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Herbert Lee Mecham, age 71, of Duchesne, Utah, passed away November 2, 2020, at home surrounded by his wife, Jeannie and his loving family.
Lee was born on September 27, 1949, in Roosevelt, Utah to Herbert Lorenzo and Artamesia Mecham, the only son among six sisters, whom he loved dearly. He grew up in Duchesne and graduated from Duchesne High School in 1967.
He grew up driving loaders and dump trucks working with his father who owned Mecham Sand and Gravel. He had countless stories from his youth about the people and places in Duchesne-- of hunting, fishing, trapping, and spending time in the mountains. He knew the name of every river, valley and creek in the area. As a young man, he loved to race hot rod cars and he was especially fond of his 1964 GTO. He was a great mechanic, he could fix anything.
He met his lifelong love, Norma Jean Mecham (Black) in Duchesne, shortly after her family moved from Blanding, Utah. They were married on February 16, 1968. They were sealed in the Salt Lake Temple on October 27, 1990. Together, they raised their five children in Duchesne. Lee worked as a drilling supervisor with jobs in multiple states including North Dakota, where he moved his family to be with him for one year. The shale cliffs and desert mountains surrounding Duchesne were what he loved most, and they always brought him back. He found his paradise along the Strawberry River where he and Jeannie built a home. He loved watching his children, grandchildren, family, and friends catch trout in the river in their backyard.
After retiring from Gulf Oil in the 1980s, Lee took a job with the Utah Department of Transportation. He enjoyed his job and took ownership of his roads, especially the Indian Canyon Highway between Duchesne and Price. He spent many long days and nights, including holidays away from his family, clearing snow from the roads and pulling out 18-wheelers and other vehicles stuck in the snow. He was proud of the work he did and cared immensely about the safety of families, school buses, and businesses traveling the roads. Lee loved his family and worked tirelessly to provide for them.
Lee was a hound man and pioneered hunting bear and lion with hounds in the Uintah Basin. He always had a pack of hounds, and he loved to breed and train them to hunt. He spent many late nights on the river bottoms hunting raccoon. He moonlighted as a guide. He guided hunters from all over the United States to trophy bear and lion. He loved spending time camping with family and friends in San Juan County for the bear hunt each summer. He always carried a gun and was an excellent marksman.
Lee loved to talk to everyone and would strike up conversations wherever he went. He was a beloved story teller. When with family and friends, he would talk for hours, recalling the names of people, places and experiences he had in vivid detail. He loved to make people laugh and smile. He loved to read books, anything from Steinbeck to Josephus. His family loved his stories. He was known for his wit and wisdom and always had a quip for any situation.
Lee was genuine and caring. He may have seemed rough at times, maybe from his years in the oil field, but he had a huge heart and would give you the shirt off of his back. He would often watch for and provide assistance to travelers who had broken down or people who needed help.
Lee always observed the world. He paid attention to people and things around him. This gave him a knack for finding things from relics to lost wallets and tools. As his health declined, he enjoyed driving slowly around town, or parking on a hill and observing. He was a very spiritual person. He had a close relationship with his Father in Heaven and he believed strongly in the power of prayer. He had a testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Above all, Lee loved his family and they loved him. He will be missed dearly.
Lee is survived by his loving and devoted wife, Jeannie Mecham, son, Travis (Jeanine) Mecham, Springdale, AR; daughters, Alicia (Chad) Tegan, Duchesne, UT; Janeece (Daniel) Smith, Richfield, UT; sons Lorenzo (Dana) Mecham, Orem, UT; and Dalaney (Hannah) Mecham, Gulfport, MS; grandchildren: Amanda (Taft) Anderson, Tanner Mecham, Cameron Mecham, Chandler Mecham, Mykelle (Lyle) Sessions, Aariah (Braden) Pugsley, Rossten Tegan, Dakota Tegan, Kinsley, Jalen (Felisia) Kreitzer, Kylie (Morgan) Hughes, Shania Kreitzer, Kagan Kreitzer, McCoy Kreitzer, Dominik Mecham, Bianka Mecham, Dorian Mecham, Blake Mecham, Hudson Mecham, Oliver Mecham, Mia Mecham; great-grandchildren: Simon Anderson, Elsie Sessions, Kayla Sessions, Cohen Hughes, Millie Hughes, Kaydence Kreitzer, Deegan Kreitzer, Aiden Kreitzer; Siblings: Joyce (Gus) Rohrbach, Jill Ketterer, Vickie (Bill) Hunt, Gwen (John) Beck, Tamera (Todd) Gowans, and numerous nieces and nephews.
He is preceded in death by his parents; his in-laws, Oley and Mary Black; sister, Barbara Rowley and brother in-law, Bob Ketterer.
We want thank friends, neighbors, loved ones, family, and all who have served Lee and Jeannie.
Funeral service will be held at 12:00 noon on Friday, November 6, 2020, at the Duchesne 1st and 3rd Ward Chapel. There will be a viewing at the church from 10-11:45 a.m. prior to the services.
Burial in the Strawberry Cemetery.
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