Cover photo for Lee Thurston Gillenwater's Obituary
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1942 Lee Gillenwater 2024

Lee Thurston Gillenwater

March 27, 1942 — June 13, 2024

Lee Thurston Gillenwater, 82, passed away peacefully on June 13, 2024 in Logan, UT.

Lee was born on March 27. 1942 at the San Diego Naval Hospital to Thurston Maurice Gillenwater and Eunice Lynn Gillenwater. He was a “Navy brat” and the family moved several times. They lived in California, Guam, and London before settling in his early teen years in the Washington D.C. area. He came to Utah to attend USU and fell in love with Cache Valley, which he then made his lifetime home. He lived a life full of adventure and Service.

While at USU he joined the ROTC. This later led him to joining the Marines for a second time. From there, he did 2 tours of duty in Vietnam. He later served 1 1/2 year in Korea working with the military police. This peaked his interest in law enforcement.

After returning from Korea, he lived and worked for a short time in Montpelier, ID.

Bear Lake is where he met Dorothy Izatt. They were married Dec. 30th, 1974. They made their home in Logan and River Heights, UT. He continued his education and graduated from USU with a Masters Degree in Education, with minors in history and speech. They had three children Troy Edwin, Jami Lynn, and Ryan Thurston.

Lee was very patriotic and had a great love for his Country, his state and his community. He spent much of his life serving and helping other in many ways. In Education, in the Military and in law enforcement.

He worked for Logan School District for 30 years. He ran the Alternative High School for 18 years. Many of his greatest moments were when he would see these students later in life and they thanked him for helping find their way.

He then finished his years in Education as Vice Principal at Logan High School.

The year he retired he spoke at the Senior Class “L” Banquet. At this time, the Principal presented him with a Logan High School Diploma. Mr. Gillenwater became quiet and quite emotional. What the students didn’t know is that this was his first and only High School Diploma. He had never graduated from high school.

During this time, he volunteered with Logan City Police Department. He worked with them to set up the Resource Officer Program at Logan High School. Logan City honored him on his retirement with a badge.

Lee also volunteered with the Cache County Sheriffs office for many years. He volunteered with Cache County Search and Rescue for 20 years and was the Commander for a year.

When Lee was 15 years old he ran away from home and joined the Marines . It took 15 months before they found out he was too young. They sent him home and told him to come back when he was older.

While at USU he joined the ROTC which reawakened his desire to become a Marine. In 1966 He was sent to Vietnam for a year, he came home and then signed up for another tour of duty in Vietnam. He was exposed to agent orange which caused many issues later in his life. He also was troubled with PTSD although he worked to manage it and keep it from others. He then spent about a year and a half in Korea.

After getting married he joined the Utah Army National Guard where he served for 18 years. He was Commander of the Searchlight Battery, Artillery etc. He retired as a Lt. Colonel.

After retiring from Logan School District, he took his wife away on a cruise to the Mediterranean.

Shortly after that he had a job at USU in the parking department. He had already been volunteering and working with USU Police. He continued doing that until just a few years ago.

He enjoyed cruises, camping, shooting, hunting and spending time with his friends and family.

Lee is preceded in death by his parents, Thurston and Eunice, and his oldest son Troy. He is survived by his wife Dorothy, daughter Jami (Scot) Davidson, son Ryan. Also, the 2 girls who are the light of his life —- his granddaughters Taylor Jane and Madison Leigh.

Funeral services will be held on Thursday, June 20th at 12:00 PM with a viewing from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at the White Pine Funeral Home, 753 South 100 East, Logan, UT. The interment will be at the Providence City Cemetery. Lee's full obituary can be read, as well as the link for the livestreaming of his funeral at www.whitepinefunerals.com.

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Thursday, June 20, 2024

10:00 - 11:30 am (Mountain time)

White Pine Funeral Services

753 S 100 E, Logan, UT 84321

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Funeral Service

Thursday, June 20, 2024

12:00 - 1:00 pm (Mountain time)

White Pine Funeral Services

753 S 100 E, Logan, UT 84321

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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