Orval Jay Birks, one of the noble and great ones, returned home to his Heavenly Father on Saturday, March 24, 2018 after a valiant battle with cancer. He passed away at his home in Sandy, Utah surrounded by his family, who adore him. Jay was born on September 16, 1928 to Orval Edwin and Minnie Maude Whipple Birks in Melba, Idaho. He was the 5th of 10 children and was preceded in death by brothers Albert and Howard and sisters Ruby and Rosella. He is survived by Boyd, Marie, June, Clarence (Bud), and Ila Fae.
Jay served in the U.S. Navy during the Korean Conflict. After his discharge he served as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the South Africa Mission and loved the people and the country. Upon his return he was introduced to Glenys Rae Brown by his landlord, who was Glenys's aunt. Their love blossomed, and their marriage was solemnized in the Salt Lake LDS Temple on June 3rd, 1955. Five children blessed their union: Laurie (Michael) Cline, Robynn (Richard) Thiot, Richard (Kathy) Birks, Elaine Lawrence, and Jeffrey (Jen) Birks.
Jay earned a degree in Accounting from Brigham Young University in 1958 and was employed as an auditor for the Department of Defense until his retirement in 1984. He spent most of his adult life in Sandy, Utah except for two years living in the Marshall Islands. Jay and Glenys then served together in the Indiana Indianapolis Mission from 1990 to 1991 and found much joy serving together. They loved not having to change companions on transfer days! Their family has grown to include 10 grandsons, 5 granddaughters, and 34 great-grandchildren. Glenys preceded Jay in death on June 26, 2014, and he has looked forward to their happy reunion.
Jay truly wore out his life serving others. He had a knack for fixing many things including cars or anything else broken in the neighborhood. He was usually found in his coveralls ready to go to work and his hands were those of someone that used them for work. He was known for never having known a stranger, as he would make friends with everyone that he met. He loved his Savior, Jesus Christ, and wanted to be like him. He was a great son, brother, husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, and friend to all. He was loved and will be missed by all. Cheerio, Jay Birks.
A viewing will be held on Wednesday evening, March 28 from 6-8 p.m. at Goff Mortuary, 8090 So. State St. in Midvale, Utah and another on Thursday, March 29 from 9:30-10:45 a.m. prior to funeral services at 11 a.m. at the Peruvian Park Ward Chapel, 8600 South 1500 East in Sandy, Utah. Interment will be at Wasatch Lawn Cemetery following the service.