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Former St. George Mayor James Grey Larkin was being remembered Saturday for his years of service to the community and his church and his devotion to his family.

"We lost a great individual," said Dan McArthur, also a former St. George mayor, who described Larkin as his mentor. "People had high esteem for him. He was fair and honest and direct with everyone he met."

He added: "This man meant a lot to me, meant a lot to our community, and I miss him already."

Larkin, 77, died Wednesday in a one-car accident on State Road 130 near Minersville. The Utah Highway Patrol said his Lincoln Town Car drifted off the side of the road, hit a traffic delineator, slid to the other side of the road when Larkin over-corrected and rolled until it came to rest on a rock.

His obituary says Larkin — who went by his middle name — passed away while doing one of the things he loved most, driving the back roads of Utah.

Larkin was born on Oct. 20, 1937, in St. George. He married Marlene Wright, in 1957, and the couple had five children. Marlene Larkin died Dec. 9, 2014.

"In life they spent very little time apart," the obituary says. "For Grey to follow her so closely in death is only fitting."

Larkin, co-owner of L&L Mechanical, a plumbing, heating and air conditioning contractor. He served on the St. George City Council before serving as mayor from 1978 to 1982. His numerous community activities also included service on the Utah Department of Transportation Commission, an advisory body, and work with the Boy Scouts.

He also served The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as a bishop, stake president, and mission president in Lubbock, Texas, among other callings and assignments, according to the obituary.

St. George City Manager Gary Esplin said Larkin had "tremendous influence" on southern Utah through his work on the transportation commission.

"He was an absolutely incredible guy," Esplin said.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Monday at the Morningside LDS Stake Center, 879 S. River Road in St. George. Visitations will be held 6 to 9 p.m. Sunday at Metcalf Mortuary, 288 W. St. George Blvd., and on Monday prior to services, from 9 to 10:30 a.m., at the stake center. Burial will be at the St. George City Cemetery.

Twitter: @PamelaMansonSLC