1941 ~ 2013|
Joseph Fielding McConkie, son of Bruce R. and Amelia Smith McConkie, passed away in his home, on October 10, 2013 surrounded by family.
Born on April 3, 1941 in Salt Lake City, his youthful years were enriched by family and wonderful friends, who have remained close to the present.
He and his wife Brenda are the parents of nine children: Shanna Jensen (Kurt), Sherri, Joseph Fielding Jr. (Amanda), Nathan Richard (Melissa), Heather Oitzman (Heath), Michelle Walker (Nate), Debra Daly (Craig), Kaylynn Osmond (Greg), Kristine Nicholls (Josh) and 29 grandchildren. His siblings are: Vivian Adams (Carlos), Stanford McConkie (Kathy), Mary Donoho (Ben), Mark McConkie (Mary Ann), Rebecca Pinegar (Michael), Stephen McConkie (Shauna), and Sara Fenn, (Jerry).
Joseph graduated from Olympus High School in 1959 where his greatest interest was athletics and his proudest achievement being co-captain of the football team. Following graduation from high school he attended Brigham Young University where his world expanded to include books and a host of opportunities for an inquiring and creative mind.
At the conclusion of his freshman year he served as a missionary in the British Isles. As a missionary he discovered his great love of teaching which later became his life's pursuit. He graduated from BYU in 1965 and accepted an assignment as a teacher in the LDS Church Educational System and taught for a year at the Viewmont Seminary in Bountiful, Utah.
During the summer of 1966 he commenced work on a master's degree in Church History. It was here that he met and courted Brenda Pearl Kempton from Safford, Arizona. They were married on September 28, 1966 in the Salt Lake City Temple.
Almost immediately after they were married, Joseph was called to military duty where he served as an LDS Chaplain for 3 years, including a year in Vietnam. Upon his discharge from the military, he returned to the classroom and commenced work on his doctoral degree in education while teaching seminary at Olympus and Skyline High Schools in Salt Lake City. He completed his Doctorate Degree in 1973 and was appointed Director of the LDS Institute of Religion at the University of Washington in Seattle where he was employed for the next four years. In 1977 he was invited to join the faculty of the College of Religion at Brigham Young University where he taught for thirty years and had the opportunity to travel and teach extensively in the Bible lands.
As a young man he was promised by his father in a priesthood blessing that he would have an unusual power of expression in both the written and spoken word and that he would be called on to serve in many presidencies. These promises found fulfillment over the duration of his life. He became the author of over 30 books and numerous articles including: Gospel Symbolism, The Bruce R. McConkie Story, Valiant in the Testimony of Christ, and, 50 Truths the Devil Doesn't Want You to Know.
He spent nearly 40 years laboring in positions of presidency in the Church. His favorite assignment was presiding over the Scotland Edinburgh Mission where he alongside his wife directed the work of 600 missionaries during a three-year period. He will be remembered for his powerful testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith, his engaging smile and spontaneous humor. In his later years he greatly enjoyed his assignment as a temple sealer in the Mount Timpanogos Temple.
He battled cancer over the last 10 years of his life while continuing to do the things he loved: including teaching, writing, birding and fishing.
Funeral Services will be held Saturday, October 19th, 2013 at 10:00 a.m. at the Stonewood LDS Chapel at 450 South 100 West, Orem. A visitation will be held Friday evening from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Sundberg-Olpin Mortuary, 495 South State Street, Orem and also Saturday from 8:45 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. prior to the services. He will be interred in the SL Cemetery next to his parents. Condolences may be sent to the family at www.SundbergOlpinMortuary.com
Published in Deseret News from Oct. 12 to Oct. 13, 2013