Mitzi D Conover
April 7, 1972 ~ January 23, 2023
Our world has lost a bright light.
Mitzi was a beautiful, intelligent, and kind human being. She could have done anything she chose in life. She chose professionally to be a pediatrician, and the children she cared for got the best doctor anyone could imagine. Personally, she chose to share her life with her husband, Tom. She and Tom have two children, Jacob, 15, and Samuel, 11. To them Mitzi is the best mom anyone could imagine.
Mitzi was born in Murray, Utah on April 7, 1972, the daughter of Carol and Dan Dudley. It was quickly apparent she was gifted. She was an eager student, so much so that once, when she had a fever and was too sick to be allowed to go to school, she cried! She was a strong and graceful athlete as well, participating in many sports, including figure roller skating (yes, that is, or at least was, a thing).
Her parents divorced, and when her mom remarried, Mitzi was in 9th grade. They moved from West Valley City to Meadow, Utah where she attended Millard High School. She thrived there, with constant encouragement from her mom. Her achievements included Sterling Scholar in Math, participation in volleyball, basketball, track, cheer, and drill team, and being chosen as Homecoming Queen and FFA Sweetheart Queen, before graduating as salutatorian. She was inducted into the Millard High School Hall of Fame in 2021 and gave a speech to mark the occasion in which she encouraged students to live out their own dreams.
She was close to her dad, who instilled in her a passion for professional sports, country music, beautiful roses, and a good steak. Tragically while Mitzi was a 3rd year medical student, Dan passed away. She was devastated by his loss but persevered and never forgot how much he loved her.
Luckily, when Carol married John Kimball, Mitzi gained a second loving father. As a member of the Millard County Sheriff’s force, John made sure Mitzi stayed on the straight and narrow, though occasional escapades in her brother Rhett’s purple 1972 Chevy Nova couldn’t be completely thwarted.
Mitzi attended the University of Utah on a Presidential Scholarship. She worked for the Utah Department of Public Safety while also working toward her life’s goal of being a doctor. She attended the University of Utah Medical School where she distinguished herself with her academics and humanism and was awarded the American Medical Women’s Association Scholarship Achievement Citation, Outstanding Student in Pediatrics 1999, and the University of Utah School of Medicine Dean’s Award.
Mitzi did her residency in Pediatrics at Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City. She trained at the outpatient clinic at Mountain View Pediatrics. The physicians there were smart enough to snap her up to join their practice. At Primary Children’s, Mitzi and Tom caught each other’s eye. As fellow residents, they bonded during a slow month in May 2002 while assigned to the same on-call team. There were hours to fill between patients with cribbage games and increasingly deep and funny conversation. Mitzi and Tom ended the month wanting to spend many more hours together.
Mitzi and Tom married August 7, 2004 on a beautiful evening in Park City Utah. Their marriage provided years of laughter, love, and successes. The pair traveled far and wide, but loved just as well to sit side by side on the back porch continuing the conversations started years ago.
Mitzi was known as one of the best primary care pediatricians in Salt Lake City. She had special interests in treating children with eating disorders and with Down Syndrome. She was sought out for her skill and unmatched bedside manner. She loved working at Mountain View and was loved by her patients, families, and colleagues.
As much as she loved her career, being a mom was Mitzi’s top priority. She poured her heart and soul into her family. Whether helping with homework, playing tennis, or just hanging out, Jacob and Sam know that their mom loved being with them more than anything. They are the center of her universe.
In July 2021, Mitzi was diagnosed with an aggressive form of brain cancer known as glioblastoma (GBM). Mitzi had no question she would do whatever needed to spend more time with her family. Through her treatment Mitzi was the picture of grace and kindness, with a thank you for all her caregivers. She had good health for over a year. But GBM is a beast, and it came back in July 2022. Despite further treatment it wore Mitzi down. She had to retire from practice. Her retirement party saw folks lined up out the doors of the clinic, willing to wait hours to see “Dr. Mitzi” one more time.
Mitzi died at home, surrounded by her family, on January 23, 2023. She leaves behind her sons, Jacob and Samuel Conover, husband Tom Conover, parents Carol and John Kimball, grandmother Geraldine Frederick, siblings Wesley (Ashlee) Dudley, Justin (Chantelle) Kimball, and Rhett (Sarah) Kimball, along with her extended family, in-laws the Conovers, the boys’ “second mom” Rosa Walker, and friends, colleagues, patients, and their families too numerous to count. The world woke up a little worse off on January 24th. Mitzi wants you to go out and make it a little better.
Thanks to the treatment team at the University of Utah for taking care of Mitzi. To honor Mitzi Conover, in lieu of flowers, please consider a gift to the Huntsman Mental Health Foundation to fund Mental Health Support for Cancer Patients and Families.
For online donations, visit http://huntsmanmentalhealth.org and click “Donate."
Donations can also be mailed to: Huntsman Mental Health Foundation, 500 S Huntsman Way, Salt Lake City, UT 84108