year-old Bruce Rhiddlehoover, known affectionately as "Rocky"
to family and countless friends, was tragically killed on
July 9, 2013 at a Boy Scout camp in Sanpete County while
engaged in one of his favorite pursuits: unselfishly providing
service to others.
Rocky was born to Janice Lee Henry Rhiddlehoover and Bruce
Alan Rhiddlehoover on December 3, 1998, in Hot Springs,
Garland County, Arkansas and was raised until the age of
nine in Bismarck, an adjacent town. He and his parents moved
to Cedar Hills five years ago.
He cultivated many interests and hobbies, including the
saxophone, taekwondo lessons, football (especially the Philadelphia
Eagles) and scout camps... with the exception of fifty-mile
hikes. Like many teenagers, he had a hollow leg as manifest
in his hearty consumption of pizza and twizzlers, as well
as in his title of "champion pie eater" earned
at a recent father and sons outing. Undoubtedly, his most
favorite activity consisted of "groupees," the
three-person hugs that he daily requested and shared with
Mom and Dad.
Those who had the privilege of associating with Rocky honor
him as a model teen who typically recognized others for
their efforts in his behalf: 'Thank you, Mom, for washing
my clothes." Unlike many of his peers, his friendships
transcended all ages. Youths and adults alike commemorate
him as having a "zest for life," of being "so
awesome," "dedicated," "humble,"
cheerful," "bright" and "generous."
A neighborhood boy offered the following: "Bruce was
such a good friend; he was always kind. He was willing to
lose himself in others and not get recognition for it. I
wish I was more like him." An adult member of his church
congregation declared, "You could NEVER meet a sweeter,
more kind hearted young man.... The description 'heart of
gold' could have been created specifically for him. He always
had a smile on his face and was quick to help with anything
anyone needed. He came to every youth activity excited to
be there and up for anything...." At the time of his
passing, he was performing faithfully as First Counselor
in his LDS Teachers' Quorum. To quote a member of that group,
"He was always serving and helping us. He always sacrificed.
He was one of the best priesthood holders ever."
His bishop, Jerry Redd, aptly described him as "truly
a celestial soul in a fourteen year-old body."
Rocky had just finished the eighth grade at the Mountain
Ridge Junior High School and was looking forward to joining
the school's jazz band this coming fall. Also, having earned
twenty-five merit badges, he was excited about the prospects
of completing the requirements for the rank of Eagle Scout.
Among his written goals, we find: "Church Mission -
Beginning December 3, 2016" (his eighteenth birthday).
It would likely be accurate to conclude that he just received
his mission call earlier than expected. Family and friends
take great solace in the words of Joseph Fielding Smith:
: "No righteous man is ever taken before his time.
In the case of the faithful Saints, they are simply transferred
to other fields of labor."
Rocky is survived by his parents and eleven siblings: two
brothers--Eddie and Robert--and nine sisters--Stacie, Wendy,
Joi, Rachel, Audra, Amanda, Ashley, Jessie and Lilly. Others
who will deeply miss him include their respective spouses,
his grandparents David Rhiddlehoover, Sr., Lulubelle Howell
and numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews.
He is also survived by his beloved reptilian companion,
Scales, and preceded in death by grandparents Pauline Rhiddlehoover,
Carter and Rose Henry and by Uncle Jon Rhiddlehoover.
The family would like to extend its sincere appreciation
to the many individuals who have expressed their love and
support. If this unique young man were still with us, he
would likely react to such an outpouring by uttering a favorite
expression through his characteristically angelic smile:
"That's really beast!"
The Warenski Funeral Home in American Fork is in charge
of the funeral arrangements. The viewing will take place
on Monday, July 15, 2013, between 9:30 and 10:30 am at the
Cedar Hills Utah Stake Center, 3950 West Cedar Hills Drive,
Cedar Hills, Utah 84062. The funeral will follow at 11:00
am at the same location. The interment will begin at approximately
12:15 pm at the American Fork Cemetery. All current and
former scouts are encouraged to wear their uniforms to the
services. Donations to the Rocky Rhiddlehoover Memorial
Fund can be submitted to any Mountain America Credit Union
and will be used to finance some of the multiple charitable
projects to which he personally donated and/or hoped to
support in the future. Among them are the two major goals
of his Eagle Scout project: to send school supplies to needy
children in Arkansas and Chad, Africa, as well as to sponsor
in a third-world country a self-sustaining ark from Heifer
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