1916 ~ 2003
Marden J. Clark, 86, was born July 13, 1916, in Morgan, Utah to Ella Jean Boyce and Wallace Rich Clark. With the lunar eclipse, he departed this life the evening of May 15, 2003.
His childhood was filled with all the usual joys and hazards of farm life. Marden and his buddies were pranksters, according to stories he passed down and decades later recorded in Morgan Triumphs. He drove truck during the Depression, mostly hauling "spuds." He also drove the new car three Morgan families shared into a light pole after his first kiss with Bessie Soderborg.
While working as a draftsman for Lockheed in Los Angeles, he took a bus back to Salt Lake and married Bessie Oct 25, 1941, in the Salt Lake LDS Temple. They checked into Hotel Temple Square, where one brother each called often enough that the young couple told the desk "no more calls."
He earned a master's degree from BYU in 1948 and a doctorate a few years later from the University of Washington. Marden and Bessie settled in Provo, where over the years they built three homes. Marden taught English at BYU until retiring in 1981. He was a high councilor for a BYU stake and became bishop of the BYU 29th Ward in 1979. Marden and Bessie loved working with young couples, and it helped him move out of academic life. "I miss my students, but I don't miss grading papers at all," he said.
After retiring, Marden and Bessie both taught English at the University of Qing Dao in China, traveled to the Holy Land, India, South America, Australia, New Zealand, and Africa, and were arrested while protesting at the Nevada Test Site.
Marden wrote a column, "Matter Unorganized," for the Daily Herald in Provo. The column was a celebration of nature, people, family and the world generally as witness of God's love. And there was his garden. He wrote about it, drew sustenance and joy from it, brought his ward members to raid it and taught his children to grow green and living things. He was an avid supporter of Mormon literature and culture, and read papers many times at Association of Mormon Letters conferences. He was the first person named as a lifetime member of AML.
Marden leaves behind his beloved Bessie after nearly 62 years of marriage; six children, Diane Campbell, Glendora, CA, Dennis Clark, his wife, Valerie, Orem, Sherri Clark, Salt Lake City, Kevin Clark, his wife, Susan, Yelm, WA, Harlow Clark, his wife, Donna, Pleasant Grove, Krista Clark, Midway; 19 grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; and sisters, Jean Christensen, Salt Lake City, Mildred McClellan, North Ogden. He is preceded in death by two grandchildren; two sons-in-law, Bruce L. Campbell, Brian W. Shoenberger; three brothers; and three sisters.
A memorial service will be Tues. May 20, 11 a.m. Oak Hills Stake Center, 925 E. North Temple Dr, Provo. Friends may call an hour prior to the service at the church. Interment, East Lawn Memorial Cemetery.
The family suggests that in lieu of floral arrangements people donate to the Food and Care Coalition of Utah Valley (60 N. 300 W, Provo, UT 84601), plant a row for Share the Harvest, or bring to the memorial service cut flowers from their gardens.