Amos Abplanalp – Obituary

Amos Dean Abplanalp 1975-2017

Amos Dean Abplanalp was born December 11, 1975 in Malad, Idaho. He passed away September 7th, 2017 at Banner Gateway Medical Center in Gilbert, Arizona surrounded by his wife and children, mother and brother. He fought a courageous fight with colon cancer for a year and a half. He lost the battle, but won the war enduring well until the end.

Amos was born the third child of Dean Abplanalp and Sandra Carol Sagers. He joined his brother, Tom, and sister, Katie Jo. Three years later Abbe completed the family.

When he was two, the family moved to Blackfoot where he spent the next 17 years of his life. When he was nine, his parents divorced. His mother later met and married Evan Dance and six more siblings were added to his family.

He grew up on a potato farm where he learned to work hard. He also learned that he wanted an education.

Amos loved sports. He played little league baseball and basketball, but his real love was wrestling. He was on a state championship wrestling team at Snake River High School where he graduated in 1994.

He served in the Canada Toronto Mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. After returning honorably after two years he attended Brigham Young University and met the love of his life and eternal companion, Hillary Clair Mann.

Amos graduated from BYU with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology. He and his wife and son then moved to Arizona where he attended Arizona State University to persue a master’s degree in Criminal Justice.

He was a teacher for emotionally disabled students at Gilbert High School for 10 years and a wrestling coach. He was certified to teach multiple high school subjects and was a beloved teacher.

He and his wife had five beautiful children together who have brought them incredible joy.

He later received a Master’s Degree in Counseling and worked as a Licensed Professional Counselor at the Florence, AZ prison in the Eyman Complex.

He served in many church callings and his most recent calling was as bishop of the Magma Ranch Ward in the SanTan Valley Stake.

Just as Amos learned of his cancer diagnosis his daughter, Evie Clair, was invited to audition for the show “America’s Got Talent.” Her musical talents, bright spirit and love for her father propelled her forward in the show. She made it to the finals the night before her father passed away. He lived his last few months seeing his daughter’s dreams play out and it was the highlight of his life.

Amos affected many in his life for good through his kindness, humility, wisdom and service. To know Amos was to love him.  His faith in God and great love for his family, friends, neighbors and coworkers inspired many.

Amos is survived by his wife: Hillary; his children: Porter, Evelyn, Kirra, Ruth and Blakely; his parents: Sandra and Evan Dance (ID) and Dean and Connie Abplanalp (FL), his siblings: Tracy Beede (UT) Tom (Paije) Abplanalp (WA), Katie Jo Abplanalp (ID), Abbe (Les) Fisher (ID), Russell (Tammy) Dance (WA), Jeremy (Jennifer) Dance (WA), Dustin Dance (WA), Jennie (Josh) Cobb (Philippines), Amanda Dance (ID), Hilary (Shawn) Wilmot (WA); grandmother: Janet Abplanalp (UT).

He was preceded in death by his grandparents: Moe and Carol Sagers, Tom Abplanalp and Ora Ezell; his nephew: Daniel Gurr and mother in law: Pamalee Mann.

There will be a viewing at the funeral home Tuesday evening from 6 to 8pm at 33 N Centennial Way Mesa, AZ 85201. Flowers, etc. can be sent to that address.

The funeral services will be held 10am Wednesday, September 13th at 1521 E Bella Vista Rd San Tan Valley, AZ 85143 with a viewing at 9am.

Amos’s body will be laid to rest in the Mesa Cemetery.

Key to the Town of Florence

Amos is feeling better today than yesterday. His digestion is a little more regular and he stayed on schedule with his pain meds which really helps. Standing up is still really hard for him and the medical staff at the prison are starting to notice his trouble getting around.  Today a nurse told him he should probably go home. He just smiled.

Today was the first day a few of the prisoners mentioned they saw Amos on America’s Got Talent. The reactions were mixed. One inmate said he cried and shared his own cancer story with Amos. Another, more disturbing, inmate warned Amos that now he knows where he lives. He shouted at him in a threatening voice “You don’t think we have TV’s in here?!! We have TV’s! I saw you! Now I know you live right here in Florence!” Amos responded, “That’s nice. I know you live in Florence too.” I’m just grateful none of them said a single word about his daughter. I’m not sure how he would handle that. Several years ago he tore his meniscus in his knee while taking down one of his wrestlers who said something about me. Of course, he has changed since then. #teamamos

We got an email from the Mayor of Florence today!

Tara Walter: Mayor

   “As you know, your daughter has touched the lives of many with her voice, as well as her kind and compassionate spirit.  On Monday, July 17th at 6:00 pm, at 775 N. Main St., Florence, AZ, it would be an honor to present your daughter with a Key to the Town of Florence.  The agenda for that evening will be posted at this link, under ‘Minutes and Agendas’: http://www.florenceaz.gov/town-council.  Please note, we are having a work session at 5 pm and the regular council meeting, where we will be recognizing your daughter, will begin at 6:00 pm.  If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.  Thank you in advance for your time as it is greatly appreciated.”

We are both so proud of Evelyn and excited to be there for this special occasion. I remember this happening years ago when several American Idol contestants made it to the final rounds. No pressure Evie. You can do this. #arizonastrong

Many thanks to the Ketchers for the lovely bedroom dresser set they delivered today. My condolences to your mother who passed away. Her dressers will get lots of use at our house and we thank you.

Last night was wonderful. Amos loves and misses his friends from Gilbert High School. Alba and Char were so awesome to come serve us dinner last night. We had some good laughs and good times and delicious food.

I’m missing my Kirra tonight. Evie is out of town too and it is so quiet without them. Kirra went with her cousin for a few weeks to help with her kids. Bailey has her hands full with 4 kids under 7, one with special needs and one more on the way. Kirra is my best helper so I knew she would love having her. She build a tree house and rode a horse today. She is having so much fun. Thank you Bailey!

With Love, Your Third Grade Teacher

Amos was up early for work, Porter is learning to parallel park and Evie spent the morning with her friend Jesse while the other kids were at Jujitsu. She then had 6 media interviews.

Amos only made it through about 8 of his 10 work hours and is in a lot of pain tonight.

He came home with a super nice card for Evie signed by dozens of prison workers who are cheering her on.

We got contracts for her NY performance and set up another performance in Pennsylvania that is a benefit concert for families with medical expenses.  We told them we would love to do it since we have been so blessed by others who have helped and continue to help with our medical expenses.

In fact, we got some mail today that knocked us out of our seats. One was a very generous donation from President Potter, Amos’s former mission president who called him a few days ago. I talked to this incredible man for a few minutes this morning about Amos and his brother Tom who also served in the Toronto, Canada 🇨🇦 mission.  He had pretty nice things to say about these special brothers.

We also got a card from our sweet friend Kathy Atwood then another from Amos’s third grade teacher that read:

Dear Amos,

I read the article in LDS Living yesterday about your darling daughter, Evie Clair and listened to her singing “Arms” on America’s Got Talent. 

Tears ran down my cheeks knowing that she’s your daughter.

She has your tender qualities and you and your wife, Hillary, can be so proud of her. 

I loved you as my obedient, caring and loveable 3rd grader and I would love you even more as my bishop. 

Carry on and know that my prayers are with you and your family. 

With Love,

Your 3rd grade teacher – Mrs. Crawford 

Amos said she was his favorite teacher ever. He also can’t get over the love and support from his mission president. This world is full of such amazing people.

After family night we played the game ‘graveyard’ since it was the only game Amos was able to play. He won!

Tomorrow our whole family will be on 3TV|CBS 5 for Good Morning Arizona at 8:45 am.