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Stanford Parley Darger


1920 - 2014 Obituary Condolences Gallery
Stanford Parley Darger
1920 - 2014
Stan's funeral was postponed last week due to Arlene's health. She has now passed and their combined funeral service will be held at the Monument Park 17th Ward chapel, at 2795 E. Crestview Drive in Salt Lake City, on Friday May 30, 2014 at 1:00 PM. There will be an opportunity to visit with the family the evening before, from 6:00 to 8:00 PM at Larkin Sunset Lawn (2350 E. 1300 So.) and from 12:00 to 12:45 PM prior to the funeral service at the church. Interment will be in the Wasatch Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery following the service.
After a wonderful and remarkable life, Stan Darger, of Salt Lake City, returned home to his Heavenly Father, his earthly father and mother, his brother Bob, sister Josephine, and best friend Rich James on May 7th 2014. His death was peaceful and anticipated. He was surrounded by all his children, most of his children in-law, three grandchildren, and his adored wife, who were actually singing one of his favorite hymns as he slipped through the veil. Although it may not be a great tragedy when a man of 93 dies, it is hard to picture our world without him.
Stan was born in Salt Lake on 10/15/20, a birthdate he always enjoyed. He was the second child of Perry Stanford and Eva Williams Darger. His father died of pneumonia when Stan was six years old. Stan graduated from the University of Utah in business and marketing, where he was a second generation member of Beta Theta Pi. He served an LDS mission in Eastern Canada.
On June 17, 1946, Stan was married to Arlene Barlow in the Salt Lake LDS Temple by President George Albert Smith. For the last 68 years, Stan and Arlene have provided to their children, friends and neighbor's an astonishing example of sweet, enduring love for each other. We never saw the one without the other. They were always holding hands, whether walking, sitting, or lying in bed. Often lately Dad would ask, with a twinkle in his eye, "Who is this movie star next to me?"
Stan worked for General Electric in Denver, and purchased and operated Darger Ford in Magna. For 18 years he was an executive with the Salt Lake area Chamber of Commerce. This was during the era when suburban shopping malls were beginning, and the survival of downtown merchants was threatened.
Under his direction, downtown Salt Lake had many memorable promotions, including 'Feed Your Family Free Downtown', and a famous helicopter drop of hundreds of gift-certificate-stuffed ping-pong balls one morning 55 years ago. That last one was a mixed success. Thousands of people came downtown, filling the streets from curb to curb. But after the helicopter left the crowds did too, without having stepped inside many of the shops to make purchases!
Stan formed the Western Association of Retail Merchants to help other cities address the same downtown concerns.
He served five terms in the Utah State legislature, and was the Majority Whip. Among the bills he authored and or sponsored were enabling legislation for the Salt Palace and the Utah Transit Authority, the State Industrial Development Act, the legislation to expand Trade Technical Institute to become Salt Lake Community College, and the Utah Freeport law. He tried unsuccessfully for years to pass Sunday closing legislation.
He loved the gospel of Jesus Christ, and felt that the very best calling in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was as Sunday School Superintendent - a service he performed several times. For 17 years Stan's served in the church as the Business Manager of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. His duties included finance and purchasing, setting up tours (including two Presidential Inaugurations and appearances at World's Fairs and Area Conferences), and handling the growing recording business.
Stan was a Senior Vice President with Valley Bank and Trust Company for 12 years, the fourth largest bank in the state. His community service included serving as executive vice president of the Downtown Planning Association, the business community arm set up to implement the 2nd Century Plan. He also served on the Board of Directors of Commercial Security Bank, and a non-lawyer on the Utah Bar Association's Committee on Ethics and Discipline. He was a director of the Western Chapter of the Bank Marketing Association, and was a long-standing board member of the Huntsman Senior Games. He loved his association with the Salt Lake Rotary Club.
He started and operated businesses from video production, mail order jewelry, swimming pool construction, and Las Vegas Hotel and Motel Reservations before the days of 800 phone numbers.
Stan and Arlene served an LDS mission to Frankfurt Germany where he served as Executive Secretary to the Area Presidency. While they were there the Berlin wall came down, and many eastern European countries opened to missionary work.
In the 1990's, after their mission, mom and dad opened and ran the ZCMI store in the "This is the Place State Park". Their son and many grandchildren worked with them. We are grateful for the exceptional customer service skills they taught those kids.
Dad was a passionate Dixieland music fan. We were always aware of the music blazing from his bedroom as he got ready for work each morning. And Dad loved classic automobiles, owning as many as twenty at a time, including two fire engines. Neighborhood children loved to ride with him in his old cars on a Saturday afternoon. In Dad's wallet he always carried a full collection of photos of his convertibles!
Stan is survived by five children: Stan Jr (Anne Carroll), Jan Denali, Ann Hatch (Randy), Jane Thomas (Matthew) and John (Constanza). He also leaves behind two sisters, Evalyn Bennett and Marion Woolf, and many beloved siblings-in-law, as well as 20 grandchildren, and sixteen great-grandchildren. Five additional ones are expected this year. We wonder if Dad will be the one assigned to bring them to earth. As he often said, "It's been a wonderful life!"
Dad worked his way through college; alternating semesters between study and employment. One of his favorite jobs entailed traveling the country counting utility poles! Education was so important to Dad, and he helped all his children obtain their college training. A contribution in Stan's memory to the LDS Perpetual Education Fund will make it easier for someone else to meet his or her educational goals.
Published in Deseret News from May 25 to May 28, 2014
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