Stanley Ray Thurman passed away suddenly in his home on November 27, 2023, at the age of 84. Minutes earlier he was doing what he loved most—spending time with his wife and grandchildren and joking with them in his kind, good natured way.

Stanley was born in 1939 in Afton, Wyoming to Adell Humpherys Thurman and Stewart McCombs Thurman. His parents raised him in Grover, Wyoming where he was taught to work hard, love family, and have fun. Stanley played many sports—including basketball and football on the Star Valley High School team—and loved to fish and spend time in the beautiful mountains. He also learned to play the piano and developed his artistic talents. He enjoyed making sketches of the famous basketball players he liked to watch on the television.

After graduation from high school and two years of undergrad education at Utah State University, Stanley served a full-time mission from 1959-1961 for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Great Lakes Mission where he had much success and loved to share his testimony of Jesus Christ with others. After his mission he returned to finish his education at Utah State University.

Stanley met the love of his life and eternal companion, Joanne Hempel, at the university in 1964. He was smitten by Joanne’s beauty, intelligence, and kindness, and he quickly fell in love. They were married in the Los Angeles temple in July of 1965.

Shortly after the marriage, Stanley obtained his Masters of Fine Arts degree focusing on graphic art at Utah State University, graduating the same day as Joanne. After a few years of working for well-known graphic design firms in Chicago and Los Angeles, Stanley embarked on a long and prestigious career for LDS Curriculum in downtown Salt Lake City. There he worked for 34 years and became the manager for the General Publications Graphics Section. His projects included work on many church publications and materials. He was especially proud of his work as the lead designer on the Children’s Songbook and Family Home Evening manual. Stanley was recognized by many for his talent in graphic art and design and won national awards. When he retired in 2005, he continued to use his talent to design birthday cards for his family and t-shirts, posters, and other printed materials for his local ward, among other graphic art projects.

Stanley was a kind and good natured man with many talents and interests. He loved to visit in person with his family and friends. Later in life with his physical limitations, he would spend hours each day calling as many of his loved ones and friends as he could. He leaves a legacy of kindness, devotion, integrity, and honor.

Stanley is survived by his wife of 58 years, Joanne, sister Marcia Higa, five children—Richard (Renee), Lorrie Castleton (Clief), Christopher (Mandy), Kevin (Kitty), and Karren Whitney (Matthew), twenty grandchildren, and one great grandchild.

A viewing will be held at the Pinecrest Latter-day Saint chapel at 2080 East Pinecrest Lane, Sandy, Utah on Tuesday, December 5, 2023, from 6-8 pm. A viewing for close family and friends will also be held at the same location on Wednesday, December 6, 2023, from 10 am to 10:45 am, followed by celebration-of-life services at 11 am in the chapel. Graveside services will take place at the Grover, Wyoming Cemetery on Thursday, December 7, 2023, at 1 pm.

If you would like to share a favorite memory, send condolences of Stanley or to watch the services online please visit



Tuesday, Dec. 05, 2023 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
2080 East Pinecrest Lane
Sandy, UT 84092


Wednesday, Dec. 06, 2023 10:00 AM - 10:45 AM
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
2080 East Pinecrest Lane
Sandy, UT 84092

Celebration of Life

Wednesday, Dec. 06, 2023 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
2080 East Pinecrest Lane
Sandy, UT 84092

Services Handled By

Larkin Sunset Gardens
1950 E 10600 S
Sandy, UT

Life Story Info

Post Date

Nov 30, 2023

Personal Info


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you goofed ksl he was not born and died 3days later a common mistake how about giving me extra money for holidays 385-563-8478 yours truly russell a poor jew living in utah yours truly russell berkley

Russell berkley , salt lake city, UT, US Dec 01, 2023