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High 5: The ‘Keeper Of Kaysville’ Is City’s Real Star

Oct 30, 2019, 8:50 AM

KAYSVILLE, Utah – Jeff Dunford didn’t ask for any recognition, and he never has.

On a sunny Tuesday morning on a hillside along the Wasatch Front, though, 20 or so friends, family members and neighbors gathered to say thank you to the man known as the Keeper of Kaysville.

Over the last four decades, the only spotlight he’s sought after is one that shines brightly in the shape of a star. For a few, tense summer days, the Francis Fire threatened to swallow up the star’s light for good. 

“This last year with the fire, it was a close call,” Dunford said. “As my wife puts it, I may be the keeper of the star physically, but there’s another keeper of the star.”

Call it divine intervention, shifting winds, or just plain luck — the star survived.

As people look to the mountainside this year, they might also look to Dunford. He has almost singlehandedly kept the symbol glowing above the good people of Kaysville.


“Over the years it’s become a tradition that I’ve realized is more important for a lot of people,” he said. “I enjoy traditions. I think they’re important.”

KSL TV has a tradition, as well: giving High 5 recognition to amazing members of the community who do amazing things. Thanks to America First, Dunford received a $250 donation to help keep the Kaysville Star glowing.

“Not many do as much as Jeff,” said Kaysville Mayor Katie Witt. “He’s an institution in and of himself.”

Dunford’s children grew up watching their dad’s selfless effort to light the star day after day for Christmas and more recently for Easter.

“It’s awesome,” his son, Joe Dunford said. “He deserves it, for sure.”

The age-old sign form the heavens has a new meaning this time around. His daughter, Jennie Burbidge, said it’s now a symbol of hope.

“To light the star again after the fire was pretty special,” she said.

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High 5: The ‘Keeper Of Kaysville’ Is City’s Real Star