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Kelvin Dale Smith, age 62, passed away on January 31, 2024 at the Intermountain Medical Center in Salt Lake City with his wife and family by his side.
Kelvin was born April 5, 1961 in Port Angeles, Washington, to Richard Dale Smith and Janyce Lorraine Birt Smith. He was the oldest of five living children. His father had what might be called the wanderlust, so he grew up in many places, including Cody, Wyoming; Stockton, California; Port Angeles, Washington; Tooele, Utah; and Anchorage and Palmer, Alaska. When he was 11, his family moved to Nephi, Utah and lived in the historic Whitmore Mansion. Nearby was the Nephi School of Music, where Kelvin first began taking organ lessons on their 21-rank pipe organ. After a year, they moved to Salt Lake City, Utah, where Kelvin began taking organ lessons at St. Mark's Cathedral with Clay Christiansen.
Kelvin graduated from Granite High School in 1979, served an honorable mission from 1980-1982 in Paris, France, and spent 10 years at Brigham Young University (BYU) pursuing 3 degrees: a Bachelor's Degree in Organ Performance in 1986, a Master's Degree in Organ Performance in 1991, and an Mrs. Degree (i.e. a wife and marriage). He married Sharon Anne Breitenstein in the Salt Lake Temple on August 16, 1988. They have seven children and three grandchildren.
While in college, Kelvin played the organ for several church denominations in Provo, worked at Bigelow Organ Company, taught organ classes and played the Carillon bell tower at BYU. He also learned to program the computer in Pascal, C, and assembly language. He had very little programming experience at the time, but he was able to get his first programming job at NovaSoft/ICD by demonstrating an application he had written that did nothing but launch the program, bring up a menu bar, and Quit upon demand. At NovaSoft/ICD, he pioneered making the Standard Works and other LDS books available on the Macintosh computer. Afterwards, he transitioned to a software engineer role at Digital Technology, a newspaper software company in Springville, Utah. After living in Provo and in Birdseye, Utah, Kelvin moved his family to Paris, Idaho in 1996, where he built his own house and was able to telecommute. He lived in Paris until his death in 2024.
Kelvin collected old pipe organs and ranks of pipes from around the country for many years, but he had little time to install them until Digital Technology went out of business in 2013. After that, Kelvin began working on his organ full-time, building his own organ windchests and designing circuit boards for his own organ control system. The pipe organ in his living room is now the 3rd largest pipe organ in the Utah-Idaho area, with 91 ranks and over 5,200 pipes. His sheet music, compositions, and recordings can be found at http://music.untraveledroad.com/
Kelvin served in many different callings over the years. He has served as a ward organist in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints ever since he was 11 years old. Kelvin was also a volunteer Guest Organist on Temple Square from 2012-2024, where he would play the organ recitals about once every two months. Kelvin also loved to sing, and he has sung under many conductors in many settings throughout his life. In 2011, he joined the American Festival Chorus under the direction of Craig Jessop, with whom he had previously sung in high school. He also studied with Mack Wilberg at BYU, taking classes in choral conducting, and singing and accompanying in Concert Choir and Men's Chorus. He composed and arranged several pieces of his own, and he enjoyed passing on his musical gifts to his children and others around him by teaching.
One of Kelvin's favorite poems was "The Road Less Traveled" by Robert Frost, and he always tried to take the road less traveled both literally and figuratively. He often pored over topographic maps looking at rural roads throughout the American West, which he followed with the development of a travel website, www.untraveledroad.com, where he would photograph these less-traveled roads and upload them for public exploration. He spent several years taking his children one-by-one on road trips to add photographs to his website, with a collection of almost 400,000 photos by the time of his death. He also added sections to his website for his other loves of music and literature. Kelvin was highly accomplished in many different areas. We are so proud of him and heartbroken to lose him to a massive heart attack just two weeks after his diagnosis of pancreatic cancer.
Kelvin is survived by his wife Sharon and 7 children: Tiara, Larissa (engaged to Brian Armacost), Kenyon (Dorothy), Heidi (Joshua) Meibos, Jalaire, Jaime, and Katelynn. He is also survived by 3 grandchildren: Florence, Walter, and Ian; by his father Richard (Alice); his siblings: Lareena (Khevron) Goertz, Lynette, Grant (Shirley), and Laurel; and by aunts, uncles, and cousins. Kelvin was preceded in death by his mother Janyce.
Services will be held on Friday, February 9, 2024 at 1:00 at the Paris Stake Center at 109 S Main, Paris, ID. A viewing will be held at the same location from 11:00 to 12:45.
Funeral services will be held on Friday, February 9th at the Paris Stake Center at 1:00 pm with a viewing prior to the service from 11-12:45 am.
Interment at the Paris cemetery following the service.