John Richard Clarke was born in Rexburg, Idaho on April 4th, 1927, to John Roland Clarke and Nora Redford Clarke. He died June 29, 2022, at his home in Alpine, Utah.
As a young man, he loved athletics and played football and basketball in high school, and later played basketball at Ricks College. After graduating from high school, near the end of World War II, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy, serving 18 months in the South Pacific. He then served a full-time mission in South Africa. Shortly after his return, he met and fell in love with his sweetheart Barbara Jean Reed at Ricks College. They were married June 7, 1950, in the Idaho Falls Temple and recently observed their 72nd wedding anniversary.
They began their family while pursuing a degree in marketing at BYU, and eventually had eight children: Dallan (Maxine Harmon), Deanna, (deceased), Sherilyn (Marshall Stinson), Yvonne (Conrad Gottfredson), Shayne (JaLee Jackson), Matthew (Janine Tueller), Kelene (Karim Omana), and Brandon (Marilee Hawkins). They now have 33 grandchildren and 71 great-grandchildren.
Following graduation from Brigham Young University in 1952, Richard and Barbara accepted a position in Boise, Idaho with the Mutual of New York Life Insurance Company. Over the next two decades, Richard built a top-producing life insurance agency that garnered much recognition.
On the outskirts of Boise, Richard and Barbara built their “dream home” on a property large enough to raise Arabian horses, Hereford cattle, and a large family. Wonderful memories, and a strong work ethic were the legacy of what came to be known as Dal Saan Ranch. During this time, Richard served in a variety of Church and community leadership positions including Bishop, Stake President, and Regional representative of the Twelve. He had a special love for the youth.
In 1963, Richard and Barbara suffered the death of their beloved 11-year-old daughter Deanna, in a tragic drowning accident. Their reunion on what would have been her 70th birthday has brought much joy and peace to the family.
In 1976, Richard was called to full-time church service for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. His 21 years of service included eight years in the Presiding Bishopric before being called to the First Quorum of the Seventy and eventually to the Presidency of the Seventy.
He and Barbara were delighted, that his first assignment as a Seventy was to serve as Mission President in Cape Town, South Africa--the mission of his youth. There he taught, trained, and inspired many young men and women who continue to revere him and Barbara.
In later years, he returned to Africa to serve as Area President, which further cemented his and Barbara’s special love for the Saints in Africa.
Richard became an Emeritus General Authority in 1997, and he and Barbara had the opportunities to serve as President and Matron of both the Laie Hawaii Temple, and the Boise, Idaho Temple.
Richard loved the scriptures and was a life-long student. He loved teaching the truths of the gospel, and faithfully lived what he taught. His passions included his wife and family, the New York Yankees, premium ice cream, “work projects”, his personal library, BYU sports, John Wayne, Louis L’Amour, Arabian horses, and gospel discussions with family and friends.
Richard was preceded in death by his daughter Deanna, parents John Roland Clarke and Nora Redford Clarke, all his siblings: LuNone Heileson, Lorene Clarke, Phyllis Clemens, Devar Clarke, Lyle Brewer, Maxine Hillman, and great-granddaughter Sara Kate Mason.
Funeral services will be held on Saturday July 9, 2022, starting at 1:00 p.m. at the Alpine West Stake Center located at 327 South Long Drive, Alpine, Utah. Viewings will be held at the Stake Center Friday night from 6:00 - 8:30 p.m. and on Saturday from 11:00 a.m. - 12:45 p.m. prior to services. Interment will take place following the services at the Alpine City Cemetery.
For those who wish to attend the services virtually, you may do so by utilizing the following link: https://zoom.us/j/93637761209
I loved President Clarke,I met him in Cape Town and he interviewed me for my Temple recommend I sleped over at the his home and had breakfast the next morning and he took me to the freeway and droped me off and I hike back to Port Elizabeth. Many years later we met up again in Hawaii and had lunch with his wife what a wonderful couple.I am sad that he passed away. My sincere condolence to Sister Clark and family.