Forrest Murphy, Hadlee Jo Quayle, and Stella K. Quayle. With few exceptions the extended family has remained in the Ogden area.

 

Special thanks to the team at Huntsman Cancer Institute who became an integral part of Kelly’s life for the last three years and an extra special thanks to hospice caregivers Annette and Nicole; their help was invaluable and appreciated beyond what words can capture.

 

In lieu of flowers please remember Kelly with a donation to your favorite local charity.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Kelly Wheat, please visit our flower store.

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