Hampton Clawson Godbe, 85, died June 25, 1991, at his home in Salt Lake City following a hellish year which proved, indeed, that "old age is not for sissies." Ham, ever the renaissance man, carried on undaunted.
Mr. Godbe was born May 21, 1906, in Salt Lake City to Anthony H. and Ruby Clawson Godbe. He married Nancy Lou Garnett in 1936. She died in 1977. He graduated from East High School where he served as editor of the student newspaper. His newspaper career continued with employment as a reporter for the old Salt Lake Telegram. In 1930, he transferred to the Salt Lake Tribune, where he served at various times as a special writer, legislative writer, and night city editor.In 1935, Mr. Godbe became the first management officer of the newly organized Metropolitan Water District of Salt Lake City. After a thiry-year career there, he served for a short time as supervisor of the Acquisition Department of the Land Economics Research Section, Right of Way Acquisition Department, Utah State Highway Commission, retiring in 1972.
As a grandson of William S. Godbe, founder of the so-called "Godbeite Movement"in Territorial Utah and of Hiram Bradley Clawson, confidential secretary and son-in-law twice over to Brigham Young, Mr. Godbe made an avocation of early Utah history. He spent the majority of his adult life researching and writing as yet unpublished biographies of these grandfathers.
Mr. Godbe was a member of the Utah State Historical Society; an honorary life member of Friends of the Library, University of Utah; a past president of the Colorado River Water Users Association; and a former director of both the Provo River Water Users Association and the Provo River Distribution System.
Mr. Godbe is survived by: Two sons and a daughter, Robert H. Godbe, Palo Alto, Calif.; John M. Godbe, Delta; and Mary Lou Godbe Andersen, Salt Lake City; a sister, Betty G. Walker, a brother, Anthony LaRiviere (Laurie) Godbe, both Salt Lake City; three grandchildren, Chad and Correy Godbe, Delta; and David G. Andersen, Salt Lake City. He was preceded in death by his wife, two infant sons and two sisters, Virginia G. McCleery and Margaret G. Warnock. He was also preceded in death by his beloved companion of many years, Marie F. Baldwin.
At Hampton's request, there will be no formal funeral or memorial service. Instead, friends are invited to join his family for a Fourth of July open house and barbecue in celebration of Ham's life and death at the home of his daughter, Mary Lou, 1390 Yale Avenue, Salt Lake City, Utah, from 4-7 p.m., casual attire recommended.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that contributions to Friends of the Library, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah 84112, in Ham's memory would please him.
Funeral directors, Neil O'Donnell & Sons.
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