Donald J. Clark
Died: Wednesday May-02-2018
Funeral: Friday May-11-2018
Morrison Funeral Home
188 S. Hwy 24
Rupert, Idaho 83350
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Donald John Clark, formerly of Oakley and Burley, Idaho, passed away on May 2, 2018 in South Jordan, Utah. He was 91. He was the oldest of three children. His brother Tom lives in Oakley, and Sue McIntosh preceded him in death. He was born on June, 14, 1926 to John Aroet and Eula Matthews Clark.
He graduated from Oakley High School after having been drafted to serve in the US Army as part of the occupation forces in Japan.
After serving an LDS mission in Minnesota, he married Janet Hales in the Salt Lake LDS temple on June 28, 1951. He graduated from Brigham Young University and then earned a Masters Degree at New York University, and then returned to Oakley and joined the family grocery and meat business. He later transitioned to the financial services industry. Don and Janet raised 7 sons. Dean, Brad, Jeff, Russ, Dave, Steve, and Blake. Don and Janet shared 67 years together. They have 29 grandchildren and 44 great grandchildren.
Don was an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He served in many callings over his lifetime. He will be remembered for his example, his kindness, his love for animals, and especially his unselfishness.
Within a few weeks of starting the first grade, Don contracted scarlet fever and this lingered. He ended up having to start again the next year resulting in his graduating from high school at age 19. He was the oldest in his graduating class of 18. He always counted this a blessing later in life because he was spared going to the fighting in Europe or the Pacific at the time, likely saving his life.
He often rode his horse “Midge” to school, and he loved animals of all types. He played on the football and basketball teams, played the trombone in the marching band and was a good student in the classroom. He remembers his English teachers being quite strict and requiring them to read Dickens' “A Tale of Two Cities.” Don said for him, “it was the worst of times.”
Don was drafted during his senior year in high school in 1945 and reported to Ft Douglas for induction. He wanted to go into the Navy but found himself in the wrong line, was issued Army gear, and went to Ft Worth, Texas for basic training. During the last week of basic training, he tripped, tearing his knee open and was in the hospital for 8 days. By the time he was declared fit again, he had to repeat the basic training cycle. During the second cycle, the war was almost over. He never did serve in combat but went by troop ship to Japan. He was trained as a sharpshooter, but served as an Assistant Chaplain. His job was to secure meeting places, then clean them up and make them ready as chapels. Also he was to acquire sacramental wine for the other religions in the area. His group of friends seemed to be growing and they asked him for the extra wine, after the services were over. Beside the Chaplain who was Episcopalian, he also reported to Lt. Boyd K. Packer who was assigned to find lost church members in the area.
Don returned from Japan and was called on a mission to Minnesota. He recalled the winters there were the coldest he could remember. His brother Tom had written him and told him about an attractive girl from New York that he had met at BYU. By the next fall, Don was in Provo and Tom was on a mission. Don and Janet dated and then married in 1951. He felt like the big man on campus since he had won her over all the other guys.
After completing graduate school at New York University, they returned to Oakley and he bought out his Uncle Charles share of the grocery business. The young family grew to seven boys. Along the way, he served as the treasurer of the Oakley Vigilantes. The 24th of July Pioneer Days with Rodeos and all the other activities were what they sponsored each year. His responsibilities were financial record keeping. In July of 1954 Janet had to be patient with labor pains while he paid the rodeo cowboys their winnings before he rushed to the hospital so Janet could deliver Brad.
Don served actively in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. While a bishop, the focus was “Project Temple,” a way to help families that had not been sealed in the temple to obtain that goal so their families would be blessed. Many good men were activated and became leaders in the ward and stake after that. During his tenure as bishop, there were 83 funerals. Sometimes there were three at once in various stages of planning. He and his counselors became known as the “Burying Bishopric." Such a high number of funerals takes a toll on a ward and the energy of those involved, but he felt it was a blessing to be the last bishop for those who were leaving this earthly realm. He felt his time as bishop was extremely hard on Janet, the boys, and the store, but the blessings far outweighed the challenges.
After acquiring a second grocery store in Burley, Don and Janet felt it best to move the family to Burley in 1968. After a time, Don pursued a career change and the store was closed. He joined the Mutual Life Insurance Company of New York as an agent in 1972 and remained there until his retirement in 1992. He approached this profession as a way to help others. Although Don's career was in business, he always kept a connection to farming and raising animals. In retirement he took great pleasure in his pets and started a small herd of alpacas.
In 2001, Janet and Don were called on a mission to the Los Angeles Visitors Center in Santa Monica. They found Los Angeles to be quite different than Burley. They supervised the sister missionaries efforts there in proselyting, giving tours, and explaining gospel principles to the guests who stopped in. They valued that time as it brought them together in serving the Lord.
Don was always mindful of the legacy he was leaving to his sons and extended family. He wanted them to be committed to a lifetime of honesty, integrity, love, faithfulness and service to others. To that end he consciously lived his life to be an example that they would see his testimony of Jesus Christ in his daily living.
Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. Friday, May 11, 2018 at the Pella Church, 160 West 400 South in Burley. Burial will follow in the Pella Cemetery with Military Honors provided by the Mini-Cassia Veterans. Friends may call Thursday evening from 7:00 - 8:30 at the Pella Church and from 9:30 until 10:30 a.m. Friday at the church prior to the funeral. Condolences may be shared at morrisonpayne.com.
Condolences for Donald J. Clark
From: Stephen Hales
Uncle Don will always be one of my heroes. I lived many years in Europe as a teenager. The highlight of each summer was spent in Oakley and Burley working in the IGA stores and on the farm with the Clark cousins learning the value and team effort in family and work. Work first, play later and evaluating priorities. Aunt Janet has a positive approach in life and is quick to offer encouragement and a smile. Thank you to all assisting in my transition from a boy to a man. Your strength as a family lives on in you and your children. God bless.
From: Judy Talbot Fuller And Earl Talbot and Families
Dear Clark family: What a dear man you have lost…..he was one of our mom (Clara Talbot's) favorite cousins and thus also became someone we always loved to see and talk too. We can only imagine the reunion that is going on now on the other side…..just think of all those that Don is greeting and meeting. We will miss him. We are sorry we can't make it to the service, but do know that we are thinking of all of you.
our love and prayers….the Fullers and Talbots
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