William Reed Hurst passed away peacefully with his loving wife and daughter by his side on June 30, 2017 at the Monticello Hospital in Utah.
Reed was born in Provo, UT on March 20, 1935 to William Riley Hurst and Carol (Bayles) Hurst. He was the oldest of six siblings: Mary Ann (Wayne) Scott, Mike (Ellen) Hurst, Winston (Kathy) Hurst, Grant (Jeanette) Hurst, and Heather (Glade) Young, Jane Tree, Robert Tree, and Bessie Nez (Tree) (Lloyd).
Reed lived the majority of his life in Blanding, UT and grew up loving to run and ride horses at the family ranch in Colorado. At the age of six, he and his cousin Mark Bayles were helping with the family sheep camp.
As a young man, he worked at the Hurst Sawmill north of Blanding, along with his cousins Scott and Leonard Hurst, where they all learned to drive and operate heavy machinery.
Reed was baptized into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1943 and loved the teaching of his Savior and the church.
At the age of 13 he took his first solo load of coal to Cortez, CO and brought back a load of lumber. Reed joined the Navy in 1952, serving in the Korean Conflict. He worked as the radio operator on the USS Oriskany and in the radio tower of the William R Rush.
He received the National Defense Service Medal, the United Nations Service Medal, the Korean Service Medal, and the China Service Medal.
While in the Navy he married Gaylene Perkins on January 5, 1954. They had three children: Patricia (Patty) Chloe, William (Billy), George (Pinky) Arthur.
After an Honorable Discharge from the Navy, Reed worked in the Family store and service stations off and on for a few years. He then went back to driving equipment and drove his first semi using a cable dump trailer, hauling uranium on the treacherous old Comb Road.
For many years, Reed worked in his best friend’s (Paul Black) family business hauling gas and crude oil for the Black Oil Co. In 1969, he moved his family to Lake Valley, NV, about 30 miles north of Pioche, NV, to teach his children how to work and to help his cousin and lifelong friend, Mark Bayles, run a 3,000-acre alfalfa farm and ranch.
In 1971 when the ranch sold, Reed moved his family back to Blanding where he worked with his father at the family business until in 1972, when his love for trucking brought him back to the transportation industry and he bought his first truck, a Kenworth cabover.
During the ’70s and ’80s, Reed built his fleet up to 12 trucks and purchased a lumberyard through which he supplied building commodities and trucking services to the community and the reemerging uranium boom.
During this time Reed and Gaylene chose to be sealed together and to their children for all time and eternity in the Manti Temple.
With the loss of the uranium industry in southern Utah, Reed’s business had to be liquidated, leaving much debt owed and unpaid.
Vowing to recoup his losses and pay his community back, Reed and Gaylene left Blanding. With the support of long time employee and close friend John Palmer, Reed was able to take two trucks and move to Salt Lake City, UT.
While in Salt Lake City, Reed pulled loads for his good friend LD Young, and with physical and financial support from LD, Reed reestablished financial stability.
During this time, John Palmer’s father was driving for a company called Amerigas hauling CO2, and Reed and John would assist when asked. Amerigas was opening a new plant in Pocatello, ID.
Due to Reed and John’s professionalism and work ethics, Amerigas asked Reed if he would move there to haul for them. With two trucks, Reed and Gaylene along with John and Judy Palmer moved to Pocatello.
Reed’s company, Reed Hurst Trucking Inc., now has 60 plus trucks servicing the United States and Canada with shop locations in Cortez, CO; Cheyenne, WY; Price, UT; and Pocatello, ID, employing some of the best people in the transportation industry.
Reed had kept all the bills he owed people and companies from the liquidation of his previous company, and in 2012 he paid off everyone he owed, even though he was not legally obligated to do so.
In his last years while in Blanding, Reed became very good friends with Ferd Johnso. Ferd showed him many trails, and helped Reed become 4-wheeling friends with many people.
What a blessing for Reed who, while burdened with arthritis, was able once again to enjoy the many canyons and mountains he had learned to love as a boy because of his ATV and UTV.
I am certain Reed and Curtis are on 4-wheelers at a fork in the trail, waiting for Ferd, Lynn, and the gang to point them in the right direction.
Reed will be missed. He is preceeded in death by his father, Riley; mother, Carol; brother, Mike; and life-long friends and RVing compadres, Paul and Jannett Black.
He leaves behind his wonderful, beautiful, dedicated, eternal companion of 63 years; eight brothers and sisters; three children; 17 grandchildren; 37 great-grandchildren; and so many friends it would be nearly impossible to list them all.