May 10, 1933 – March 26, 2023
Heber City, Utah
Disciple of Jesus Christ, Husband, Father, Grandfather (great and great-great too!), Brother, Uncle, Friend and Fisherman extraordinaire. He rejoined his eternal companion, Ruth Wanda Tolman (1934-2015); daughter, Connie Sue (Ron 1954-2005) Nelson (1958-2009); son, John Zeniff Hathaway (1968-2011); his parents, Leonard LeRoy and Una Florizell (Jensen) Hathaway; some grandchildren; and all siblings except one, peacefully on March 26, 2023. Zen is survived by his sister Gwen (Doug) Daley, children Scott Hathaway, Cindy (Ray) Ritchie, Robert (Lynne) Hathaway, Stephanie (Karl) Nelson, Valerie (David) Mahoney, 37 grandchildren, 92 great-grandchildren and 18 great-great-grandchildren, scores of nieces and nephews, and hundreds of friends.
Zen had many talents that he shared with others. While he never really shared his deep secret to constant fishing success, he did share his amazing baritone voice, stone masonry, master gardener, landscaper, entrepreneur, and business owner. Most of all he had the talent of loving nearly everyone he met and the love for his family, immediate and extended, was beyond measure. He seemed to be in touch with everyone and tried to recognize the important events in their lives.
His love for the Gospel of Jesus Christ was evident in his constant testimony bearing through his actions and stories. He could relate nearly anything to the Gospel without specifically quoting scripture, even though he shared his favorite scriptures with others, too. He loved serving the Lord, Jesus Christ, including an 18-month mission with his wife, Ruth, in Baguio, Philippines (1991-1992) and their time serving in the San Diego and St. George Temples. He also shared his love of the Gospel by serving in his local congregations of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and loved, and was loved, by those people in his Wards.
Another shining characteristic was Zen’s work ethic. He was always improving his home and landscape. His stonework set a new height of his accomplishments at their home in Apple Valley, UT. He moved thousands of stones and several multi-ton behemoths by hand in what was a showplace of landscaping stonework. Even in his late 80’s, he landscaped his yard, cut and split wood for his fireplace, and helped others with their projects. In his 70’s, some of his male neighbors even asked him to slow down because the neighborhood wives of much younger men were comparing accomplishments with Zen and asking their husbands to do more.
Zen lived in many cities, mostly because of his varied career endeavors; childhood, working the farm, and stonework with “Papa” while living in Ft. Union, UT. He was an oil refinery worker in Bountiful, UT, Fireman and Foreman for Hercules Incorporated, Bacchus Works, while living in Kearns, UT, and at the Sunflower Army Ammunition Depot while living in Overland Park, KS. Owner/Manager of H. Salt Fish & Chips in Tacoma, WA. Owner/Manager of KFC Martinez, CA while living in Concord and Martinez, CA. Long-haul truck driver for Quality Distributing Corporation (KFC), (CB handle – “The Lone Mormon”) while living in Kearns, UT and San Jose, CA. Commissary/Warehouse manager for Quality Distributing (KFC), Aurora, CO. Sole Proprietor of Bio-Energy Landscaping Company, Orem, UT. Alzheimer’s Care Residence Manager, Ogden, UT, Apple Valley, Riverside, and El Cajon, CA. Home Improvement Expert, Wellsville, Apple Valley, and St. George, UT. Entrepreneur and handyman, Heber City, UT. Everywhere he worked, he became a friend to a large group of people, customers and coworkers, and was often greeted with loving hugs by those who knew him.
Zen loved fishing. He had favorite spots and really great fishing buddies. He was always talking about his trips to Deer Creek and Strawberry Reservoirs with friends Frank and Tony or another friend Bob. In the 1960s he often awakened his young children early in the morning to drive from Kearns to Beaver Creek in Kamas, Utah on opening day of the fishing season so they would arrive just before daylight. Those memories are burned (or frozen) into the minds of his children as wonderful times with Dad, even though he did always catch the most and biggest fish. He knew right where the big German Browns were lurking and that continued on throughout his life as he seemed to always catch the biggest and most fish. One of his favorite things was to be asked about his biggest fish and he’d reply enthusiastically, “Four Inches!” After some interesting interactions, he’d be a little more descriptive, “Oh, I measure between the eyes!” That six-foot spearfish he caught in Hawaii won a fishing contest and really did measure 4” between the eyes. It was mounted as part of the 1st place prize!
A viewing for Zen will take place on Friday, April 7th from 6-8PM and prior to the funeral from 10-10:45AM, Saturday, April 8th. The funeral will be from 11AM – noon, and interment will be at the Hathaway/Nelson Family Cemetery near Kamiah, ID on April 10th. The viewings and funeral will be held at the Cobblestone Building of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1661 E 980 S, Heber City, UT.