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.

A Small Moment

I think we were the only ones in our news feeds who were not at the BYU game last night. Nice win Cougars! I knew Amos wanted to go but outings are getting much more difficult for him. He tries but doesn’t have the energy to do the things we used to. He went to bed early last night and was distraught this morning to find out that a member of the ward was in the hospital and wanted him to come but he didn’t hear the phone or get the message until this morning. I saw a meme today that said, “If your life just got a little harder it’s probably because you’ve leveled up.” Stay strong Amos. Love you.


I finished my mutual song for 2017. It has a more classical style (or “old  fashioned” as my kids say) than I usually do for youth songs but I hope they will like it anyway. It’s fun to sing with two melodies that go together and it’s easy to play. Half of the lyrics come from James 1:5-6 and the other half come from the 3rd verse of Where Can I Turn for Peace. The free downloads of sheet music, audio and backing tracks are on my website at 

The pain is constant for Amos now but Sundays always help both of us steer our thoughts from our own struggles to the pain that Christ suffered in the Garden of Gethsemane. It also helps us to remember that this is our struggle right now but only for a small moment. We are grateful He has been with us each step this far with tender mercies of every kind and we look forward with hope to a day when this cancer journey will be over.

Rainy Day


I woke up to rain rapping on my windows this morning. In Arizona we love rain, but use the word figuratively to mean something difficult anyway. The literal rain today made me remember a song called “Rainy Day” that my sister Phoebe wrote when she was probably twelve.  I was raised in a family with a good understanding of “rain” and why we are meant to struggle in this life.  We had a brother who had seven major surgeries in his six short years before he finally died. The experience of knowing Brooks and seeing such a perfect and innocent boy go through so much pain and difficulty gave us all great perspective.  Knowing him changed us all for the better.  I think he was here more for our growth than his own.  My other brother Charlie arranged Phoebe’s song several years ago and last year we went to the recording studio with him and some sisters and nieces to record it.  We added a third verse my mom wrote just before she died of cancer a few years earlier.  We all sang this song at my mom’s funeral on a day it happened to be raining both literally and figuratively.  This recording hasn’t been released. I had some plans for a music video but I had the feeling just to put it on the blog today without any fanfare. In my mind it helps answer the question the inmate asked Amos.

“Are you angry with God for giving you this cancer when you’ve done nothing to deserve it?”

Amos and I had an amazingly wonderful day together despite the long wait for Porter’s appointment with the orthopedic surgeon. He won’t heal perfectly but they said it wasn’t worth re-breaking his wrist. The doctor is a counselor in his bishopric we found out as he started talking church lingo. When we left Amos asked me how he knew we were LDS. I told him to look in the mirror. Haha. I guess we could just really like BYU. After we got him back to school we ate some lunch took a nap and did some yard work. I am grateful for every second I have with him. I’ll take more memories at 83°.