John Arthur Morford
“Jack”, “Bumpa”, “Artman Jack”
1939 ~ 2015

Wednesday evening, February 11, 2015, John Arthur Morford, lovingly referred to as Jack or Bumpa or Artman Jack, took his last breath in mortality. He left his physical body and those who love him behind to enter into his rest from earthly struggles. He had been suffering from a lung condition that made it hard to breathe and difficult to continue his job at the foundry and limited his creation of new sculptures. However, he endeavored to keep up his work until the very last minute, leaving us with the job of investigating the many people and places currently anticipating his art for their homes, shows, galleries or displays.

Jack was loved by all he knew. Many strangers he met recently, while offering his well-known helping hand or encouraging smile, will surely wonder what happened to the kindly old man who so willingly sought to brighten their day. His friends admired his creativity and kindness. His family adored his thoughtful and playful nature, as well as his funny noises and pocket full of Werther’s.

Born on June 11th, 1939, to loving parents, Harold Durrell Morford and Doris Dee Armstrong, Jack was the third child of four children and the second of two sons, growing up in Saginaw, Michigan. He had legendary stories of the happy childhood he shared with siblings Joanne, David, and Debbie on Genesee Street.

His older sister, Joanne, especially encouraged him in his artwork which led to art school in Chicago, IL, college in Idaho, a masters degree from OTIS Art Institute in Burbank, CA, and eventually an art teaching position at Ricks College in Rexburg, Idaho.

He joined the LDS Church at age 19 and served in the Northern California Mission.

He married Jane Ann Hunt of Ann Arbor, Michigan with whom he began a family of six children; Holly Jane, Jon Andrew, Quentin Chase, Marsh St. John, Sara Dee, and Amie Rae. Together, they enjoyed life in their western home of the Upper Snake River Valley -- camping and playing, visiting the Sand Dunes, the Tetons, Island Park, West Yellowstone and many other special places in their small blue truck with the little white camper. But, as with so many beauties in life, it wouldn’t last and difficulties in his marriage led to separation and divorce.

Jack began a new chapter of his life marrying Mary Jane Price of San Diego, California. She brought with her six children of her own; Jennie Rae, Lara Jane, Matthew David, Shannon Jo, Jared Anton, and Amy Lucetta. Starting out their lives in Idaho and then moving to El Cajon, California, they would continue to raise Mary Jane’s children and welcome Jack’s own six children each and every summer.

After the children were mostly grown and gone, Jack and Mary Jane moved to Utah where Jack would begin his work with the foundry and continue his life-long dream of sculpting.

In 2003, Jack lost Mary Jane to cancer and would face the challenges of life alone for four years.

Then, in 2007, Jack met and married Joan (pronounced jo-ANN) Austin who also came with seven children of her own: Todd Dean (deceased), Kirt David, Kim Lynette, Berlyn Annette, Tonya Trichelle, Tyson Grant, and Eric Dustin. Joan’s children by then were grown and mostly on their own. Jack and Joan resided comfortably in American Fork, Utah just down the hill from their beloved temple, where Joan would help Jack organize many of his treasured collections of photos, art and random things. It was there also where Joan would support and care for Jack as his condition weakened him.

Jack’s art (https://www.facebook.com/Artmanjack) is a fitting tribute to his life’s journey and pieces of his can be found in several locations in Utah and throughout the United States. The feel of clay in his hands was something he both loved and respected for the power and vision it allowed for creation. Now he has gone on to explore new vistas in search of his next artistic masterpiece.

Jack is preceded in death by his parents Harold and Doris Morford and by his second wife Mary Jane Price and his stepson, Todd Dean Victor. He is survived by his siblings, Joanne (William) Kaiser, David (Margaret) Morford, and Deborah (Gary) Klopf, and children, Holly (Howard) Bennion, J. Andrew (Trina) Morford, Quentin (Michele) Morford, Marsh (Alisa) Morford, Sara (Nick) Warnick, Amie (Brian) Radford; and his step-children, Jennie (Chris) Lucas, Lara (Eddie) Justesen, Matt (Angie) Nichols, Shannon (Rick) Williams, Jared (Melissa) Nichols, and Amy; as well as Kirt (Jennifer) Victor, Kim (Shane) Sayer, Berlyn (Warren) Smith, Tonya (Kenny) Duncan, Tyson (Ashlee) Victor, and Eric (finance' Amanda) Victor.

Additional Posterity: With Jane Ann Hunt - 28 grandchildren, 1 great-grandchild. With Mary Jane Price - 22 grandchildren, 4 great-grandchildren. With Joan Austin - 19 grandchildren, 4 great-grandchildren.

Funeral services will be held Monday, February 16, 2015, at 11:00 am at the American Fork 15th LDS Ward Chapel, 455 East 300 North, American Fork, Utah. Family and friends may call Sunday evening from 6:00-8:00 pm at the church and also at an additional viewing on Monday morning from 9:30-10:30 am prior to services. Interment will take place in the Spanish Fork City Cemetery. Condolences may be sent to the family at www.warenski.com

In lieu of flowers, please donate to one of the LDS missionary, temple, or humanitarian funds or to a charity of your choice.

 

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