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John Hugh Spotts

November 2, 1927 ~ April 11, 2018 (age 90)

Our beloved husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, John Hugh Spotts returned to his heavenly home on April 11, 2018.  John was born in the foothills of the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas to generations of pioneer folk who possessed  good ole ‘salt of the earth’ values like hard work, humility, generosity, and old-time religion.  These values were the bedrock of John’s life throughout his 90 years of mortality.  John married his eternal sweetheart Eleanor Clair Sutton on December 22,1954 in Pleasant Grove, Eleanor’s hometown.  They were later sealed in the LDS Oakland Temple (Nov 22, 1974), after John had become a converted member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

John graduated from Stanford University in 1958 with a doctoral degree in Geology.  The topic of his dissertation was—“Zircon and Other Heavy Minerals in the Coast Range Batholithic Rocks of California.’  Our family often referred to him as our ‘Rock Doctor.’ Prior to attending Stanford, John had also attended and/or graduated  from  the University of Missouri, University of Wyoming, and Harvard University. In addition, he served as an ambassador for international academic exchange at the University of Western Australia as a Fulbright Scholar.

John and Eleanor met in Los Angeles where John started his career with Standard Oil (later Chevron).  They spent the majority of their married life and the raising of their 3 sons in California--beautiful Orange County (Fullerton) and in the San Francisco Bay Area (Walnut Creek).  Frequent visits to relatives on Coronado Island and to Sacramento, and many weekend getaways to Carmel-by-the-Sea  rounded out John and Eleanor’s love of their life in California.  Many family vacations included the beauty of ‘rocks,’ (one of John’s most favorite things), as John took the family on excursions to the Grand Canyon, Bryce and Zion National Parks, the Hawaiian Islands, Lake Tahoe, and Yellowstone.  John found much success in his career as a petroleum geologist. After traveling the world for both business and leisure, John and Eleanor retired to Utah County (Orem and Pleasant Grove).  In his retirement years John became an avid genealogist and was active in many genealogy support groups, and a volunteer at the Family History Center in the BYU Library.

John loved to play tennis, developed many artistic talents, loved landscape design and architecture, and played the piano.  In the 1960’s John was a top scoring contestant on the television game show Password, with host Allen Ludden (Mr. Betty White).  He and Eleanor utilized the game show winnings to purchase their first piano. Both John’s children and grandchildren learned to ‘tickle the ivories’ on the beloved storied family instrument.  To really know John and his amazing quirky cerebral sense of humor just Google “transporting young gulls and immortal porpoises”.

John is survived by his sweet wife Eleanor, son Craig (Tish, Austin , TX), son Ron (Shelli, Orem) and son David (John, Plymouth, MN), and sister Gloria (Sacramento, now of Orem).  Eight grandchildren; Nicole (Josh, Austin, TX), Emily, Carly, Mack (Wayzata, MN), and Channing, Evie, Ryder, and Sutton (Orem, UT), and one great-grandchild—Brooklyn (Austin, TX).  The Spotts family would like to offer their sincere gratitude to the amazingly kind, loving, and compassionate people at Legacy Village Assisted Living; especially the remarkable and competent CNAs.

Funeral services will be held Saturday, April 21, 2018 at 11:00 am in the Pleasant Grove Orchard Ward Chapel, 828 South Locust Avenue, Pleasant Grove where family and friends may attend a viewing from 10:00-10:45 am prior to services.   Interment will be in the Pleasant Grove City Cemetery under the direction of Olpin Family Mortuary, Pleasant Grove.  Condolences may be sent to the family at

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