J. Joel Moss

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J. Joel Moss, 94, died peacefully 3 March 2017 at his home surrounded by family and friends. He has joined his wife, Audra Call Moss; his parents, John and Zelma Moss, brother Merlin & sisters, Lael and Helen.

He is survived by his brother, Reed (Elizabeth) Moss, his sisters: Rhea (Jerry-dec.) Wray and Ruth (Don-dec.) Johnson, his children: Kevin (Suzanne) Moss of Utah, Lani (Robert) Lambourne of Virginia, Kate (Rick) Willis of Oregon, Shauna (Rich) Reid of Utah, David (Kim) Moss of Utah, Janine (Ben) Cleverley of Idaho. He has 20 grandchildren and 36 great-grandchildren.

Joel was born August 17, 1922 in Rigby, Idaho. His family home was in Ririe, Idaho where he spent much of his time on the family dry farm. He loved to grow things and gardening was one of his favorite hobbies…and a favorite tool to teach his children the value of work. Next to gardening and teaching, he loved fishing most.

Joel was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. After graduating from Ricks College, he served for 32 months in the Hawaii-Japanese mission. He arrived in Hawaii the day before Thanksgiving, and was assigned to Kauai. Pearl Harbor was attacked 11 days later, on 7 Dec 1941. Joel loved the beauty of the islands and loved the people even more. He maintained those friendships over 75 years, returning to Hawaii many times over the years. His last aloha trip was in January of this year.

Returning from his mission in July, on 28 October 1944 Joel was drafted into the army. He arrived in Germany in January 1945 in time for the Battle of the Bulge. He was stationed mostly France, returning home in Aug 1946 as a Master Sergeant. He was always very tender when he talked about the war.

Joel had his first date with Audra Lucile Call, on New Year’s Eve 1946. They were married in the Idaho Falls Temple on May 26, 1948. They worked on the dry farm for a month, then honeymooned in Hawaii.

Joel graduated from BYU with a bachelor degree in 1948, and a master degree in Sociology with a minor in Psychology in 1949. In pursuit of a doctorate degree, the young couple moved across country where Joel earned his Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina (1951). He taught at several universities across the country, and each of the six children that were added to the family was born in a different state. He finally stayed put at BYU (1961-1990), where he later served as the Chairman of the Department of Child Development and Family Relations for ten years. At the Southern Illinois University from 1959–1961, he wrote and produced thirteen national TV educational programs for families. An experience that he recreated when he arrived at BYU.

In 1963, Joel represented the United States at a Family Conference in Oslo, Norway. He was often a guest speaker at various conferences and Education Weeks across the United States and Canada. He became a recognized authority across Europe and the United States from 1963-1979. He wrote and/or collaborated on over 15 books, served as State Chairman for Child Development and Family Relations, and Chairman of the National Council on Family Relations among many other seated positions. He was recognized as one of five Home Economists of the Year in 1962-1963, and was awarded the Osbourne Award for Distinguished Teaching in the Family Life field in 1970. He was president of the Family Living Council of Utah County from 1987-1990 when he retired. He had worldly acclaim, yet his humility abounded making it easy for one to relate to the sweet, simple, honest, caring farm boy that resided in his heart.

Joel served in various positions in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, including Bishop. He loved being a teacher most of all, and enjoyed the college students he worked with as a teacher, bishop of a student ward, and bishop’s counselor at an MTC ward. He loved building people and talent. He paved the way for Audra to accomplish many things with her talents, including touring internationally with a one-woman show which she wrote and performed. Upon retirement, Joel and Audra served a two-year friend-shipping mission in Xiamen, China where they taught English to the Chinese students attending Xiamen University. They taught and interacted with them in a way the Chinese had not experienced before. Even 27 years later, their students still honor and remember them fondly.

Joel was full of nuggets of wisdom, and loved people. He enjoyed serving in volunteer organizations in the community and he especially loved children. Until the end, he would take every opportunity to stop and talk to a child or a baby. He was a friendly, generous, pleasant, loving man who enjoyed being with others. He helped many people along their way and received their undying gratitude. He was a true gentleman and a scholar - an avid reader, loved to learn, and loved the words of the scriptures. His faith and trust in the words, teachings, and inspiration from Jesus Christ was the ‘iron rod’ that led his life’s journey.

FUNERAL SERVICES: 20 MARCH 2017: Viewing 6:00 – 8:00pm at the Walker/Sanderson Mortuary - 646 East 800 North, Orem, UT. 21 MARCH 2017: Viewing @ 9:30am, Funeral Service @11:00am; Sharon 1st Ward - 641 South 400 East, Orem UT. 22 MARCH 2017: Viewing @11:30am , Pre-Burial Service @12:00; Ririe Stake Center - 14061 North 130 East, Ririe ID. Interment will be in the Ririe-Shelton Cemetery.

Condolences may be offered to the family online at www.walkersanderson.com.

Our heartfelt gratitude to family, friends who have blessed the life of our father; particularly to Birdie Dozhier who rendered loving service to Joel and Audra over several years.

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