Former Peninsula resident Clay L. Chivers, 63, died Friday, May 25, 2012 in Vernal, Utah.
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A memorial is planned in Clay's honor in Big Piney, Wyo., at the Triple Peak Lodge on Aug. 13.
Clay L. Chivers was born Dec. 9, 1948, in Vernal, to Enid and Glen Chivers. A kind and soft spoken man, Clay was quiet and serious. He worked hard and was known for his attention to detail, but some might say what he did best and enjoyed most, was love.
Clay found early, innocent love with childhood friend Kristy Meeks, but his family soon moved following oilfield work. He lived in Kemmerer and Rock Springs, until at Big Piney High School Clay met Linda Simonton. They graduated in 1967 and were married in June of 1968. Clay and Linda moved north to Alaska in March of 1970, where Clay worked for Unocal aboard the offshore platforms in Cook Inlet. In 1976 Clay and Linda had a son, Clay L. Chivers II.
Clay and Linda grew apart, but eventually Clay found a new love in Gayle Erickson. In 1980 they had a son, Derek J. Chivers, and in 1982 Clay and Gayle were married. At Unocal, Clay worked his way up to Field Superintendent of Alaska's offshore platforms, and was commended in 1985 for coordinating rescue efforts which saved the lives of three men when their helicopter crashed into icy waters. For a time Clay lived the Alaskan dream: RV camping, small aircraft aviation, halibut fishing, clam digging, and downhill skiing.
Eventually, Clay and Gayle separated. Years passed, but Clay found love again, or rather, rediscovered it. Clay and Kristy Meeks reconnected and a new passion for life and love flourished in them both. They lived life to the fullest: hiking, camping, and exploring. They found some beautiful acreage in Dry Fork Canyon, near Vernal, to build the home of their dreams, and lived out of a fifth-wheel camper while it was constructed.
Clay was diagnosed with throat cancer in 2004. It was a long uphill battle, but Kristy's unwavering love and dedication gave Clay hope and a reason to fight. Kristy's remarkable dedication was the very catalyst Clay needed to ultimately overcome.
With the cancer behind him, but still struggling with the effects of the treatment, Clay and Kristy finished building their home and settled in with their constant companions, their dogs Cedar and Spruce.
The final chapter of Clay's all too short life was spent in that canyon house in Vernal, surrounded by love and nature. He passed away there on Friday night, May 25.
He is survived by all those he loved: his mother Enid Mertz; his brothers Randy and Weldon and their children; sisters Joyce, Colleen Shelly and their children; previous wives Linda and Gayle; his wife Kristy; his step-son Gordon "Max" Mickelson; his sons Clay "CL" Chivers II and Derek J. Chivers; and his grandchildren Brittinee, Clay III, Jocelyn, and Kenzie.
Published in The Peninsula Clarion on June 6, 2012