View the parade route; it starts at Highland Elementary School, goes south on 6000 West, turns east on 10400 North, and ends at Heritage Park. This event is co-chaired by the Audrey Wright & DeeAnne Carlisle (parade helpers needed this year!)
Sponsor: Burt Brothers
2018 Grand Marshals - Jay W. Franson & Gwyn Cox Franson
“Every man gives his life for what he believes. Every woman gives her life for what she believes. Sometimes people believe in little or nothing, and so they give their lives to little or nothing. One life is all we have, and we live it as we believe in living it…and then it’s gone.” – Jeanne d’Arc (Joan of Arc)
Highland City has named Jay and Gwyn Franson, former Mayor and Councilwoman respectively of Highland, as Grand Marshals of the 2018 Highland Fling Grand Parade. The parade will be held on Saturday, Aug. 4, at 10 am. The Fransons have spent a lifetime in the service of their community and embody the 2018 Highland Fling theme: “We Rise by Lifting Others.”
Jay was born in Elko, Nevada and Gwyn in Price, Utah in 1948. This year 2018 marks their 50th wedding anniversary. They met in a math class their senior year at Richfield High School where Jay was student body president. Jay then left to pursue an education at Dixie Junior College on a basketball scholarship while Gwyn attended BYU her freshman year also with a scholarship, joining Jay at Dixie the following year. After completing their associate degrees together, they married Sept. 7, 1968. They left that same week for Ashland University in Ashland, Ohio, again on a basketball scholarship for Jay where both continued their studies. In 1970 Jay graduated with a BS in mathematics after which they returned to Utah where Jay completed a degree in civil engineering at USU in 1973. During this time they also began their family. They have three boys (Lon, Eric, and Kevin) and two girls (Janell and Alayne) and 17 grandchildren.
Jay spent most of the first 15 years of his career working for the Bureau of Reclamation in Colorado, Arizona and Utah with one year in management training in Washington, D.C. They first moved to Highland in 1981 as he continued working for the BoR. He left Highland in 1986 for Arizona to work on a project. Then in 1988 he formed the civil engineering firm of Franson & Associates in American Fork while settling permanently in Highland. Gwyn returned to BYU in 1994 to complete a degree in elementary education and retired in 2016 after 18 years of teaching at Highland Elementary. One of their joys today is running into her former students whose names she still remembers.
Both Jay and Gwyn have shown throughout their lives a willingness to serve wherever and whenever asked in order to make their community a better place. In 1989 Jay was invited to serve on the Highland Water Company Board of Directors and elected chairman where he served for the next 13 years. Gwyn became involved in the grass roots of nonpartisan politics in Highland, accepting a request to run for city council where she served two terms from 1998-2006. In 2008 Gwyn was also recruited to run for the State Legislature. In 2002 Jay was invited by Governor Mike Leavitt to serve on the Governor’s Water Board where he served until 2012. In 2005 he ran for Mayor of Highland where he served from 2006-2010, during which time the Highland City Hall, Library, Justice Court, Fire Station and City Center Park (including the popular splash pad) were built, all of which are assets to the community. Residents benefit today from Jay’s engineering background as seen in the improved road design on city arterials and our water system. By invitation Jay served on the North Utah County Water Conservancy District board from 2008-2015, and then on the North Pointe Solid Waste Special Service District from 2010 to the present.
Scouting has been a lifetime love for Jay. His leadership involvement began as a Varsity Scout leader and continued for nearly 40 years. He and Gwyn have also devoted much of their lives in service to the LDS Church, from Jay’s calling to serve in a Bishopric, the sweet experience as a High Councilor assigned to the State Developmental Center, as Bishop of the Highland 5th Ward, a calling as Stake Young Men’s President, and Stake Executive Secretary. Gwyn has also served in many positions of responsibility in the LDS Church, as Relief Society President, Young Women’s President, Primary President, in the Stake Primary Presidency, Sunday School teacher and Institute instructor. She also served in the PTA at both the elementary and high school levels.
During their over thirty- seven years of service in Highland, they have loved seeing it become the beautiful community it is today and have made wonderful friends along the way. They are grateful they could “give back” and encourage others to be willing to say “yes” when invited to serve.
Written by Claudia Stillman