Douglas Lee Bessey

Douglas Lee Bessey


Douglas Lee Bessey


Douglas Lee Bessey, aka “The Chef” died peacefully at home in Ephraim on Sept. 17, 2017 at the age of 84.  He was born and raised in Manti by his delightful mother, Ethel Bench Ahlstrom who instilled in him a deep appreciation of well-prepared foods and a strong work ethic.

Doug graduated from Manti High School in 1951. He received an honorable discharge from the US Army in 1955 after spending two years in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska.

Doug married Sibyl Olsen in 1957.  Together they raised three children and divorced in 1989.   Doug and Sibyl were owners of the Dairy Queen and later The Embers Café in Ephraim.  The Embers was a community-gathering place for young workers, customers, and served delicious homemade recipes that he crafted.

Doug also worked for many years in the road construction industry as a highly skilled and respected blade runner.  This work took him into the expansive landscape of southern Utah and beyond.  He loved the out-of-doors, especially the desert and red rock country.  He also loved the smell and flames of a well-crafted fire made from juniper and pinion pine that he gathered on the San Rafael Swell.

Junior astronomer, painter, gardener and avid reader were some of the many hats that he wore.  He was so interested in the natural world and the mysteries of life.  He instilled the ability to wonder and question in his children and grandchildren.

Doug loved meeting new people and always had a large circle of friends.  His quick wit, humor and love of a good story or joke were his hallmarks.  Hunting, fishing, and gathering around a dutch oven at camp with friends and family brought him much joy through the years.

Doug is survived by his three children: Karl S. Bessey (Ephraim); Lynda and Jeff Gallagher, Las Vegas, Nevada; Joan Bessey, Portland, Oregon; brothers: Bob Bessey, Manti and Larry Bessey, Palm Springs, California; six grandchildren and 20 great-grandchildren.

The family would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to the At Home Healthcare and Hospice staff that offered the compassionate care and assistance which allowed him to stay at home.  Amanda thanks you for your presence and kindness.  We would also like to thank Tina Chapman who offered much care, friendship, humor and brightness to each day.  Our hearts are full of gratitude for all that you have done for our dad.

A graveside service will be held in the Manti cemetery on Sunday, Oct. 1 at 10 am.  Everyone is welcome.

We will miss you, dad.  Thanks for all of the memories and lessons.  We will hold you in our hearts and look for you in the Milky Way.