Friday, December 3, 2010

Guðný Árnadóttir

Guðný Árnadóttir was born 26 December 1834 in Vestmannaeyjar. Her parents were Arni Haflidason, born 5 August 1795 and died 26 July 1848; and Gudny Erasmusdottir, born 10 October 1794 and died 14 June 1888. Her mother, Gudny Erasmusdottir, was one of the first Icelanders to come to Utah, in 1857. Gudny Arnadottir married Gudmundur Arnason, born 25 September 1824, died in 1879. She had become a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1881. She immigrated to Utah with her daughter Karolina Gudrun Gudmundsdottir in 1882, arriving on 10 August.
Gudny was the mother of nine children, three of whom died in infancy. Two of her daughters stayed in Iceland, Margret and Jorunn. Three of her daughters followed her to Utah, Johanna, Jonina Helga and Kristin.
Gudny was a modest and humble woman, and she spent the first years of her life in Utah helping in the homes of her Icelandic friends. When Petur Valgardsson was called on a mission to Iceland, Gudny became the companion of Mrs. Valgardsson. Her first twenty-two years were spent at the home of her daughter, Johanna (Hannah Johnson), who married Sigurdur Jonsson, where she was lovingly cared for until her death 7 December 1916.

Sunday, October 31, 2010


Gudny was born 22 November 1860; her parents are Sigurdur Sigurdsson, born 6 August 1833, died 29 October 1885; and Sigridur Petursdottir, born 30 August 1830 at Holmahjaleiga, Kross, Rangarvalla, died 26 December 1903 at Olafshus, Vestmannaeyjar. Gudny joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and was baptized by Elder Einar Eiriksson 18 June 1886. She immigrated to Spanish Fork, Utah a few days after she was baptized.
She married Jon Jonasson, born 24 September 1857 at Ramakot, Kross, Rangarvalla, the son of Jonas Jonsson, born 1 February 1823, died 27 October 1885; and Gudrun Thorkelsdottir, born 4 August 1825, died 23 February 1899. They were married 29 November 1886 in Spanish Fork, Utah. Gudny and Jon lived in a dugout when they first arrived in Spanish Fork. Gudny sheared sheep right along with her husband in order to make a living.
Gudny loved the Icelandic people. Her favorite saying was “There is no one as good as the Icelanders.” Her loyalty to them was a very commendable part of her character.
Gudny and Jon had nine children: John Karl, Ellen Olive, Samuel, Sara Ann Margret, Eysteinn, Joseph Franklin, Sigurosa, Gudrun Jane, and Daniel. They lived on farms in the river-bottoms at the mouth of Spanish Fork Canyon and in Palmyra, Utah. Their last home was on Tenth East and Third North in Spanish Fork. Gudny died 23 December 1934 and is buried in the Spanish Fork City Cemetery. She was known in Utah as Gudny Johnson; her husband was known as John C. Johnson.

Sunday, October 3, 2010


Gudmundur was born 15 August 1862, the son of Eyjolfur Gudmundsson, born 11 October 1829 in Illugastadir, Tjorn i Vatnsnesi, Vestur Hunavatn, died 19 October 1913; and Valgerdur Bjornsdottir, born 9 September 1828 in Litlaborg, Breidabolstadit i Vestur Hunavatn, died 11 December 1916.
Gudmundur married Ingibjorg Margaret Jonatansdottir. Ingibjorg was born 20 April 1857; her parents are Jonatan Davidsson, born 1824 at Hvarfi, died 17 March 1873; and Sigurros Hjalmarsdottir, born 13 October 1834 in Haga, Thingi, died 24 December 1924. They were married on the ship as they immigrated to America in 1883 with his parents, Eyjolfur and Valgerdur, who had joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They first stopped in North Dakota and then Helena, Montana. When his parents and siblings left Helena for Spanish Fork, Utah, Gudmundur worked in the mines for a while before he joined his family in Spanish Fork.
Gudmundur built a home on the northwest corner of 300 South and 900 East in Spanish Fork. He was a good carpenter, brick mason and cement man. His home reflected his skills as a builder. He worked as bricklayer on the Central School, located on 100 North and 300 East in Spanish Fork.
Gudmundur and Ingibjorg had six children: Jonatan Tony, about 1884-1950, Ellen 1886-1950, Albert 1888-1917, Walter Rosamund 1891-1917, Ingibjorg Sigurros, born 1894, and Paul Vidalin, born 1898. Gudmundur changed his name to James E. Jameson. All the children used Jameson as their surname.
Gudmundur and Ingibjorg moved to California after he retired. They stayed with their son Paul, who was a doctor. Gudmundur died 20 March 1955 in Lynnwood, California. He is buried in the Spanish Fork City Cemetery. In Utah he went by James E. Jameson.

Jack Leifson

Jack Waldo Leifson (75), passed away peacefully on Wednesday, September 29, 2010, at Lake View Elderly Care in Pleasant Grove, Utah. Jack was born in Spanish Fork, Utah, on December 13, 1934, to J. Victor and Mary Bradford Leifson.
Jack married Marilyn Thacker in the Manti Temple on September 14, 1957, (53 years). They resided in Spanish Fork, UT, for 40 years and spent the last 10 years in Provo, UT. Jack is survived by his wife Marilyn and eight children: Bret (Lauren), South Jordan, UT; Ronald (Cheryl), San Jose, CA; Kirk (Darlene), Plano, TX; Robert (Lynne), Woodruff, UT; Paulette (Doug) Brown, Douglasville, GA; Jolene (Chad), Harris, Idaho Falls, ID; Lori (Andy) Marshall, Springville, UT; Julie (Jared) Harrison, Avon, IN; and 24 grandchildren.
Jack is also survived by brothers and sisters Freda McKell, Luene Ludlow, Thor (Loyce), Allen (Mary Lou), Afton Rosenbaum, June, Elaine (Dee) Pullman, and Mark (Freda Kay).
Jack was preceded in death by his parents, an infant brother, Glen, and an older brother Ted.
Jack graduated from Spanish Fork High School in 1953. He served in the U.S. Army from 1954-1956 in Germany. He received his B.S. degree in History and Sociology from B.Y.U. and his M.A. degree in education from Utah State University. He was a well-respected icon at Spanish Fork High School for 35 years, teaching Marketing, Economics and History. He was recognized as the Utah Teacher of the Year in 1970. Jack served his community for 16 years as a Spanish Fork city councilman. He had a strong testimony of the gospel and was a lifelong active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, serving in various capacities including Bishop of the Spanish Fork 3rd Ward, counselor, and faithful home teacher.
A student in every sense of the word, Jack was an avid reader all of his life. He enjoyed writing, including 7 years under the pen name of "Don Quixote," for the Spanish Fork Press. He spent his life in the service of his family, church, community, and God.
In lieu of flowers the family suggests donations to the Perpetual Education Fund. A special thanks to the care givers at Lakeview Elderly Care: Sharon, Justin and Brittany.
Funeral services will be held on Monday, October 4th, at 11:00 a.m. with a viewing from 9:00-10:30 a.m. at the Lakeside 10th Ward, located at 2225 West 620 North in Provo. Family and friends may also pay their respects on Sunday, October 3rd , from 6:00-8:00 p.m. at the church. Interment will be in the Spanish Fork City Cemetery.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Guðmundur Egilsson

Guðmundur was born 15 March 1851 at Eydi, Seltjarnarnesthing, Gullbringu. His parents are Egill Gunarsson, born 20 October 1811; and Ingveldur Egilsdottir, born 1811. He married Gudridur Gudmundsdottir 26 October 1873 in Reykjavik. They met Mormon missionaries and became members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, being baptized by Elder Jacob B. Jonsson 8 January 1881.
In July of 1881 Gudmundur, Gudridur and their son Eirikur left Iceland with Elders Jon Eyvindsson and Jacob B. Jonsson and a group of about twenty Icelandic Latter-day Saints. They arrived in Salt Lake City 7 August 1881. They then went to Spanish Fork, Utah. Gudmundur bought land in Spanish Fork. Gudmundur passed away 8 October 1889 and is buried in the Spanish Fork, City Cemetery. He is number 70 in Icelanders of Utah.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Phil Boyack Christianson

Phil Boyack Christianson
1939 ~ 2010
Born April 14, 1939 in Spanish Fork, UT to Reuben Leo and Maggie Pricilla Boyack Christianson. Phil graduated from Spanish Fork High School. He joined the National Guard and was in Germany for his two years of service. When returning home he went to work for Iron Workers Local 27 which took him out of state to work for many years. He also worked at Geneva Steal, Emery, Delta and Flaming Gorge Dam being last employed at Kenacott Copper.
Phil married Geraldine Tyrrell. They had two daughters Cindy Kaye and Connie. Geraldine died in 1969. He later married Janet Dorothy Lang in 1971, they had two daughters Margaret Pricilla and Melissa Sue.
Phil enjoyed camping and fishing at Strawberry and going up to the Summit. Visiting with friends, family, playing solitaire and joking around. Phil passed away peacefully at his home on the morning of June 30, 2010 with his family close by.
Survived by his wife Jan, daughters, Cindy Kay Christianson, Connie (Kent) Johnson, Margaret (Justin) Millstead, Melissa (Nick) Waterhouse, five grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. Brothers Jack, (Murl), Frank (Pat), Sterling (Peggy), David (Julie), sisters Lois (Shuro) Budo, Carol Nelson, Setta (Hal) Anderson, sister in law Helen Christianson - Sorenson and many nieces and nephews. Preceded in death by his parents, sister Louise, brother James, brother in law Louis Nelson and granddaughter Anna Kay Archuleta.
He will be cremated at his request. A small memorial for close friends and family will be 7 to 9 pm, Tuesday, July 6, 2010, at 43 South 475 West, Spanish Fork. Park at the high school south lot.
Services in the care of Premier Funeral Services.
Phil is the grandson of Kristjan Eggert Kristjansson, born 1 September 1869 at Modruvallaklaustur, Eyjafjardar, Iceland. Kristjan Eggert immigrated to Utah in 1885.

Friday, July 2, 2010


Gudmunda Jonsdottir was born 7 September 1883; her parents are Jon Jonsson and Gudrun Eiriksdottir, born 21 May 1848, died 17 November 1927, buried in the Spanish Fork City Cemetery. Gudmunda emigrated to Spanish Fork, Utah with her mother in 1886. In Utah she was known as Minnie Gudrun Green. Gudmunda died 18 July 1959. She was also married to a McConnell.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Guðmunda Eyjólfsdóttir

Gudmunda Eyjolfsdottir or Gudmunda Minnie Eyjolfsdottir was born 6 November 1859 in Eyjabakka, Vestur Hunavatn. Her parents are Eyjolfur Gudmundsson, born 11 October 1829 at Illugastadir, Tjorn a Vatnsnesi, Vestur Hunavatn, died 19 October 1913 in Utah; and Valgerdur Bjornsdottir, born 9 September 1828, died 11 December 1916.
Gudmunda married Bjarni Jonsson 13 October 1893. Bjarni was born 19 April 1863 at Ketilsstadir; his parents are Jon Thorkelsson, born 1 March 1830, died 20 March 1871; and Ingiridur Einarsdottir, born 2 November 1832, died 18 January 1913. They had five children: Susan 1894-1972, Vigdis Dorothy 1897-1968, Enga about 1899-1987, and Bjarni 1901-1946. They also had a stillborn child born the same day as Bjarni.
Gudmunda was a tiny, attractive lady with red hair. She had a very sweet personality, known as kind, gentle person who was always hospitable to everyone. Their home was on 200 North and 950 East in Spanish Fork. She was a good mother and housekeeper. Gudmunda died 29 July 1929 and is buried in the Spanish Fork City Cemetery.

Friday, April 2, 2010


Gudbjorg Gudmundsdottir was born 13 November 1876 in Vestmannaeyjar. Her parents are Gudmundur Gudmundsson, born 22 January 1842, died 23 August 1919 in Mapleton, Utah; and Johanna Gudmundsdottir, born 1 October 1841 in Vestmannaeyjar, died 22 April 1935 in Mapleton, Utah.
Gudmundur and his wife Johanna joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, baptized by Elder Einar Eiriksson 9 June 1886. Gudmundur and Johanna and their three youngest daughters, Gudbjorg, Maria and Jonina, and Simundur Simundsson, Gudbjorg’s half brother left, Iceland 29 June 1886. They arrived in Spanish Fork, Utah 24 July 1886.
Gudbjorg married Jeremiah M. Davis 2 January 1897, and they moved Winter Quarters, near Scofield, Utah, where Jeremiah was employed in the coal mines. Jeremiah was born 6 June 1873 in Robertstown, Glamorgan, Wales. On 1 May 1900 an explosion occurred in the Number Four mine at Winter Quarters, and Jeremiah was one of those rescued. Gudbjorg and Jeremiah moved to Raymond, Alberta, Canada. Gudbjorg died 27 May 1962 in Raymond, Alberta, Canada. In America, Gudbjorg went by Rebecca Gudmundson.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


Gunnar Thorarinsson was born 25 April 1881 at Skalmarbaer, Thykkvabaerjarklaustur, Vestur Skaftafell, the son of Thorarinn Bjarnason, born 17 June 1849 at Hruni Kalfafell i Fljotshverfi, Vestur Skaftafell, died 21 February 1924 in Spanish Fork, Utah; and Brynhildur Jonsdottir, born 9 December 1849, died 4 March 1885 in Spanish Fork, Utah. Gunnar immigrated to Spanish Fork, Utah with his parents in 1883.
Gunnar moved to Cleveland, Utah in Emery County with his family. He married Isabelle Muir 8 February 1900 at Richfield, Utah. Isabelle was born 16 December 1880 at Richfield, Utah, died 28 July 1966 at Smithfield, Utah; she is buried in Richfield, Utah.
Gunnar worked at the Winter Quarters Mine near Scofield, Utah. 1 May 1900 was the day the Winter Quarters Mine blew up, killing at least 200 men. Gunnar was one of these miners. It was the worst single loss of life in Utah history and one of the five worst mining disasters in U.S. history. The Winter Quarters Mine record lists him as Gunnar Bjarnason from Richfield, Utah.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Sherman Scott Bowen

Sherman Scott Bowen, born November 8, 1942, in Spanish Fork, Utah to Isaac Sherman Bowen and Annie Ethel Threet, passed away February 19, 2010 in Orem, Utah after suffering many years from Parkinson's.

Scott served an LDS mission in the Great Lakes Area. He received a bachelor's degree at BYU and taught school at Lincoln and Lakeridge Jr. High schools.

He enjoyed genealogy, photography, geology, reading, and loved learning of all kinds. He is survived by his wife, Carma Jean Young Bowen, and 8 children: Nathan (Terasa), Suzanne Jones (Paul), Shannon Fawson (Eric), Brendan (Diann), Heather Hutchison (James), Jeanne, Jonathan (Ann), Michael (Devyn), 22 grandchildren, and 3 great-grandchildren. Siblings include: Brent, Lila Black [deceased], Lon, and Carolyn Stephenson.

We would like to offer a special thanks to the staff of Aspen Ridge Rehabilitation Center for their loving and tender care of Scott.

Funeral services will be held Tuesday, February 23, 2010 at 11:00 a.m. at the Pioneer 1st Ward, 400 N. 700 W. in Provo, Utah. Friends may call at the Berg Mortuary of Provo, 185 East Center, on Monday evening, February 22, from 6-8 p.m. or at the Ward Chapel on Tuesday from 10-10:45 a.m. Interment will follow at the Spanish Fork Cemetery, 420 S. 400 E. Condolences may be sent to

Scott is the grandson of Karolina Isleiksdottir born 17 September 1888 at Vestmannaeyjar, Iceland. Karolina immigrated to Utah in 1890.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Roy "Jack" Olson

Roy "Jack" Olson, age 80, passed away peacefully surrounded by his family on February 8, 2010. He was born December 17, 1929 in Santaquin to Roy Victor and Vera Wilson Olson. He was sealed to his best friend, Nola Rae Butler, in the Manti LDS Temple on July 21, 1948.

Jack continued in his father's footsteps expanding the greenhouse business. His children and grandchildren will always remember him for his work ethic and his continued love and support that he so freely gave. He found enjoyment in taking his grandchildren fishing, playing games and going to Jazz games. He spent many hours carving cherished treasures for his children and grandchildren.

He was an active member of the LDS church where he served in various callings including Scoutmaster, in the High Priest Group leadership and was currently serving as a Temple Patron.

He is survived by his loving wife, Nola Rae; their children, Kent (Robin) Olson, Jackie (Richard) Fail, Bradley (Christine) Olson, Donnie (Linda) Olson, Salley Stewart, Bart (Yvonne) Olson, Robert (Karen) Norton; 50 grandchildren and 74 great grandchildren; his sister, Kathryn O. Patten; and his brother, Thomas Olson. He was preceded in death by his son-in-law, Darrell Stewart, and a granddaughter, Kallie Fail.

Funeral services will be held Saturday, February 13th at 12:00 noon at the Old Santaquin Stake Center, 90 South 200 East. A viewing will be held at the church on Friday from 6 to 8 pm and Saturday from 10:30 to 11:45 am. Interment, Santaquin Cemetery.

Jack is the grandson of Ólafur Helgason (Ole Olson, as he was known in Utah) born at Bjornskot, Holt undir Eyjafjallum, Rangarvalla and Þorbjörg Hólmfríður Magnúsdóttir born in Vestmannaeyjar, Iceland.

Friday, February 5, 2010

The Lighthouse at Dyrhólaey

The old lighthouse at Myrdal,
hard by Vik, is still a lighthouse,
though not a lighthouse anymore.
Its scorching eye that bored into the darkness
from the height in brawling storms
and prowling fog is turned outward
from the shores but does not see the sea.
The ashes of its searing light are cold,
gray as North Atlantic swells
that wrestle with the cliffs.
Its guttural voice no longer sounds
a baleful warning that Charybdis
lurks with gaping maw, and Scylla
beckons near the rocks.

And so it sits alone upon its stanchion
on the headland at Dyrhólaey,
looks down the avenue of continents
into the shifting valleys of the sea.

No one goes there but the wind,
bullying and boisterous like a hooligan
seeking easy pickings from tourists
who mill around and look
out on the dangers of the deep.
The door is locked.
The windows battened down.
Inside, ghosts of mariners
gather in reunion, living in the past
since they were lost in scowling seas.
Their wives, forlorn and all alone,
moaned anguished sobs
that echoed in the silent viks
and stilled the squawking of the gulls.

D. Gary Christian
Santa Clara, Utah
July 19, 2008

Monday, February 1, 2010


Groa Thorlaksdottir was born 3 May 1865 at Neshol, Asar i Skaftartunga, Vestur Skaftafell, the daughter of Thorlakur Benediktsson, born 23 November 1814, died 11 June 1866; and Ragnhildur Bodvarsdottir, born 7 August 1828, died 10 July 1916. Groa immigrated to Spanish Fork, Utah in 1874 with Gudrun Jonsdottir. Groa joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and was baptized 2 August 1883.
Groa married Julius Jonsson, born 1 July 1861, the son Jon Bjarnason, born 11 November 1823; and Steinunn Jonsdottir, born 22 February 1824. Julius was known as Julius Jon Bearnson. They were married 12 January 1887 in Logan, Utah. Groa and Julius had two children: Julius Bendikt, born 20 October 1887, died 17 October 1959; and Joseph, born 6 February 1890, died 7 March 1890. Groa died ten days after Joseph was born on, 16 February 1890. She is buried in the Spanish Fork City Cemetery. She was known as Gran Bearnson in Utah.

Friday, January 22, 2010


Þorri, one of the Old Icelandic months, begins on a Friday, between the 19th and the 25th of January, and ends on a Saturday between the 18th and 24th of February. Therefore today (Friday, January 22, 2010) is the first of the old month of Þorri. Þorrablót traditionally takes place anytime during the month of Þorri.
Þorrablót, is a standard part of Icelandic social calendars, and has even been exported to many countries. Today Þorrablót are common events among Icelanders everywhere and can be anything from an informal dinner with friends and family to large organized events with stage performances and an after-dinner dance. These large Þorrablót are usually arranged by membership associations, associations of Icelanders living abroad, and as regional festivals in the countryside.

Monday, January 18, 2010

The Huldufólk

Eve is the mother of us all,
those close at hand that we can see,
those hidden in obscurity,
fruit of the tree and of the fall.

Once God announced that he would come
to visit her and all her brood.
“Now, children,” she said, “don’t be rude
when God is here. Spit out your gum.

“I want you looking clean and neat
so you will be presentable.
It sure would be lamentable
if we aren’t ready when we meet.”

The time was short. She did her best,
but couldn’t get them all prepared.
When time had come, then she got scared.
God’s surely an important guest.

Some kids were ready. Some were not.
And God was coming up the road.
That’s what I’d call a “mother load,”
for she was really on the spot.

What, then, to do with all the rest,
the one’s who weren’t ready yet.
They’d never make it on a bet.
She wanted God to be impressed.

So, lest the meeting be a flop,
she hid the unwashed kids away.
They’d be prepared another day.
They’re hair all combed--not like a mop.

The children stood all in a row
and God inspected them that day.
“My goodness,” he said, “what a way.
This really has been quite a show.”

“Do you have any other kids?”
he asked, and fearful, she said, ”No.”
You wonder why she answered so.
That’s one way to put on the skids.

God left. You’d think he had to know
how many children should be there,
how many given to her care,
how many kids were a no-show.

And all of them God didn’t see
that day, the ones of which he spoke,
can not be seen--their Huldufólk,
and will be for eternity.

So, hidden folk they’ll always be,
and always, unseen, be with us,
yet seldom ever make a fuss.
They’re well behaved, you must agree.

The Huldufólk aren’t really bad.
They are the most like human kind
of all the others you will find,
each Hulda-maiden, Huldu-lad.

So do not fear the Hidden Folk.
They’re not like trolls that lurk at night
out in the summer’s pale moonlight
as sinister as evil Lok.

D. Gary Christian
Santa Clara, Utah
June 5, 2007

Friday, January 1, 2010


Gisli Bjarnason was born 10 October 1879, the son of Bjarni Jonsson, born 12 September 1854 died in Utah 16 August 1883; and Johanna Jonsdottir, born 10 March 1856 in Rangarvalla. Gisli’s father, Bjarni Jonsson, immigrated to Utah in 1881 leaving his fiancée Johanna Jonsdottir and their son Gisli in Iceland. Johanna and Gisli immigrated to Utah in 1883. His father died two weeks after he arrived in Utah. His mother Johanna married Erlendur Arnason.
At the age of seven Gisli went to live with Petur Valgardsson. Petur had baptized Gisli’s mother in Iceland 12 March 1883. Gisli lived and worked with Petur until he was able to be self-supporting. At a young age of 15 he went to work on the Rio Grande Railroad. He also worked in the mines at Scofield for three or four years, and was working there when the most tragic coal mine disaster, in terms of the number killed, in American history occurred, up until that time. The Scofield mine disaster occurred 1 May 1900, when an explosion ripped through the Winter Quarters Number Four mine located west of Scofield. Men working in the mine were killed outright by the explosion, which occurred when an excessive amount of coal dust ignited inside the mine. Gisli was not on shift when the disaster occurred, but he helped with the rescue effort. With the $805.00 in gold he earned he paid off his first ten acres of land he had contracted to buy at the age of seventeen. From that time on farming and raising stock, were his life.
Gisli married Sarah Ann Tilley 12 March 1902; she died 7 November 1903, when their daughter Sarah Ellen, was born. Gisli married Vilmina Christina Valgardson, born 3 September 1882 in Spanish Fork Utah the daughter of Petur Valgardsson (1842 -1918); and Gudrun Soffia Jonsdottir (1863-1893), 22 February 1905. Gisli and Christina had ten children: Fay, Bertha, Wilma, Elva, Mildred, Bernice, Geraldine, Perry (who died shortly after he was born), Sherman, and Norma. In addition to these children, Sarah Ellen, Gisli’s daughter, with Sarah Ann Tilley lived with them and Christina’s brother, Ephraim’s two children: Hannah and Paul Valgardson.
Gisli and Christina went to Roosevelt, Utah, where he homesteaded. There were no houses, and the family lived in a tent. He helped to bring the first water to Roosevelt. After improving upon his homestead he sold out and moved back to Spanish Fork. Gisli saw many changes in farm equipment; he always kept up on the latest. As a boy he walked to Leland to work on a horse- powered threshing machine. Later he and his partner, Arni Johnson, owned and operated three different steam-engine threshing machines. They were the first to thresh grain at Roosevelt; they threshed all over Utah, Idaho, and even into Canada. They later owned two different gas-tractor operated threshers. The last part of his life, he owned, along with his son Sherman, the latest models of combines used for harvesting grain, as well as other modern farming equipment.
Gisli was appointed to the Board of the East Bench Canal Company in 1931 and served in that capacity for forty years. He worked diligently to promote the business activities of the Spanish Fork River System. He gave progressive leadership and was untiring in his efforts to promote the growth and development of water resources and made great contributions to agriculture on lands served by the system in the State of Utah.
He was an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; he served in the bishopric of the Fifth Ward with Bishop Arthur T. McKell, and on the building committee when the church was built. He always actively supported the ward and stake farms. He is remembered as a man who helped shape the destiny of his children, and tried to instill in them the principles that were important to him: honesty, integrity, love of work, the will to help others, and the determination to keep going when things get tough.
Gisli donated a small corner of his property to the Icelandic Monument in Spanish Fork, Utah. The Lighthouse Monument was dedicated 2 August 1938. Gisli actively worked on his farm chores almost to the end of his life. At the age of 90 he could be found working on the haystack and doing other chores around the farm. When he could no longer drive he would have one of his children drive him around to check on the crops or the cattle. He died peacefully 4 August 1972 and is buried in the Spanish Fork Cemetery. In Utah he was known as Gill Bearnson and Gesli Bearnson. Gisli is number 190 in Icelanders of Utah.