George Iliff Andrus was born on April 4, 1940 in St George, Utah the much loved second son of Charles Iliff Andrus and Vivian Leavitt Andrus. George enjoyed a wonderful childhood with his older brother Charles Lee and younger sisters Diane and Kathy living on Diagonal Street in the part of St. George known as Sandtown. George grew to love the outdoors and especially the horses and cows of the family farm. He learned to work hard and to have fun. He especially loved spending time in Gunlock, UT with his Uncle Rod and his extended family.
He was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He worked with his family and was blessed to experience many varied and interesting jobs in his life. Growing up he worked for many ranchers and he became an expert cattleman and familiar with the beautiful country of Southern Utah and the Arizona Strip. He also worked in the movies as a horse wrangler and extra. In 1963 he graduated from the Police Academy and was hired as the first full time Sheriff’s Deputy in Washington County as well as the Under Sheriff. He was also the Brand Inspector during these years while running the family farming and ranching concerns.
George lived all his life in the St. George area and attended school there. He attended Dixie High where he played football, basketball and track. He said they wouldn’t let him play baseball because he broke too many wooden bats and the school couldn’t afford it. He respected and admired Coach Walt Brooks and as a senior was a member of the State Championship Dixie Flyer Football and Basketball teams. He attended Dixie College where he played football and basketball. He also attended SUU.
George always had a love of rodeo and like most things in his life he excelled in rodeo and enjoyed much success in the arena. He helped with Dixie High and Dixie College rodeo teams and welcomed anyone who wanted to learn the sport. The Andrus arena was often filled with his children, grandchildren and many young men and women learning how to care for horses, how to rope, and just to be a better person. All were welcome if you were prepared to leave for the ranch at 4 am, work hard and treat your horses and other people with respect, listen to the unvarnished truth, be teased, enjoy practical jokes, and generally have some of the best times of your life and laugh until your stomach hurt.
He met his wife Dixie Gayle Heaton at Dixie College and they were married in the St George LDS Temple on August 9, 1963. He and Dixie have 1 foster son and four children, 14 grandchildren, one great-grandchild with a second expected in February. George loved his family and spent his time with them. He and Dixie spent countless hours supporting their children in all of the activities they were involved in. And when the grandchildren, whom he treasured, came along they loved traveling to support and enjoy them. He loved nothing more than to see the grandkids playing together and having fun. Family and Home was everything to him.
He was an example of hard work, discipline and integrity. He also was an example of having fun and enjoying life. George was such fun to be around and told the best stories, made even better because they were mostly true. Wherever we went with him, he was welcomed and known by name. George lived an amazing life. He grew up in a time where he could ride his horse to Santa Clara or Washington Fields and to school. He had a loving family who supported his love of horses, rodeo and sports. He was content to live his life in the Southern Utah country he loved. And even though the city grew around him, he was able to keep the farm and ranch so his grandchildren could learn the values and way of life he loved so much.
George was preceded by his father Charles Iliff Andrus, his mother Vivian Leavitt Andrus and his sister Diane Andrus Harper. He is survived by his wife Dixie, St. George, son Brock (Belle) Andrus, St. George, daughters Gia (Bret) Allred, Kanarraville, Andrea (Randy) Beckstrand, Ginger (Lance) Vause, both of Enterprise, foster son Finley John, Moapa Valley, NV,14 grandchildren, and one great grandchild. His brother Lee (Terri) Andrus, Roseville CA, sister Kathy (Steve) Hafen, St. George, Brother in law John Harper, Salt Lake, nieces and nephews and extended family.
Funeral services will be held Monday, Sept. 9 at 11 AM in the Little Valley Stake Center, 1762 S. River Rd. Friends may call Sunday Sept. 8 from 5 -7 PM at Spilsbury Mortuary, 110 S. Bluff St., St. George, Utah. Interment will take place in Washington City Cemetery.