Obituary for Irval LaFaun Mortensen

Irval LaFaun Mortensen, 85, passed away, surrounded by family, on Oct. 11, 2020 in Logandale, Nevada after a brief illness. Irval was born on March 20, 1935 in Pima, Arizona to La Faun Isaac Mortensen and Annie Allen Mortensen.

Irval was predeceased by his parents; younger brother, Alfred Jay Mortensen; baby brother, Charles Becker Mortensen; nephew, Lee Mortensen, and niece, Lisa Mortensen Wolcott.

Irval is survived by his wife, Joann (Follett); sons, Dino (Laura) and Hal (Jeanna), and daughter, Tonya; eight grandchildren, Alexandra (Mike), A.J. (Valerie), Halie, (Jason), Jackson (Ansley), Jay, Hanna, Jeremiah, and Helena; 10 great-grandchildren,  Bruce, Amandine, Olivia, Clark, Dimitri, Emma, Annie, Elouise, Felix, and Jack. Irval is also survived by siblings, Lyle (Jeanne) and LaFaunda (Mark); nephews, nieces, and extended family. 

Irval grew up in a loving home in Safford, Arizona. He graduated from Safford High School in 1953, later serving a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Central America Mission from 1955-1957. He then graduated from Arizona State University in 1959 with a B.S. in Accounting. He then attended law school at the University of Arizona, graduating in 1962.

Irval married Joann Follett in 1960 during his second year of law school. After graduation, he returned to Safford, where he was elected as Graham County Attorney in 1962. He served in that capacity for six years. He then served as the attorney for the towns of Pima and Duncan and for the city of Safford. His legal career for the 50 years centered on all aspects of a small-town private practice. In addition, he served as Justice of the Peace, Pro Tem. He willingly donated legal services and was honored by the Arizona State Bar in 2003 as one of the Top 50 Pro Bono Attorneys of Arizona.  ​

Irval Mortensen
Irval Mortensen

His community work included flying as an Officer in the Civil Air Patrol, being a founding member of the Board of Directors for the Mt. Graham Hospital, March of Dimes County Chairman, a member of the Executive Committee of the Theodore Roosevelt Council of the Boy Scouts of America in which he obtained the Silver Beaver award, and a member of the Western Region Committee for Woodbadge. The work with scouting complemented his beloved hobbies of camping, the outdoors, teaching, and reinforcing values and leadership.

Irval also served in various callings for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Safford area, as Bishop, Scout Master, Ward and Stake Mission Leader, High Councilman, and in the Young Men Presidency. He and Joann later served as Senior Missionaries at The Church History Library in Salt Lake City, from 2010 to 2011. Irval also served as an attorney in the South America South Area Office for the Church from 2013 to 2015, first in Buenos Aires, Argentina, then in Santiago, Chile.

Irval was known by his family and friends for being loving, kind, a skilled pianist, a practical joker, and up for most any fun. He lived a life of service and devotion to his family, his faith, and his community.

Visitation will be held at McDougal’s Caldwell Funeral Chapel in Safford, Arizona on Friday, Oct. 16, from 6 to 8 p.m.

A Celebration of Life will be held at McDougal’s Caldwell Funeral Chapel in Safford, on Saturday, Oct. 17, at 9 a.m., with a viewing from 8 until 9 a.m. The services will be live-streamed at Interment will be at the Safford City Cemetery.

Arrangements are under the direction of McDougal’s Caldwell Funeral Chapel & Gila Valley Crematory.  Online condolences may be extended at

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