2019 National Symposium

The SUP National Symposium was an extra special treat this year being one day after the Sesquicentennial of the Golden Spike joining of the Transcontinental Railroad. Topics included Tom Alexander’s history of Brigham Young and the Latter Day Saints’ involvement in the construction of the Union and Central Pacific Railroads, Ron Watt’s Denver and Rio Grande Western Beginning and End, Wayne Hinton’s Construction and Development of Utah’s “Mormon Railroads”, Dan Kuhl’s Legacy of the Golden Spike Modern Railroad Service in Utah; and the keynote address was from Church Historian Steven E Snow who presented Brigham Young’s Role in Bringing the Railroad to Utah: We Want the Railroad!

This was a fantastic program packed with fun and insightful information with a stirring vocal rendition of Come Come Ye Saints by Dr. Melissa Hinton. We also had the special privilege of seeing and handling the silver Spike and Mallet used for the Utah Spur Line to Salt Lake City eight months after the Golden Spike at Promontory Point, and kept in Brigham Young’s personal collection since then.

The annual Presidents’ Award for Meritorious Service was presented to Stewart Radmall for 57 years of dedicated service and 16 years of excellent leadership over the SUP National Monuments. National President Tony Tidwell explained that Stewart had been given a 4 page list of monuments 16 years ago, and was told to go find them. Since then he has collected photos of each monument, GPS coordinates of 90% of them, and a record of ongoing conditions and repairs, compiled in a 407 page book that is now available to view on our website. Stewart Radmall accepted the award to the sound of applause that became a standing ovation. Thank you Stewart Radmall.

Many thanks to all of the participants in the 2019 National Symposium, and to SUP President elect Wayne Hinton for organizing this event!


2019 National Headquarters Clean-Up Day

Building Clean Up Day fell on May 4th this year, so we had a lot of fun with May the Fourth be with you, Star Wars themes. We had 21 people join us for 2019 Building Clean Up Day. A lot of great work was done, and a lot of fun was had by all. Besides the wonderful help to repair and maintain our Headquarters Building, this is a chance to enjoy each other’s company while working side by side with members of our National Board and Executive Council, and done by noon on a Saturday. Repairs were made to 75 Chairs in the Heritage Hall by Darrell Newbold, Terrence Wlliamson, Tom Alexander, and Stewart Radmall. The side yard was weeded by Steve Packham, Val Parrish, and Chad and Joanna Stowell. The Parking Lot Side Strip and Tree Box were weeded by Don Parry, Sharrif Dajany, and Jeff Booth. Bob Wall resurrected a weed eater from the dead, and kept on working in the Tree Box and Side Strip. Tony Tidwell and Brad Clayton helped removed a fallen tree and other weeding in the parking lot. John Elggren pulled weeds from a planter bed in the back of the building. Pat Cook deep cleaned the bathrooms including polishing the floor tile, and vacuumed the fireplaces and nooks and crannies around the interior. We even had a visit from little Brigham Davis and his bubble blowing purple dinosaur, along with his big sister Nicole. Linda Sorensen (Building Manager) directed and assisted everyone with everything, many thanks to her for coordinating this event. And many thanks to all of you for helping to keep our National Building as beautiful as possible and our National Expenses as low as possible! Thanks to you all! And join us again next year, this is surely too much fun to miss!


Lewis Pickett - 2003 National Past President - Passes Away


Louis has served in many positions in the church such as bishop, stake mission president, high councilor, teacher and youth leader. After retiring he and his wife Willy served five missions. Each of these brought them wonderful experiences and fond memories. For about 20 years they served in the Jordan River Temple. Louis has a great legacy of ancestors who were Pioneers and is a lifetime member of the Jordan River Temple Chapter of the Sons of Utah Pioneers and served there both locally and nationally, and for a time as President.

Across these rich and full experiences and others, his greatest legacy is the deep love, respect and admiration that his family feels for his example of service, character, and faith that he has provided and taught them throughout his life.

Online condolences at www.jenkins-soffe.com

2019 Chapter President's Council

Getting together with all the Chapter Presidents, Chapter Presidents-elect, and Chapter Treasurers is so great, meeting the faces we usually only talk to on the phone. We learned about all of the exciting events coming up this year, and we shared ideas with National about what our Chapters need. This year Derek Rowley (Online Chapter President) unveiled a new platform where the new Online Chapter will be hosted. We are very excited to see this come open soon! John and Diane Smith (SUP Library Directors) showed the wives new changes in the SUP Library with exciting new volunteer opportunities both in person and online while they move forward digitizing books, magazines and photos. Tony and Kathy Tidwell (National President and Wife) also lead a discussion with the wives about the important role spouses play in so many areas of the SUP. We had a fantastic luncheon catered by Meiers Chicken, and enjoyed a phenomenal musical medley of piano and voice by Michael Hicks, Anna Loader and Terri Jarman.

This year’s Chapter Recognition Award was earned by the Hurricane Chapter, Mills Chapter, Porter Rockwell Chapter, Settlement Canyon Chapter, and Temple Fork Chapter.

This year’s Chapter Excellence Award was earned by the Cedar City Chapter, Morgan Chapter, and the Timpanogos Chapter. And while most Chapters simply check off the boxes to fill out the form, the last few years the Timpanogos Chapter submits a printed summary complete with pictures to report their completion of all the Criteria. They definitely go above and beyond with Chapter Excellence!

Thank you all for an awesome meeting! We’ll see you again at National Events and later for Fall Trainings!


2019 Brigham's Ball

2019 Brigham’s Ball was so much fun! We filled the Hall with swirling dresses, dapper frock-coats and top hats, food aplenty and friendly laughter until long after the end. We partied the night away with dancing lead by the Old Glory Vintage Dancers and Folkdance Utah, music by the darling Sagebrush Youth Band, and wild bantering between Brigham Young (Robert Shields) and Porter Rockwell (Keith Redford). Many thanks go to Mary Ellen Elggren, Marcy Brown and Jodi Blackburn from the Brigham Young Family Association, and Cheryl Searle and Judith Obrey from the Daughters of Utah Pioneers, who helped plan and carry out this wonderful event.

Mark your calendars for January 11, 2020 for the next Brigham’s Ball! We will also have more sewing parties to help get ready again. We are making pioneer dresses on June 29, 2019, in time to wear for the Day of 47 Parade. And we are making waist-coats (vests) and cravats (ties) on October 19, 2019. Watch for flyers with more information about each of these events!


SUP Presidential Award for Meritorious Service

The third annual Presidential Award for Meritorious Service was awarded to Frank Madsen Jr in 2018.

Unfortunately he was unable to attend any National Events where he could receive it throughout this year. After he passed away unexpectedly in November, members of the National Executive Council Keith Van Roosendaal and John Elggren presented this award to his wife, Connie Madsen, in his behalf.

Previous recipients of the Presidential Award of Meritorious Service have included illustrious SUP Members Bill Tanner in 2017 and Jay Smith in 2016.


National Board Christmas Dinner

The National SUP Christmas Dinner was such a great time to share festivities with the National Officers and Chapter Presidents of the SUP. National President Tony Tidwell and Immediate Past President Keith Van Roosendaal addressed the meeting. Chapter Presidents and Area Vice Presidents were sworn into office. And the Fourth Street Barbershop Quartet brought in the Christmas Spirit with new renditions of our favorite Christmas Carols.


Angus Belliston, 1994 SUP National President, Passes Away

Belliston, Angus 1994 Natl Pres Photo.jpg

Angus Belliston served as National President in 1994. Prior to his election as National President in 1993, Angus had served the SUP as President Elect, Vice President for Finance, Chairman of the FAC Committee, founding Chairman of the Pioneer Magazine Committee and Chairman or advisor to several other National Committees.

During President Belliston’s tenure a number of programs were started or enhanced to build the public image and the internal strength of the organization.

Prominent among these initiatives were the design and publication of the Pioneer Magazine, a very high quality periodical published quarterly, with inspirational stories of the early pioneers and of ‘modern pioneers’.

Another major effort was directed at more visibility in the community and closer ties with its leaders and with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. President Gordon B Hinkley and his counselors were particularly supportive. President Belliston was appointed a member of the Church Pioneer Sesquicentennial committee.

In an effort to broaden the image of the SUP, the mission statement was revised to include emphasis on “Modern Pioneers” – community leaders of today – and “Tomorrow’s Pioneers” – college scholarships that were awarded for youth who have demonstrated pioneer character in overcoming major difficulties, and succeeding in spite of them.

Several of these programs are still an integral part of this organization 24 years later. Angus Belliston continued to serve until the end of his earthly life, and will be missed by the Sons of Utah Pioneers. But his influence will continue to be felt for a long time to come.


The National Encampment in Cedar City was a wonderful experience. Each of the tours and presentations were full of the pioneering spirit, telling the harrowing stories of creating the oasis in the desert known today as Cedar City. Mary Ellen Edmonds presented to the Spouses Meeting and Kent Broadbent gave an excellent presentation about Joseph Smith. Special appreciation goes out to Harold Shirley, Kent Hugh, their Committee and the Cedar City Chapter for an exceptional experience!


2018 National Officers Retreat

On August 26-28 the SUP National Officers had a National Officers Retreat. National President-elect Tony Tidwell invited us to stay in two of his lovely vacation homes right on the water of Bear Lake. We had a wonderful time getting to know each other better, for friends both old and new and near and far. We toured the Paris Tabernacle and several historic houses nearby, then we drove to Mountpeliar to tour the Oregon Trail Museum and the Butch Cassidy Bank Robbery Museum. Diamond Jim Davis entertained us with some Cowboy Poetry and Kent Smith gave an intriguing presentation of the Bear Lake area including his own family history who settled there. We had a great Board Meeting where Pioneer Magazine Publisher Bill Tanner gave an inspiring presentation on the development of the Pioneer Magazine in recent years (we will be hearing more about this at the National Encampment in Cedar City next month). Many thanks go to Kathy Tidwell for her hours of excellent work in the kitchen and weeks of scouting out the fun local tours.


24th of July Parade

The 2018 Days of ’47 Parade was a great success this year! We finally had coverage televised by KSL for the first time in many years. As the 3rd entry in the Parade, SUP President-elect Tony Tidwell and his wife Kathy lead out 47 Pioneers pulling handcarts, many transporting children. President Keith Van Roosendaal and his wife Elizabeth followed up behind to watch that all went well, and ensure we didn’t leave anyone behind. The crowd met us with patriotic salutes, cheers, and waving, with particular interest in the children riding in handcarts. The SUP sends a special Thank-You to Wes Adams who brought many pioneers directly from their stake trek, and we open the invitation to all – Come walk with the Sons of Utah Pioneers next year!


24th of July Sunrise Service at the Assembly Hall at Temple Square


The 2018 Sunrise Service was an inspirational kick-off to a special day. The Assembly Hall on Temple Square rang with music from the West Valley Institute Corral and the Days of 47 Queen Lauren Bell. The audience was moved by the words of Elder Mervyn B Arnold of the Seventy. Click HERE to read the Church News article. The Pioneer Day Sunrise Service really sets the mood for whatever festivities you have planned for honoring our beloved Pioneers!

SUPer DUPer Day at This Is The Place State Park

SUPer DUPer Day at This Is The Place Heritage Park was a lot of fun this year for Family Home Evening and Historians alike. The day started as a pleasant morning with a light rainfall. Many families came early in the day to explore the village in depth before the temperature shot up in the afternoon. Elder Gerrit W Gong of the Quorum of 12 arrived several hours early for the Devotional and was gracious enough to meet people and take pictures with all who asked. In his keynote address he spoke of pioneers of the past and pioneers of the present. Click HERE to read the full Church News article. The Devotional was held in the new Pavilion that has replaced the old Bowery. It is much bigger with improved sound and more than double the seating. So the attendance felt much smaller than last year, but we will counted 1875 people throughout the day. This Is The Place has given the SUP and DUP such a wonderful service, discounting tickets to less than half their value. Please encourage your friends and family to come next year!



Our 2018 National Symposium was a special treat this year drawing comments from several historians that they learned something new today. Jerry Houck spoke about A Living Church including the succession, church government, organization and attitudes in the LDS Church. Devan Jensen and Kenneth Alford spoke about the Utah War of 1857-1858. We had a bit of an unusual circumstance when one of our presenters, Bill Hartley, passed away a couple weeks before the presentation. His assistant Catherine Blake gave a presentation in his place about Transportation Changes in the West, Howard Egan, the Central Route, Pony Express and the Stagecoach. And Alma Alford spoke about the church and government relations with the Reed Smoot Hearings. Then the Keynote Speakers were SLC Temple President Jack Wixom and his wife, former General Primary President and now SLC Temple Matron Rosemary Wixom. We had fewer attendees than in recent years, but this allowed for a very sweet spirit in the personal setting of a smaller gathering. This was such a wonderful experience we are already looking forward to next year’s National Symposium!



Building Clean Up Day is always a fun time to roll up our sleeves and work side by side. This is also a very impactful way for our members and friends to help keep National Expenses down by filling needs that would otherwise need to be hired out. This goes a long way to helping us in our ongoing efforts to keep expenses down and keep the National Dues as low as possible.
Those who came to help on Saturday, or other times during the week due to schedule conflicts, were the following: Keith Van Roosendaal, John Elggren and his grandson Roundy, Tony Tidwell, John and Diane Smith, Jim and Joan Hurst and their grandson Dallin Despain, Paul Bambrough, Guy Moore, and Gene Minor, along with our Office Staff Heather Davis, Linda Sorensen, and Pat Cook.
We were able to cut down the fallen tree limb from the neighbor’s shed, clean and repair the rain gutters,  sidewalk crack fill and repair, weeding on the entrance side of the parking lot, window washing inside and out, and we replaced all the highest light bulbs in the building with LEDs along with any others that had burned out.     
It is always so nice to have our beloved SUP Headquarters Building looking her best when we invite the public in to our National Symposium the following weekend.


2018 Chapter President's Council


The Chapter Presidents Council was a really great time to meet all together with the Chapter Presidents, Chapter Past Presidents, Chapter Presidents-elect, the National Board and National Past Presidents and all of their wives. Despite the weather on the previous day, we had a great turnout of 140 people with most chapters represented. We were able to discuss topics of both National and Chapter interests, encouraging Chapters to use online technology to enhance your communications, meetings, and newsletters, and encouraging use of the National Chapter Awards as a guideline for Chapter Councils and Activities throughout the year. In the break-out meetings we discussed how much we value our wives involvement and encourage them to fully participate with their husbands and stay up-to-date with the Trail Marker Newsletter every month. If your wife is not getting the Trail Maker Newsletter, please call the National Office 801-484-4441 to add her email to the mailing list. The Cedar City Chapter presented a video trailer of the 2018 Encampment. This video will be available on the Website. The new Library Directors John and Diane Smith reported on progress and changes in the SUP Library moving toward online access and digitalization, with many thanks to the Librarian Roger Flick for his assistance and direction. Steve Kruman introduced a new program for leaving a Monumental Contribution from Modest Means, using extra Life Insurance Policies and Annuities. The following Chapters received Chapter Recognition Awards for 2017: Settlement Canyon, Maple Mountain, Timpanogos, Ogden Pioneer, Mills, Upper Snake River Valley, Grove City, and Jordan River Temple. The following Chapters received Chapter Excellence Awards for 2017: Brigham Young, Red Rocks, Cedar City, and Morgan Pioneer. Many congratulations to all of you for your efforts and vigorous activity with the Sons of Utah Pioneers!!


Brigham's Ball 2017

We had a wonderful time at our 2017 Brigham’s Christmas Ball. Keith Van Roosendaal was sworn in as 2018 National President. Tony Tidwell was sworn in as 2018 National President-elect. And John Elggren was sworn in as 2018 National Past President. The National Board and other Officers were also sworn in. Dil and Diane Strasser prepared excellent food in a beautiful buffet dinner presentation! Over 80 people were in attendance and partied the night away with dancing and games lead by the Old Glory Vintage Dancers. Steve Cook won the Men’s Costume Contest, Kathy Tidwell won the Women’s Costume Contest, and Jim and Joan Hurst won the Couple’s Costume Contest. Grant Barton and Keith Van Roosendaal won the raffle for buying their tickets before the deadline. We had such a great time that the Old Glory Vintage Dancers have given the SUP four $25 Gift Certificates redeemable for other similar events they hold throughout the year. These will go to the first 4 people to call Heather 801-484-4441.




After a full life, Alan Luke passed away peacefully at home on Sept 20, 2017 at age 99½. Alan was active in community service, participating with the Sons of Utah Pioneers as Mills Chapter president, and was elected National SUP President. He enjoyed being the advisor of the Young Dairy Cooperators in the Northwest for 10 years. He was President of the USU Old Main Society and was honored by USU Agriculture for Distinguished Service for his many contributions to the Dairy Industry. Realizing the importance of education, he has endowed scholarships at several Utah universities and Piute High School which continue to help many students. A faithful member of the LDS church, he was serving in the Swiss German Mission when World War II broke out and he had to be evacuated with other European missionaries. He served a second mission with Janet in Toronto, Canada after he retired. Throughout his life he served in many capacities including teacher, High Councilman, Bishop, Seattle Temple worker, and Patriarch. He managed a large dairy farm for the church in Virginia and organized a stake welfare apple orchard in Tacoma, WA. Due to his love of family history he enjoyed working with the Young Single Adult stakes in the Family History Center at the University of Utah. He had a keen wit and liked to make people laugh, retaining his quick sense of humor throughout his life. He is survived by his beloved wife, Janet; 6 children; 15 grandchildren, 10 great grandchildren, 2 great great grandchildren; and his sister Retta Taylor. Burial was in the Memorial Holladay Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the LDS Perpetual Education Fund. Condolences may be shared with the family at HolbrookMortuary.com


We had a wonderful SUP National Convention September 14-16, 2017 hosted by the Centerville Chapter in Centerville Utah. Everyone had a good time kicking off the event on Thursday night with a western band and hootenanny. The Friday tours visited Antelope Island, Hill Aerospace Museum, the Church History Museum, and a lifetime local tour guide gave a personal tour of the Echo Canyon Pioneer Trail. Friday night was crowned with an exceptional stage performance adapted especially for the Sons of Utah Pioneers from the Nauvoo Pageant. Saturday’s Business Meeting elected Tony Tidwell for our next National President-elect, and a significant Bylaws Change was also announced. To complete the event, our keynote speaker, Glenn Rawson from History of the Saints, gave a rousing talk about passing our Pioneer Stories to our next generation.

The Centerville Chapter did a marvelous job hosting this event, with over the top details like SUP candy and hand drawings on every table, making a remarkable event. Thank You Bob Brown, Alden Richins and the Centerville Chapter!