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Obituary: Robert Alma Clarke

6/26/11 ~ 3/25/03

OGDEN -<! >

Robert Alma Clarke passed away Tuesday, March 25, 2003, at McKay-Dee Hospital from complications of pneumonia at the age of 91.

Robert was born June 26, 1911, in American Fork, Utah, to James Hill and Bertha Jackson Clarke, the eighth of 11 children. He grew up understanding the value of hard work, as his father had purchased a dry farm, which was worked entirely by Robert and his siblings.

Robert married his sweetheart, Margaret Davis, on Nov. 6, 1936, in Hollywood, California. Their vows were later solemnized in the Salt Lake LDS Temple.

They were the parents of five children. Margaret preceded him in death on February 21, 1999.

A long-time resident of Ogden, Utah, Robert was a faithful member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He served in several bishoprics, then as Bishop of the Ogden 35th Ward for seven years, and made many lasting friends during that time. He also served faithfully in many other ward and stake callings and was still an active home teacher to four families in his ward at the time of his death. Robert and Margaret served as missionaries in the Dallas Texas Mission in 1983 and 1984. Robert also served in the Ogden Temple Presidency with President Milton Mecham and Spencer Klomp and was a sealer in the Ogden Temple for more than 20 years. He was released from his work as ward finance clerk and temple sealer at the age of 91.

Robert received his Bachelor of Science Degree from BYU in 1933 and graduated cum laude with his doctorate degree in physics and mathematics from California Institute of Technology in 1937. He then accepted a faculty position at Weber College with President Henry Aldus Dixon, where he remained for his entire 40-year working career. The development of Weber College was a very important part of Robert's life. His first love was teaching physics and math, and he continued to teach at least one class each year throughout his tenure even though much of his work was spent in administrative duties. He was Dean of Faculty from 1947 to 1957 and Administrative Vice President from 1967 to 1976. During World War II, he was assigned as Director of the Vocational Education Department of Weber College, and established a vocational school with curriculums for aircraft mechanics and many other vocational courses to aid in the war effort. Under President William P. Miller, Robert chaired a committee to prepare the legislative case, and he had key role in the expansion of the college from a two-year to four-year institution. He also worked diligently in planning the relocation of the Weber College campus from 25th Street to its present location. He was instrumental in the planning and procurement of property and in many of the architectural decisions for the current campus.

Robert retired from Weber in 1976, but remained with the school for several additional years, teaching physics and writing the history of the College during its formative years. He received an honorary doctorate degree and many other civic and professional honors during his lifetime.

With Margaret, Robert compiled and published a complete personal history and also published the history of the entire James Hill Clarke family. He and Margaret enjoyed traveling in their retirement years. In recent months, he organized several of their trip notes and pictures into computerized slide presentations. Robert especially enjoyed learning about new technologies and tried to keep current in his field. He was an avid reader and spent much of his last years alone in intellectual pursuits. Robert's vegetable garden was his pride and joy. His bountiful harvests were liberally bestowed upon anyone who could eat.

Robert cherished his wonderful friends and neighbors, who generously gave much love, help and support in the years after Margaret's death.

He is survived by three sons: Stephen Davis (Linda) Clarke, Eden, Utah; Paul Robert (Dixie) Clarke, Las Vegas, Nevada; Edward Mark (Karen) Clarke, Ogden, Utah; one daughter, Susan Clarke (Kenlon) Reeve, Ogden, Utah; 13 grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren. His beloved daughter, Mary Margaret, died in an accident involving Weber State's debate team in 1966. He is also survived by one sister, Edith Eves, Covina, California; and one brother, David Clarke, Salt Lake City, Utah.

Funeral services will be held Saturday, March 29, 2003, at 11 a.m. at the Kingston Ward Chapel, 1425 Kingston Drive (1/2 block north of 36th Street on Polk Avenue), Ogden. Friends may call at Lindquist's Ogden Mortuary, 3408 Washington Blvd., on Friday evening from 6 to 8 p.m. and Saturday at the Ward Chapel from 9:45 to 10:45 a.m. Interment at Lindquist's Memorial Gardens of the Wasatch, 1718 Combe Road.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations be made to the Mary Margaret Clarke Scholarship, c/o Development Office, 4018 University Circle, Weber State University, Ogden, Utah 84403-4018.

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