August 20, 1925 – March 29, 2018
James Leroy “Mike” Clark, 92 years old, passed away surrounded by loved ones in Clearfield, Utah, Tuesday, March 29, 2018, from old age. He was born near Harris, Saskatchewan, Canada on August 20, 1925 to William Leroy Clark and Betty Catherine Frakes.
Mike grew up in the Burley, Idaho, area where he helped on family farm. He was the youngest of his siblings and was often relegated to gathering eggs and watering the garden rather than helping in the fields. He often commented on how kind his sister Irma was to him. The family supplemented their farm income by having a family band. Mike was always impressed by his father’s and brother’s ability to play music by ear. He played French horn in the school band. He graduated from Burley High School, where he met Shirley Stoker. After high school he attended a trade school in Chicago and learned about electronics, which helped him in his job as a movie theater projectionist. At the urging of his older sister, Irma, he read the Book of Mormon and was baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Snake River in April of 1946. He then asked Shirley, again, if she would marry him. She said yes and they were sealed for time and eternity in the Idaho Falls Temple on September 10, 1946.
Mike was transferred to the movie theater in Montpelier, Idaho, in 1948, and he and Shirley left their families to move out on their own. As one of the youngest married couples in the ward, they were quickly called as dance directors. This was perfect for Mike because he loved big band music. After some trouble conceiving, Mike and Shirley welcomed their first child, Michelene, to the family in 1949. She was quickly followed by James Gregory in 1951, Catherine in 1952, Sherma in 1954, and Daniel Wayne in 1961. He loved being a member of the Montpelier Lions Club.
The opportunity to be a theater manager for two movie theaters brought the family to Twin Falls, Idaho, where they welcomed Kristin in 1964. The family then moved to manage theaters in Boise in 1966. However, the movie business was not the same and Mike changed jobs to work in the County Assessor’s office. He moved up the ladder and eventually became the County Assessor. Mike finally gave in to Shirley’s desire to become a foster mother. They cared for over 50 infants as foster parents. One of those sweet babies, Jonathan Andrew, came to stay in 1970 and became their youngest child, completing their family of red-heads.
Mike sent two children on missions at the same time. Although it was very difficult, he and the family felt the extra blessings of that service.
After losing the County Assessor election, he took a job in Utah in the Tax Commission in the Bankruptcy department in 1979, moving the family to Woods Cross. He won several awards, eventually retiring in 1995. He also sent two more children on missions. During his retirement, Mike finally had a job he could love with all his heart: being a missionary. He loved serving as a missionary at the LDS Business College and later as a member of the Building Committee.
Mike was so proud of his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren and their talents and was very supportive of their activities. He loved to get to know people. He knew the name of every CNA helper and nurse he met at his home in Chancellor Gardens; he loved getting to know them and took great pride in remembering the details of their lives.
Mike is preceded in death by his parents William Leroy Clark and Betty Catherine Frakes, his brother Wayne, sisters Mildred Potter (Norman) and Irma Blaisdell (Verrell), and his wife, Shirley Stoker.
He is survived by his children Michelene White (Whitney), Greg Clark (Trish), Catherine Pratt (Scott), Sherma Donnelly (Richard), Dan Clark (Stephanie), Kristin Price (Kurt), and Jon Clark (Tiffanie), 21 grandchildren, 24 great-grandchildren (3 expected), and 1 great-great grandchild.
The family would like to thank the employees at Chancellor Gardens. Thank you being “Sunshine” for making the last two years of Mike’s life fulfilling and taking such great care of his physical, emotional, and mental health. We would also like to thank Symbii Health and Hospice and Dr. Stewart for going above and beyond in making house calls and working so closely with the family to make his transition comfortable and peaceful. We would appreciate your memories of Mike. As an expression of sympathy, the family recommends making a donation to the LDS Mission Fund.
Funeral services will be held on Wednesday, April 4th, at 1:00 PM at Myers Roy Mortuary, 5865 South 1900 West, Roy, Utah, 84067. The interment will be at Roy City Cemetery, directly after the funeral. Family and close friends are invited to the family meal to celebrate with Mike’s favorite dinner catered by The Toaster Cheeser to enjoy a variety of toasted cheese sandwiches at 162 E Burton Ln, Kaysville, UT, 84037.
Our most sincere sympathies to the family and friends of James