Worthen in­ducted into Hall of Fame

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Dur­ing half­time of a re­cent Payson High School bas­ket­ball game, Joe Worthen was in­ducted into the Nebo Ath­letic Hall of Fame while sur­rounded by a large group of fam­ily and friends who were in at­ten­dance.

Worthen grad­u­ated from Pan­gui­tch High School in 1957. He played bas­ket­ball for Pan­gui­tch High, earn­ing all-state and MVP hon­ors his se­nior year. He also took State in the high jump. Worthen at­tended Dixie State, the Uni­ver­sity of Utah and Utah State where he played bas­ket­ball. At Utah State, his bas­ket­ball team placed third in the Na­tional In­vi­ta­tion Tour­na­ment. This tour­na­ment was played at Madi­son Square Gar­den.

In 1961, Worthen grad­u­ated from Utah State with a de­gree in phys­i­cal ed­u­ca­tion and math­e­mat­ics. He taught math, coached all sports and drove the bus for Es­calante High School. In 1963, he ac­cepted a teach­ing po­si­tion at Payson High School where he taught PE and math for 21 years. In 1980, he be­came the com­mu­nity school/ city recre­ation direc­tor for Payson City.

Af­ter 37 years with Nebo School Dis­trict, Worthen re­tired.

Dur­ing his years with Payson City Recre­ation, Worthen has or­ga­nized many youth and adult sports pro­grams. He was very in­volved with plan­ning and cre­at­ing new fields and the main­te­nance of all parks. He brought Karl Malone and John Stock­ton to Payson to pro­mote the Jr. Jazz pro­gram for youth bas­ket­ball. In 1985, dur­ing Worthen’s time as recre­ation direc­tor, Payson City Recre­ation re­ceived the Best New Recre­ation Pro­gram Award from the State of Utah.

Since his re­tire­ment from Nebo School Dis­trict, Worthen has stayed busy par­tic­i­pat­ing in the Se­nior Games where he has won 10 medals, which five of them were gold. He has served for five years in the fire depart­ment and for 45 years as a bas­ket­ball of­fi­cial. He has also served in many church call­ings. His fam­ily says he is quite the mas­ter fish­er­man.

Joe mar­ried Deanna Griever 55 years ago. To­gether they have four chil­dren, Wendi, Richard, Kriss Ann and Rus­sell, as well as 15 grand­chil­dren and six great-grand­chil­dren.

Joe Worthen, a for­mer PE and math teacher at Payson High School, was re­cently in­ducted into the Nebo Ath­letic Hall of Fame.

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