David Ray Tait passed away on Saturday, September 9th at his home in Mesquite, NV at the age of 60. He was born in Las Vegas, NV on September 20th, 1962 to Don Carson Tait and Nesha Dutson Tait, being the fourth of five children.
His family would later relocate to Hurricane, UT when Dave was 4 years old. He lived in Hurricane throughout his youth, attending Hurricane Elementary and Hurricane High School. He enjoyed growing up on a farm where he developed a love for all animals. This upbringing allowed him to learn the value of hard work, which he continued throughout his life. He also developed many hobbies and participated in things he loved including: motorcycle riding, maintaining his Mustang, and working various jobs. He appreciated sports, playing little league baseball and then football in high school, but eventually spent his time pursuing his studies and other passions in music including playing cornet, cello, and participating in the acapella choir. This sparked a love for music which was lifelong.
After graduating from high school Dave attended Dixie State College for one year prior to serving a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in the Nagoya, Japan mission from 1980-1981.
He returned home to finish his Associate’s Degree at Dixie State College. During this time he met and married his wife Pamela Hughes on March 16, 1984 in the St. George, UT Temple. They went on to continue their teaching studies together at Southern Utah State College (SUU), earning Bachelor’s Degrees, and later both earned Master’s Degrees in elementary education from Utah State University (Go Aggies!).
Dave and Pam added children to their family along the way. First with Jordan in May of 1988, then Ty in August of 1991, and Lane in June of 1994.
Dave began his teaching career in Littlefield, AZ, teaching there for 4 years. He taught kindergarten through 2nd grade. He then started teaching at Virgin Valley Elementary in 1990, teaching the 3rd and 4th grades throughout his career.
Some of Dave’s favorite aspects of teaching included units on silkworms and Japanese culture where students learned to make Japanese sandals. One of his greatest joys was regularly reading books to his students that contained valuable life lessons. Yearly highlights were a hiking field trip in Zion National Park and organizing Field Day activities.
Dave retired from Clark County School District in 2019, at which time he did his best to relax and take care of his various projects around his home. He returned to the classroom as a substitute teacher, maintaining relationships with students and fellow teachers up until his passing.
He served faithfully in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in various callings and capacities where he made lifelong friends. He enjoyed being able to work with the youth, but cherished being with the primary children. This allowed him to be able to participate in one of his other most favorite pastimes of singing primary songs.
Dave may say that his greatest work in life includes his time spent helping Pam to raise their three sons, Jordan, Ty, and Lane. It would be difficult to count the hours he spent teaching them to be hard workers; how to take care of a home and yard; how to fish and camp; and most importantly, the steps to stay close to their Father in Heaven. He was a dedicated father who was always found in the bleachers supporting his boys in all of their sporting events and musical performances, never leaving room for any to doubt his love and dedication to them. Another one of his passions later in life is that of interacting with his grandchildren. He loved reading them stories, and listening to them read as they developed those skills. He was a tease to them and loved joking around. He wanted to do what he could to help them succeed in school, using tools he had honed throughout his career. The best days in his life were when they were around him.
He is survived by his loving wife, his three children Jordan (Yvette) of Fort Wayne, IN; Ty (Liza) of Moses Lake, WA; and Lane (Tara) of Price, UT; as well as his grandchildren Payton, Cache, Marley, Wells, Porter, Quinn, Titan, with Lane and Tara expecting his 8th grandchild in December. His siblings include Tammy (Tom) Seegmiller, Lori (Brad) Beatty, Carson Tait, Amy (Shon) Fullmer, as well as other bonus siblings and many nieces and nephews.
Dave was preceded in death by his parents Don and Nesha, as well as his bonus parents, Charles DeMar Hughes, Anna Lou Gleave Hughes, Donna Rose Caine, and Richard Harold Caine.
Funeral services will be held Saturday, September 16th in the Mesquite LDS Stake Center, 100 N Arrowhead at 11:00 am. A viewing will be held at the same location on Friday evening for those living in the Mesquite area from 6 - 8 pm, and again the following morning prior to the service from 9:30-10:30.
To honor Dave’s life, in lieu of flowers, if you choose, please donate to the family for The Dave Tait Memorial Scholarship Fund for Virgin Valley High School, and . . .take your kids fishing!