Cover photo for Elmer Crane Newman's Obituary
Elmer Crane Newman Profile Photo

Elmer Crane Newman

July 29, 1935 — February 13, 2022

Elmer Crane Newman

A brilliant and kind gentleman, Elmer Crane Newman passed away peacefully of natural causes on Sunday, February 13, 2022, in Salt Lake City, Utah. He was surrounded by the love of his devoted wife and children.

Born in Riverton, Utah July 29, 1935, the third of four children, to Thomas William Newman and Desna Madsen Newman. Wedged between his oldest sister Carol and younger sister Moonyeen, Elmer and his older brother Maury formed a brotherly bond that would last a lifetime.

Elmer grew up in Riverton, back in the day when it was a small rural farming community, surrounded by sugar beets and Newman and Madsen family members.

From birth he seemed to have copper flowing in his veins. His father was a locomotive engineer at Kennecott Copper Corporation in Bingham Canyon and Elmer began working weekends and summer jobs at the mine as soon as he could get hired on. Armed with degrees in Geology and Mining Engineering from the University of Utah, Elmer embarked on a career in hard-rock copper mining that took him from Bingham Canyon to Kearny, Arizona. As a colleague of his dear friend and mentor, Bob Pratt, Elmer also had forays in independent power production and gold mining. Kennecott Copper Corporation quickly recognized Elmer's leadership and management capabilities and sponsored his participation in Harvard Business School's Program for Management Development in 1969. Being at HBS allowed Elmer the opportunity to periodically check in on his beloved Red Sox.

Elmer first met the love of his life and his eternal companion, Maryann Rasmussen, in the band room at Jordan High School. He'd never seen a more beautiful clarinetist, and he spent the next several years patiently wooing and pursuing her. The extended Rasmussen family grew to love Elmer just like everyone else who ever met him. Elmer and Maryann graduated from the U in 1958, were sealed in the Salt Lake Temple by Harold B. Lee on August 14 that year, and had their first of three children in 1962.

Elmer was always up for an adventure - whether it was driving overnight for a Utah football or basketball game, fording flooded rivers in South America while inspecting mining operations, or driving both directions on the ALCAN highway. So, when two of his children and their families spent time overseas, Elmer and Maryann traveled the world visiting them. From the beaches of Brazil and Normandy, to the Eiffel Tower, to the War Rooms and the Houses of Parliament in London, to the Great Wall, the Forbidden City and the Terra Cotta Warriors in China, travel fed Elmer's innate curiosity and his interest in people. Elmer never met a stranger, since he was friendly to all and received the same warmth in return. Elmer also loved spending many love- and laughter-filled vacations with his daughter and grand-daughters in Las Vegas and on the beautiful beach in Oceanside, California.

In addition to hard-rock mining and Maryann, Elmer also loved Utah Athletics and the Boston Red Sox. Elmer passionately cheered on the Utes as they progressed from the WAC to the Mountain West and more recently the PAC12. Growing up in the days of Johnny Pesky, Dom DiMaggio and Ted Williams, Elmer fell in love with the Red Sox. Much like the early days of Utah athletics, cheering for the Red Sox involved lots of heart-break and disappointment. However, his patience was rewarded when his Sox finally won the World Series in '04 - and then again in '07, '13 and '18. Just like his Utes in the Rose Bowl, Elmer hung in there 'till the end.

Elmer was known for his letters to the editor and crossword puzzles and for promoting the merits of conservative politics to anyone who would listen. He was a prolific collector of matchbooks, miniature replica cars and die-cast construction equipment, canes and walking sticks and belt-buckles.

Alongside mortal pursuits of copper, stream-caught trout, Utah athletics and the Red Sox, Elmer loved and served his Heavenly Father and his Savior Jesus Christ. A lifelong member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Elmer loved the gospel and he loved serving. Elmer and Maryann dedicated themselves to their service mission as inaugural missionaries at the new Church History Library. Elmer served in multiple bishoprics and was the Bishop of the Kearny, Arizona Ward in the 1980s. When his oldest nephew departed for his mission, Elmer told a story of two envelopes at the farewell and enclosed a sign with three simple words - "Work and Pray." Copies of that "Work and Pray" sign have accompanied missionaries across the world and have had a lasting impact on the missionaries, those they taught and served, and the families those missionaries have gone on to foster and raise. Elmer's influence of love and service is truly eternal.

He is survived by his wife, Maryann Rasmussen Newman; his three children, Tom (Kathleen), Steven (Jane) and Amy Jane Church; sister Moonyeen (Clyde) Hettrick; 12 grandchildren, 7 great-grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews.

Funeral services will be held on Saturday, February 19th, 2022 at 12:00 pm at the Union Fort Stake Center located on 7155 S. 540 E., Midvale, Utah 84047. Family and friends may visit with the family Friday night from 6:00 - 8:00 pm at the same Stake Center and Saturday morning from 11:00 to 11:45 am prior to the service. Interment will follow at the Memorial Mountain View Cemetery at 3115 Bengal Blvd., Cottonwood Heights, Utah 84121.

Those wishing to view the funeral service remotely may do so at the following link:

In lieu of flowers, the family kindly requests contributions to the charity of your choice in Elmer's memory.


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