On the beautiful morning of March 25th, 2022, while the springtime birds sang at her bedroom window, Dorothy Jean flew away to the heavens. Her passing leaves us bereft of a devoted wife, an exceptional mother and grandmother, the funnest aunt, and a most loyal friend.
Dorothy was born on May 3rd, 1940 in Parker, Idaho to Ellsworth Marion and Dorothy Smith Clark. She spent her formative years in Salt Lake City, in the Green Street home she shared with eight siblings. There she chased rabbits through the yard, played with dolls in the grass, learned piano duets with her sisters, and cut dress patterns with her mother. As a young woman, her kind nature and buoyant personality won the hearts of both family and friends.
Dorothy graduated from South High School and excelled in several vocations, including seamstress, bookkeeper, and secretary. On June 9, 1960, she married her sweetheart Leon Archie Chamberlain in the Salt Lake Temple. This singular event remained at the forefront of her mind throughout her life and signified their enduring bond of love and fidelity that grew stronger with each passing year.
Her zeal for life and distinctive laugh made Dorothy a favorite among many. She was always up for adventure, whether it was camping in the Uintas, hiking at Capitol Reef, or rappelling down a cliff. She especially enjoyed a good-natured prank, such as toilet-papering the yards of her childrens’ enemies, water-ballooning teenagers, and writing “Utah by 5” on the sidewalks of BYU fans in the neighborhood.
As a child, Dorothy taught herself to swim at the Fairmont Park pool. Her love of the water continued throughout her life, with early morning lap swimming at the Fountain of Youth and racing at the Utah Summer Games—both of which encouraged her competitive side. Dorothy likewise was a passionate supporter of her childrens’ sports. Her spirited cheers echoed through swim arenas, fields, and church gymnasiums, earning her a reputation among referees wherever she went. Whether in sports or in life, Dorothy was an unwavering advocate for her children.
Dorothy sewed like she drove—with the pedal to the floor. With remarkable speed and straight seams, she could complete a sewing project in a single day. Soft, tied quilts with generous batting became her trademark gift, and remain with us as a testament to her comforting influence. In every sense, Dorothy was a champion of the underdog. Through spiritual gifts of perception, empathy, and courage, she put people over programs, and reached beyond conventional boundaries as she sought out those on the margins of life. In a life filled with church service, including an inner city mission, ordinance worker in the Salt Lake Temple, and many leadership positions, perhaps Dorothy’s greatest legacy was the personal service she gave in her own easy way, without judgment or guile.
In her final years, Dorothy endured intense suffering and pain with profound patience and humor. Music became her medium of communication and a source of constant joy to her family. We are grateful for all the family and friends who cared for her, sang with her, and relieved her burdens. We are especially in awe of our father, Leon, whose patience, compassion, and care for Dorothy showed a “faithfulness… stronger than the cords of death.”
Dorothy is preceded in death by her parents, and brothers Norman, Robert, and Charles. She is survived by her husband, Leon; three brothers and two sisters; children Clark (Patty), Paul (Jerrea), Linda (Paul), Lee (Jan), Cathy (Ed), Matt (Jessica), and Laura (Jessica); twenty-five grandchildren (with one on the way) and eighteen great-grandchildren.
We extend our deep gratitude to Dorothy’s caregivers Linda Sherwood and Heather Berthold. Their dedicated, sensitive, and skilled care for Dorothy in her final years stand as an example to us and a tribute to their remarkable abilities and gifts. We also express thanks to Active Hospice for their expert care of Dorothy during this time.
Funeral services will be held Friday, April 1st at 11:00 a.m. at the Valley View Stake Center on 2245 East 3900 South in Salt Lake City, Utah. A viewing at the same location will be held Thursday, March 31st from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. and on Friday, April 1st from 9:30 to 10:45 a.m. Interment to follow at Salt Lake City Cemetery, 200 North E Street, Salt Lake City. Funeral services will be broadcast live on the YouTube Channel for the Salt Lake Valley View Stake at: https://www.youtube.com/c/SaltLakeValleyViewStakeBroadcasts
Life Story Info
Dorothy was the big sister to my friend and cousin, MaryAnn. I spent many fun times at their home on Green St. Dorothy always treated me with kindness and enthusiasm! It didnt matter that I was 5 yrs. younger than she. What a positive influence she was❣ I send my prayers for peace and comfort for her husband and family.