CORONAVIRUS UTAH

Willard COVID-19 Victim Remembered For Making Everyone Feel Special

Apr 20, 2020, 8:26 PM | Updated: 9:15 pm

WILLARD, Utah – A northern Utah community has been mourning the death of a former Box Elder County educator who fell victim to coronavirus, just months into a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Elder Dee Pace became ill mid-March and was officially diagnosed with COVID-19 in early April. He then traveled to a nearby state to be cared for by his wife and daughter. He was 68 years old.

Pace, and his wife, Nedra, left Willard, Utah in December to serve their mission in the Detroit area.

Long before that, Pace earned a reputation as a well-loved educator – especially for his time as a drama teacher at Bear River and Box Elder High Schools.

Boyd Rogers was a student back in the 1980s but remained friends with Pace ever since – even showing up for his mission farewell.

Pace went well beyond the role of a teacher, Rogers said. He was a major influence in the lives of many of his students.

A couple of people told KSL he had a way of making every person feel special and important.

Rogers said both Dee and Nedra always made time for students, even keeping their home open to them on some holidays.

Pace’s example and the attention he gave to each of his students still sticks with Rogers, he said.

“I was, by far, not the only student who stopped in for a pep talk, or for a smile and a laugh,” Rogers said.

“He just loved the kids, like he knew how to bring out the best in each one,” said Michelle Hess Withers, who now lives in Washington state.

She said Pace always made you feel important.

“He was incredible, and his talent made you want to be better, so he was bigger than life, but he didn’t steal the show. He made you a part of it,” she said.

“I think his two passions in life would be theater and people. Being in theater let him combine those two together,” said Terry Haws, Heritage Theater’s chairman of the board.

Haws did several shows with Pace.”I feel like I was one of his favorite people, but reading all of the things on Facebook, I can tell everyone felt that way,” he said.

One of Pace’s daughters, Mickey Larson, said her dad was thrilled to see every single person he met, was everyone’s biggest fan, and had a razor sharp wit.

Larson said he was also an incredibly loving father and grandfather.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Coronavirus Utah

The Nurse Crisis and Patent Risk....
Debbie Worthen

Utah registered nurses are leaving the field, creating the ‘perfect storm’

"Without nurses, we can't have hospitals." Utah nurses are overworked and underpaid. Some say it's put people at risk.
16 days ago
Four-year-old Viola Fairfax-Panza Getting her COVID-19 vaccination, held by her mother Keke Fairfax...
Jed Boal

Salt Lake Co. distributes COVID vaccines for children 6-months and older

Salt Lake County begins COVID-19 vaccinations for children 6 months and older.
16 days ago
FILE PHOTO (Photo by Stephen Zenner/Getty Images)...
Jed Boal

Utah’s youngest kids should be able to get COVID-19 vaccine next week

Kids as young as 6 months old should be able to get their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by the middle of next week. This is an eagerly awaited opportunity for many parents and an issue of concern for others.
20 days ago
Utah COVID testing site. Getty images...
Cary J. Schwanitz, KSL TV

New mobile COVID-19 testing sites open in Utah

With the summer travel season underway and a steady stream of people still testing positive for COVID-19, Nomi Health opened several mobile testing sites across Utah.
29 days ago
The CDC is released updated mask guidance as researchers learn more about COVID-19. (KSL TV)...
Michael Houck, KSL TV

Charter school asks students not to mask to help ‘normalize’ not wearing masks at school

The American Preparatory Academy asks students not to wear a mask during their last three days of school to help with their 'academic and emotional growth.'
1 month ago
AURORA, CO - DECEMBER 15: (EDITORIAL USE ONLY) Rocky Mountain Regional VA Medical Center investigat...
Jed Boal, KSL TV

Pfizer booster shot is now approved for children 5-11, here’s what a doctor advises

The CDC now recommends Pfizer COVID-19 booster shots for children ages five to 11. But, a leading pediatric epidemiologist suggests some parents may want to wait based on their summer plans.
2 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Address Bar of internet browser shows internet access...
AARP Utah

Utah Voters 50+ Support Increased Access to Internet

The AARP surveyed Utah voters aged 50 plus about internet access and if they support the expansion of broadband, especially in rural areas currently lacking it.
hand holding 3d rendering mobile connect with security camera for security solutions...
Les Olson

Wondering what security solutions are right for you? Find out more about how to protect your surroundings

Physical security helps everyone. Keep your employees, clients, and customers safe with security solutions that protect your workplace.
Many rattan pendant lights, hay hang from the ceiling.Traditional and simple lighting....
Lighting Design

The Best Ways to Style Rattan Pendant Lighting in Your Home

Rattan pendant lights create a rustic and breezy feel, and are an easy way to incorporate this hot trend into your home decor.
Earth day 2022...
1-800-GOT-JUNK?

How Are You Celebrating Earth Day 2022? | 4 Simple Ways to Celebrate Earth Day and Protect the Environment

Earth Day is a great time to reflect on how we can be more environmentally conscious. Here are some tips for celebrating Earth Day.
Get Money Online...

More Ways to Get Money Online Right Now in Your Spare Time

Here are 4 easy ways that you can get more money online if you have some free time and want to make a little extra on the side.
Lighting trends 2022...

Lighting Trends 2022 | 5 Beautiful Home Lighting Trends You Can Expect to See this Year and Beyond

This is where you can see the latest lighting trends for 2022 straight from the Lightovation Show at the Dallas World Trade Center.
Willard COVID-19 Victim Remembered For Making Everyone Feel Special