Michael Abegg Clarke
05/31/1954 - 01/27/2020
Michael Abegg Clarke, 65, passed away on 27 January 2020 from respiratory and kidney failure. He was born 31 May 1954 in Salt Lake City, Utah, to Hannah Louise Abegg and John Farnes Clarke, the older of their two children. Michael was a 1972 graduate of East High School. He attended the University of Utah, majoring in electrical engineering and computer science, but graduated years later in 1999 from Brigham Young University with a bachelor’s degree in physics, with secondary teaching certifications in physics and mathematics. Michael served a full-time mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Peru Lima Mission, developing a love for its people, culture, and the Spanish language, which he maintained and used throughout his life. He married his first wife, Candace Elaine Aucoin, on 2 May 1980 in the Salt Lake Temple. They are the parents of four children: Havilah Michele, Jonathan M. Aucoin, Katherine Elaine, and Michael David Clarke. He then married Gretchen Beals Faulk on 2 October 1993. These two marriages ended in divorce. He later married “the love of his life,” Maribeth Christensen, on 25 July 1997 in the Salt Lake Temple.
Michael began his career in the oil fields as a drilling supervisor and drilling instruments representative. He worked in sales at various times throughout his life in retail, in real estate, and for technology companies and was the technology guru in our family. He worked as a security officer for two universities. As a public-school teacher, he taught physics and math, often helping his colleagues understand the concepts they needed to teach to their own students. Michael spent the majority of his working years as a manufacturing plant engineer, troubleshooting mechanical problems and developing solutions with his vast knowledge of the physical sciences and a keen ability to create solutions for the work environment. Michael loved his tool collection and with it could resolve most mechanical problems. His knowledge blessed the lives of those who borrowed his tools. He loved to teach young people how to fix things. He often said that he missed his calling in life, that of being a traffic engineer. He calculated speed and position on the road for optimum efficiency and knew how any roadway might benefit from his ideas for reconstruction.
Michael was an avid skier, and his most enjoyed employment was working on the ski lifts at Alta. He loved to cook and enjoyed harvesting food from our “garden wall.” He and his wife counted rainbows, critiqued food at restaurants, and loved riding together in the car. He promised he would make her laugh every day, and for 23 years he did. In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Michael served as an elders quorum and Sunday School president, as a Primary and Sunday School teacher, on ward activity committees, and indexing family history records. His most beloved church calling was that of a home teacher and minister. A calling he did faithfully to the end. As Michael’s health became compromised, he wasn’t afraid to hire or ask others for assistance. Consequently, many young men and women in our neighborhood credit Michael for teaching them how to work. We are grateful to a loving Savior who allowed us an additional eight years of being together here on earth.
Michael Abegg Clarke was preceded in death by his father and mother, John Farnes Clarke and Hannah Louise Abegg Clarke, and by his son Michael David Clarke. He is survived by his wife, Maribeth Christensen Clarke; his sister, “Sue” Rinda Suzanne Clarke Shelton (Steven Watson); and his children, Havilah Michele Clarke, Jonathan Moroni Aucoin Clarke, and Katherine Elaine Clarke; and his grandson, Christoph David Zeller. Also, two aunts, an uncle, and his many cousins, nieces, and nephews that love and adore him.
We wish to express our appreciation to the Cedar Hills Fifth Ward and to our friends and extended family, doctors, and healthcare workers for their many hours of service on our behalf. We are especially grateful to the Kurt Bryant family, Dirk Devey, his aide and the Fazulyanov girls, who came faithfully every day for seven years to provide service to Michael and Maribeth, including doing laundry and helping Michael get up and ready for the day. We also express appreciation to the countless individuals who took their turn in the evening to help get him back into bed. We extend our gratitude to our close neighbors who drove us to doctor appointments, put away groceries, shoveled walks, mowed our massive lawn, repaired household problems, and came running when we faced challenges we could not conquer.
A memorial gathering to visit with the family will be Saturday, 8 February 2020 beginning at 9:30 AM. His funeral service will be the same day at 11:00 AM. The location for both will be at the Cedar Hills Fifth Ward chapel, 4355 West Cedar Hills Drive, Cedar Hills, Utah 84062. There will be a family luncheon immediately following the service. Interment will be at the Salt Lake City Cemetery at 3:00 PM. In the city’s Avenues, enter the cemetery at 4th Avenue and N Street, then proceed to the area between Central and Grand Streets. Funeral services are under the direction of Larkin Sunset Gardens Mortuary, 1950 East Dimple Dell Road (10600 South), Sandy, Utah.
To get to Cedar Hills, take the first I-15 Utah County Timpanogos Highway Exit. Turn left and head east up the highway approximately 7 miles. In Highland, turn right onto North County Boulevard (4800 West). One mile later at the first traffic signal (at Wal-Mart), turn left onto Cedar Hills Drive (10000 North), the second of three chapels on the road, this one on the south side of the road.