Former GOP House Speaker Bob Garff Dies at 72 From the Coronavirus

Former House Speaker Bob Garff (R-Utah) died following complications from the coronavirus.

Garff’s daughter and state Rep. Melissa Garff Ballard (R-Utah) took to Facebook on Sunday to announce his passing. In her post, she included a photo with her father.

My loving dad passed away peacefully today from COVID-19. He has lived a long and happy life, full of vigor and love for…

Posted by Representative Melissa Garff Ballard on Sunday, 29 March 2020

“My loving dad passed away peacefully today from COVID-19,” Melissa Garff Ballard wrote in the Facebook post. “He has lived a long and happy life, full of vigor and love for our state and our families.”

Bob Garff — whose family owns and operates an auto business — was Utah’s House Speaker from 1985 to 1987.

In the wake of Bob Garff’s death, the University of Utah also mourned the loss of the former House speaker.

Utah Coach, Kyle Whittingham, shared his reaction, noting Bob Garff’s “profound impact” on the university.

“We are extremely saddened to hear of Bob Garff’s passing,” he wrote. “He had a profound impact on the University of Utah and cared deeply for our student-athletes. He will be greatly missed. Sending all my love to Kathi and the entire Garff family at this time.”

Utah lawmakers Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) and Rep. Ben McAdams (R-Utah) also took to social media to share their reactions.

“With profound sadness, I have learned that my friend Bob Garff has passed away from COVID-19. It breaks my heart,” Romney tweeted.

McAdams offered a lengthy statement commemorating Bob Garff and his wife’s legacy.

“I am deeply saddened by the loss of Bob Garff. […] I was inspired then with his commitment to our community and to public service, a legacy he continued all his life. […] Julie and I send our deepest sympathies to the Garff family at this sad time.”

As of Monday afternoon, there were more than 148,000 coronavirus cases in the United States, including more than 700 cases in Utah.

Published in IJR


  1. Here’s the omission of his death factors. DID HE HAVE OTHER CONDITIONS OTHER THAN AGE?

    Even a corrupt, political agency like WHO has started questioning the # of reported Kung Flu deaths.

    1. Did he actually have other health issues? Because from a separate article it seemed like he was healthy, was in CA on a trip, came back sick, and things escalated until he died.

      While i do understand your overall concern, if the virus was what pushed even someone otherwise ill over the edge to death then it should be attributed to the virus.

      Having a preexisting condition doesnt mean that is the only way you can die.

      1. Thanks for the additional info, which was not present in this article.

        That’s an interesting take, but I prefer to think of things as “contributory”.
        e.g. someone died in an auto accident. The impact killed him. The fact that he was drunk ABSOLUTELY contributed.

        Someone dies by taking fish tank cleaner. Ingesting poison killed him. His utter stupidity in self-medicating with fish tank cleaner absolutely contributed.

        1. I haven’t seen anywhere that the couple that ate fish tank cleaner were killed by COVID-19.

          Now, if someone had COVID-19 and they were hit by a car then that would be wrong to say it was COVOD-19. But if somone having a heart condition contracted COVID-19, died from pneumonia shortly after, then that is most certainly a COVID-19 related death.

          What is an actual example of a death that you’re upset was said caused by COVID-19?

          1. Weird how you consider me “upset” for presenting a contrasting perspective. I cannot speak for all, but I don’t get upset about things on the internet.

            You are saying that if the Kung Flu is at all present, then IT is the cause of death. You then moderate that with “related”.

            It’s the “related” part I support. People talk about “herd immunity”. Let’s take an example of a predator, e.g. a leopard, taking down a herd member which might have been older/younger, weaker, slower, etc. It may have attacked other herd members who escaped (recovered). So why was it successful with some and not others?

            Contributing/complicating/pre-existing factors.

        2. No, I’m not saying it is ALWAYS the reason for death. How did you get that from my last post? Thats the exact oppposite of what i said. 😉

          I do feel that if the person was otherwise managing their preexisting condition and not being hospitalized before getting coronavirus then died of complications stemming from coronavirus then they died of coronavirus.

          If someone asymptomatic died of a heart attack then at this point i don’t see why something like that would be attributed to COVID-19, but i haven’t seen instances where it has at least from articles i have come across.

          So again, what are the instances that makes you question how deaths are being counted? This is really me trying to understand as this level of questioning is all over right wing web sites.

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