William L. “Gil” Houghton
5/27/1928 ~ 11/28/2017
The glorious life my devoted parents, Thomas and Juliet, gave me ended the other day. Most of it was spent with my loving wife, Renee. Our children, John, Elizabeth Ann and Mary Ellen, brightened our lives as did our grandchildren, David, Christophe, Holly and James. Our great grandchildren, Sam, Evelyn and Ethan were a delight to us too.
After Renee passed away I was able to share the later years of my life with another lovely lady, Beth.
My preference was to have no public services, but hoped I’d be remembered only as I lived.
R. Thane Thalman
1966 ~ 2017
R. Thane Thalman, of Surprise, AZ, passed away peacefully on Sunday, November 26, 2017 holding hands with his wife. He was 51 years old and fought a courageous battle for nearly 3 years against head and neck cancer.
Thane was born in Nephi, Utah on April 17, 1966, the oldest child of Ronald Lynn and LouAnn Jones Thalman. He attended Nephi Elementary, Juab Middle School, and graduated from Juab High School in 1984. He was a team captain and lettered in both football and basketball; he was the drum major in the marching band, played the tuba in the concert band, and had the lead role in several school musicals.
He attended Snow College and served a 2-year mission for the LDS church in Chicago, Illinois. Following his mission he returned to Snow College where he met and fell in love with Karla Seely of Castle Dale, UT when they had the lead roles of Annie Oakley and Frank Butler in the musical, “Annie, Get Your Gun.” They sang together throughout their marriage and passed that love to their children.
Following their graduation from Snow College in June of 1988, Thane joined the Utah National Guard. He and Karla were married December 10, 1988 in the Manti LDS Temple. Together they attended Weber State University, both earning bachelor’s degrees in the same business/marketing/sales program; however, it took Thane an extra year to graduate (1992) because he took time off to serve in Germany with Nephi’s National Guard unit during Operation Desert Storm in 1991. Thane went on to earn an MBA through the University of Phoenix in 1994.
Thane and Karla are the parents of four amazing children – daughters KariElle, Edison, and Audrey, and son Peyton. Each child had a close and unique relationship with their dad. He always told them, “You’re a great kid, you’re going to be a great adult.” He coached each of his kids in recreational sports when they were younger, and rarely missed attending their games as they got older. He was often found practicing one-on-one with them in their various sports. He supported them also in their music and academics. He encouraged them to work hard at whatever they did and keep a positive mental attitude. He wanted them to not be afraid to meet people, and when they were pre-teens he would often pay them a quarter for every new person they could meet as they waited in line somewhere.
Thane had many roles in his life: student, athlete, ranch-hand, soldier, coach, financial advisor, regional leader, bishop, counselor, scouter, son, brother, uncle, neighbor, and friend, but none he loved more than being a husband and a father. He was fiercely devoted to his family and always made them his top priority. He left love notes for his wife on sticky notes around the house or in dry erase marker on the bathroom mirror. He loved and served her in small and large ways. He would send her to take a nap and then clean the kitchen while she slept. For much of their married life, they took a daily morning walk together sharing thoughts, concerns, and goals. Family picnics, movie nights, game nights, and dinner outings happened often. Thane led his family in prayer morning and night; and gospel discussions around the dinner table, on the sofa, or in the car were regular events. Nothing was more epic than a Thalman family vacation where every waking moment was filled with an activity: sporting events, historical museums, cultural experiences, theater events, college tours, and scenic hikes.
Thane’s favorite movie of all time was “It’s A Wonderful Life,” and he loved the quote “No man is a failure who has friends.” Indeed, he had many friends. He was outgoing, welcoming, and kind to everyone he met. He was interested in people, and it seemed he could carry on a conversation with anyone about anything. He rarely went anywhere that he didn’t bump into someone he knew. He would always say, “You only don’t know someone for about 15 minutes.” Even in his illness he became fast friends with his doctors, nurses, medical staff, and other patients.
Thane used daily affirmations to guide his life, and one of them was, “I exist to serve others.” He helped at community clean-up events; he helped neighbors move in or out; he helped strangers when they were stranded or in need. He served his community, his church, and his family in countless ways. He was a long-time member of the Kiwanis service club, and he was active in the Boy Scouts of America.
Thane enjoyed historical fiction audio books and was always reading a motivational book. He had a dry sense of humor and was a great story-teller. He whistled or sang songs as he worked around the house, often making up his own lyrics if he couldn’t remember the words.
Thane grew up on a cattle ranch with his family, worked in sales during college, managed call centers for a few years, and then spent the majority of his professional career as a financial advisor for Edward Jones in Sun City West, AZ. He loved the financial business, and loved his clients and coworkers. For several years he served as the leader of his region and trained and mentored other financial advisors. He ran a successful business because he regarded his clients as friends and believed in always doing what was best for them regardless of what he got paid.
Thane had a deep faith in the Savior, Jesus Christ. He tried to pattern his life after the Savior’s – loving people from all walks of life unconditionally, serving them, encouraging them, and believing the very best about them. He held no grudges and had no enemies. He was slow to anger, and quick to forgive.
He was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. During his lifetime he served in many callings – as a missionary, a home-teacher, primary teacher, scout leader, youth leader, adult leader, ward Bishop, and as a counselor to two Stake Presidents. He also sang with the choir for much of his adult life. Thane loved people, loved being involved, and loved serving.
Thane and Karla together lived by a few core principles: 1) “Discipline yourself to do the things you need to do when you need to do them, and the day will come when you’ll be able to do the things you want to do when you want to do them.” He believed in this philosophy whether it applied to schoolwork, housework, investing, or living the gospel. 2) “Things work out best for people who make the best of the way things work out.” Whatever life threw at him, he worked with it, made the best of it, and found joy and blessings in it. This attitude along with faith in God and in His plan and in His timing carried him through his illness and gave him strength and hope. 3) “That which we persist in doing becomes easier; not the nature of the thing has changed, but our power to do so has increased.” He shared that quote often with his kids when he wanted to motivate them to keep trying.
Thane touched so many people throughout his life. He was an ordinary guy who lived an extraordinary life because he did ordinary things in extraordinary ways. He was deeply loved and respected by many; and will be greatly missed.
Thane is survived by his wife, Karla; his children, KariElle, Edison, Audrey, and Peyton; his parents, Ron & LouAnn Thalman; his siblings Rhet, Katie (Shawn) Silcox, Jake (Chandra) Thalman; and many nieces and nephews.