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Eugene Edward Clark


1946 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
Eugene Edward Clark Obituary
1946 ~ 2017
Eugene Edward Clark, 71, peacefully passed away on Dec 22 in San Diego, CA from cancer, surrounded by his beloved wife and all of his living children and grandchildren. He was our father, grandfather, husband, and our teacher.
Eugene was born on May 16, 1946 in Vale, Oregon to Gene and Viola Clark. The family, with his three sisters Leslie, Lynne, and Stefanie, moved to South
Pasadena, CA where he spent most of his youth. He graduated from South
Pasadena High School where he was a star football player and record breaking runner on the track team. He served for two years in the Central America Mission before entering Brigham Young University on a track scholarship. He left with Bachelors and Masters degrees in Geology, and went on to earn a Geology PhD at University College in London.
On a blind date to Disneyland, he met his cherished wife of 47 years, Joanne Johnson. They were married in the Los Angeles Temple in November, 1970. Over the next 13 years the couple welcomed six children into their home. To them he was always known as "Poppie". They raised their children in Houston, TX, Surrey, England, and Lehi, UT. As a devoted father, he taught his children to appreciate the Earth, to enjoy both academics and athletics, to love each other, and most of all, to serve God.
He spent the first part of his professional career as a Petroleum Exploration Geologist for Exxon. In this, Eugene was a veritable explorer, making trips to over 100 countries including frequent treks into remote deserts, jungles, and plains in Jordan, Iran, Costa Rica, Lebanon, Zaire, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Congo and others. In 1992 he walked away from a successful post as Senior Geophysicist at Exxon to pursue his passion for teaching. For the next twenty years, he served as an inspiring and devoted teacher of physics and earth sciences at Mountain View High School. He lead scores of enriching student trips to Costa Rica. The countless hours he spent preparing famously spectacular object lessons, Mr. Clark gave more to his students than was ever required or asked. He later taught in the Geology Department at Brigham Young University but his heart was teaching high school science. Inspiring a high school student, "creates a scientist" he would often say. The passion he brought to the subject and his ability to captivate an audience, left an indelible imprint on the hearts and minds of his students. He was the master of his craft.
Even those closest to Gene may not have known that he was also called upon by the United States Central Intelligence Agency to act as a covert agent in conjunction with his worldwide petroleum exploration work. The journals he kept of his CIA activity (which he honorably kept to himself for the requisite 20-year classification period) read like an international spy novel. This only-recently declassified dimension of Mr. Clark adds a fascinating additional layer of color and intrigue to a life already full of depth and diversity.
Gene was a man of diverse interests. He took on nothing if it could not be done with his full focus and investment. He was an omnivorous reader, dividing his time between science-fiction, history, science, mysteries, and the classics. He was silver screen savant more familiar with a young Bogart, Grant, or Crawford than with any of today's stars. An avid outdoorsman from his youth, he was an experienced camper, prolific hiker, fisher, and outdoor chef. Over several decades he found peace in maintaining his impressive living collection of award-winning Bonsai trees. He was a builder of things, including his own home in Lehi, UT. His back yard was a marvel to behold. It was completely forged from his own imagination and toil: its undulating green grass, its woodwork footbridge spanning a gentle stream, its fruitful orchard and carefully shaped shade trees.
Mr. Clark was a follower of Jesus Christ. As a member of the LDS church, he served as Branch President, Bishop, as a counselor in the Houston, TX Mission, Spanish Speaking, and as a teacher in various capacities. He spent five of his 71 years of life on full-time missions for the Church. Two years in Central America as a youth, and two more with his wife in the San Jose, Costa Rica Mission from 2012-2014, and again with Joanne in the Neuquen, Argentina Mission from 2016 until being brought home to treat his brain cancer in April of 2017. His final words spoken in public were uttered as a brief, genuine, and forthright testimony that he believed in God, that the gospel of Christ was true, stating simply that that "was all that mattered".
Mr., Brother, Dr., Elder, Bishop, Agent, Poppie, Uncle, Professor Gene Clark will be deeply missed. In life he was a gentleman and a scholar. In death he is our inspiration to be people of faith, purpose, and strength.
Survived by his wife, Joanne Elizabeth Clark; five children: Sarah, Reuben, Emily, Jesse, and David; and grandchildren: Izzie, Aerie, Ike, Zoie, Sean, Ella, Owen, Quinn, Nikki, Brady, Brooke, Drew, Jace, Josie, Jonas, Justus, Atticus and Rosie. Preceded in death by his son Ehren and parents Eugene and Viola Clark.
Funeral services Saturday, January 13, 2018, 11:00 am Lehi LDS Chapel, 150 E 1500 N, Lehi, UT 84043 Gathering of family and friends will preceded the funeral services at 10:00 am Interment, Lehi Cemetery, 1525 N 600 E, Lehi, UT 84043
Published in Deseret News from Jan. 12 to Jan. 13, 2018
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