Oscar W. McConkie Jr.
May 26, 1926 ~ November 2, 2020
Oscar W. McConkie Jr. left this mortal estate on the 2nd day of November 2020 from causes incident to cancer and COVID-19. He was born May 26, 1926 to Oscar W. and Vivian Redd McConkie in Moab, Utah, in the then nearest hospital to Monticello. He married Judith Stoddard on the 17th day of March 1951 in the Salt Lake Temple.
Oscar and Judy always felt that their singular contribution to this world was their exemplary family: Oscar III (Carol), Ann (Paul) Boyden, Daniel Stoddard (Elisabeth), Gail (Paul) Evans, Clair (Mark) Evans, Pace Jefferson (Marilyn), Roger James (Sara), and Edward Stoddard. These eight children have increased into 46 grandchildren and 113 great grandchildren. Oscar knew and loved each one as gift from God.
Oscar is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and his life was defined by it. He was valiant in the testimony of Jesus Christ. His teachings, his service and influence were a guiding light to his family, to individuals and numerous congregations throughout the Church.
Among his several callings, he served as Patriarch; Regional Representative of the Twelve; Mission President of the Arizona Tempe Mission; Stake President, Bishop twice; counselor in two stake presidencies; two high councils; and missionary in the New England States Mission. He authored three textbooks for the Church, which were published in a dozen languages. He also authored three other Church-centered books and other dissertations.
Oscar was a founding partner in the law firm, Kirton & McConkie, now one of the major law firms in the Intermountain West. He significantly impacted the law in the area of Church and State and his practice took him around the world, visiting with heads of State and appearing before legislatures. In 2007, he was selected by the Utah State Bar as Distinguished Lawyer of the Year.
As one of Oscar’s law partners described him, “He was a giant personality with a huge heart, a quick wit, a big laugh and a ready story. He loved the law because he loved people.”
Oscar received his professional degree, Juris Doctor, from the University of Utah, College of Law, in 1952. He received his Bachelor of Science from the University of Utah, Department of Political Science, in 1949.
His service in the community included, among other things, President of the Utah State Senate, two terms as Chairman of the Utah Board of Education, member of the Utah State House of Representatives, Vice Chairman of the Commission on the Organization of the Executive Branch of Utah Government (popularly known as the Little Hoover Commission), and County Attorney of Summit County.
He served a tour of duty in the U.S. Navy for two years during World War II. During his officer’s training program (V-12) at the University of New Mexico, he played on the football team that won the Sun Bowl post season game.
He is preceded in death by his parents, his brothers, Bruce R., F. Briton, James W. and William R. and by his sister, Margaret Pope, a grandson, Christian Young McConkie, and a great granddaughter, Hannah Marie Nielsen.
Oscar is survived by his beautiful and lovely wife, Judy, who was the primary care giver for their children and about whom Oscar always said deserves the credit for their successes, and by their children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren.
The family expresses deepest appreciation for the kind and outstanding hospice care so lovingly ministered by Tui Tuitupou and assisted by her husband, Naki.
Funeral services will be held on Tuesday, November 17, 2020 at noon and are limited to immediate family members only because of COVID-19. We invite friends and family to view the live proceedings at the following site:
Meeting ID: 874 5382 0312
One tap mobile +16699009128,,87453820312#,,,,,,0#,,640478# US
Services will also be streamed live on the Larkin Mortuary Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/LarkinCaresUtah/
In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the general LDS Church Missionary Fund, or to a Missionary of your choice.
Oscar McConkie spoke at my mother's funeral, Jan 5, 1948. She died with 5 little children left motherless.
Bro. McConkie I believe was the mission president around the area of Barstow, California. His talk was comforting, of course I don't remember it, but I have a copy of it. He mentioned that he had previously brought his young son to witness a blessing to my mother, not of healing but of peace. He did not mention the sons name, could it be Oscar McConkie Jr. that he was speaking of?
- Elaine Ellsworth Ward
In the Summer of 1978 when Pace and I were Juniors at East High, we had the opportunity to work at the Utah State Capitol on the lawn crew together. I can remember how Pace talked about how he was looking forward to his family vacation to California later in the summer. Towards the end of the summer, I asked Pace why he never went on his family's California vacation. He said that President Kimball announced that the Church was building the Jordan River Temple and asked the Salt Lake Valley residents to forego their family's vacation and to donate that money to the temple fund. Pace said they held a family council and all eight of the kids voted to donate the vacation money to the temple fund. I was so impressed when Pace told me that story. That was over 40 years ago, but that made such a lasting impression on me that I still remember it. As I watched Elder McConkie's funeral today, I was so impressed by strength of the family. I am very grateful I was able to watch the funeral service of this great family. Sincerely, T. Matt Hansen
- Matt Hansen
Judy and family,
Thank you for sharing the funeral service with us yesterday via Zoom. It was truly inspiring! Each of you who spoke, sang, played or prayed did so well. What a tribute to a great man!
President McConkie, as we first knew him while students in the University Stake over which he presided, had a great impact on our lives at a formative stage. Not only was he a powerful priesthood leader, but he and Judy were a great example of how a couple supports and balances each other. We almost drowned them on an LDSSA student council river trip and we well remember Oscar's being taken out by a massive U football player coming down the first base line while Oscar was playing first base for the Spiritual Giants softball team. Great memories!
Several of you children of Oscar and Judy and your spouses have been good friends and examples to us over the years.
May the Lord bless you all!
- Richard and Lori Boyer
Sending loving thoughts to you in the loss of Oscar. I thought of him during his funeral today, since not possible to attend. Surely you will be blessed in the days ahead as comfort continues to come from beyond the veil to sustain you.
I treasure the times I attended the Study Group with Bill, and got to know many of you. Both you and Oscar were held in high regard by both of us. My bill has been gone 16 years now. Haven't been able to have occasion to see you since life took us different directions, but want you to know I wish you well. God Bless.
- Janet Carlston
Judy and Family,
I want to express how grateful I have been to have Oscar and you as our neighbors and friends.
Keeping sodas in the fridge for our children and a hug. I will miss Oscar.
It was nice to find out that when my father was in the hospital in the Navy over 70 years ago that is was
Oscar that gave him a blessing and with Oscar giving some of my children their Patriarchal blessings. You have been a blessing my family for over 70 years.
Take care and know that we love you.
Daniel Lee and Family
- Daniel Lee and Family
My wife and I moved across the street from Oscar and Judy a little over a year ago, and had the privilege of getting to know both of them very well in such a short time. Because they are so welcoming, friendly and loving, we felt very comfortable in their home. In many of the conversations, Oscar would share a story that was not only interesting but funny. He had a remarkable sense of humor, and I loved to hear his Church, football and family stories. On one occasion I asked him for some advice, and he quickly shared with me a thought, which was the perfect answer. I am so grateful for getting to know him, he left an indelible impression upon me of positivity, warmth, and cheerfulness while suffering mightily with his illness. His life is one of service, faith and devotion to the Lord, which inspires me to do the same. May the Lord bless Judy and this remarkable family, we pray, The Gardners on Laird
- Greg Gardner
Dear Judy and the McConkie family. We express our love and appreciation for your enduring example and service to others. My life has been forever influenced by President McConkie as we served together in Arizona. Many sweet memories and spiritual experiences are part of the legacy so many of us have been blessed to share with the McConkie family. Oscar and Judy helped set the foundation for many future strong families and life-long service for the fortunate missionaries they presided over. May you be blessed and comforted.
- Lance and Rhonda Garner
My sincere condolences to Oscar Iii and the entire McConkie family for the loss of association with your father, that will be sorely missed. I know those dear associations will continue on the other side and that your father has been welcomed and loved there, as here.
I agree that “their singular contribution to this world was their exemplary family”, just knowing Oscar Iii. Even with all avoiding funerals and events it will be well attended by just wonderful posterity.
What a great life your father gave for the world, his God and countless others-beneficiaries of his labors!
Jon & An (Redd) Bradshaw
- Jonathan Bradshaw
Diane and I send our heartfelt condolences at the passing of this wonderful man and friend. Oscar was and is a giant of a man, whose mortal life was filled with service to his family, his God and his fellow man. He had such an enjoyable personality, quick wit, infectious laugh and fascinating stories for any occasion! At the same time, he was a great lawyer- full of wisdom, knowledge and a valued partner. Oscar was also a fun tennis opponent, who relished beating up in those of us who were much younger! I truly feel privileged to have associated with Oscar at Kirton McConkie. He was a choice friend, and treasured mentor and partner. Diane and I send our love to Judy and the family at this time. We wish we could give each of you a hug and express our gratitude in person. We pray that the truths of the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ that meant so much to Oscar will bring peace to your hearts and minds as you mourn the passing of a tremendous man, husband, father, grandfather and friend.
- Robert and Diane Prince
God bless the eternal soul of Oscar, worlds without end. He founded a great institution - Kirton McConkie - from which many people all over the world have, are and will yet benefit. May Judy and family be comforted for the demise of a great family man - a servant to his fellow beings.
- Mpilo Nkambule
Thank you for the beautiful obituary. Oscar lived an outstanding life by any measure. The order of his accomplishments set forth in his obituary (family, church, career) reflects his priorities.
We love Oscar, Judy and their family. They have meant much to us over many years. We honor, respect and love them. We are grateful to Oscar for persuading Judy to have such a wonderful family. We are grateful for Oscar's contribution to the Church and to the practice of law in the State of Utah. And of course, we are beneficiaries of the firm he helped jump start. We hope we have been a credit to his name and firm.
We wish we could give all the McConkie's a hug to express our love and appreciation for you. We have remembered you in our prayers to Him Who answers Oscar's prayers and ours.
The world is a better place for having had Oscar W. McConkie, Jr. in it. We will miss him.
David and Stella Wahlquist
- David and Stella Wahlquist
God bless the McConkie family in your time if loss. You have our sincere condolences.
- Earl and Sheila Richardson
I just want to send my condolences to Judy and the family. I served in the Arizona Tempe Mission when Oscar served as my Mission President and It was such an honor to have Oscar, as my Mission President. It was like having a General Authority, among all us missionaries. That was the greatest 2 years, which also helped prepare me for the rest of my life. I always thought the world of Oscar and Judy and they touched my heart and I enjoyed their testimony of the gospel. I remember one time when I had brought a new blue plaid suit, and wore it to our Zone Conference. When I went in for my interview, Oscar grabbed me by the front of my new suit jacket and pulled me towards him and said, "Elder Atwood that's a good looking suit! I like all my Missionaries to look business savvy" and then he smiled at me. That was such a relief, because I thought I was in serious trouble. Again, wonderful memories and Oscar touched my life, as I'm sure he touched many others. The Gospel is true and Families are Forever!
- Keith Atwood
My thoughts are with all of you at the passing of President McConkie. I had the privilege of serving as one of his missionaries, and he continued to bless my life for years after. Thank you for sharing him with us.
- Gary Nelson
A pivotal point for me was the morning of November 2, 1972, that is the day I first met this man. He was bigger than life for a timid young man, but he immediately instilled trust, expectation and confidence. My life has changed and I will be ever grateful to Oscar and Judy for the part they played in it.
Thank you Judy for helping Oscar to serve, you both have touched the lives of many throughout the world. I am blessed to be "one" of those many.
Guy L Peterson
- Guy L Peterson
Phil and I were sad to hear of the passing of this giant of political and spiritual power. I was privileged to work close to his office at Kirton & McConkie for seven years. I will always remember and cherish the conversations we had and learning about his history with the Democrat Party and his association with then candidate John F. Kennedy. He was and still is a great influence in my life and treating me as an equal.
- Mary Louise Miner
So sorry to hear about your dad. My heart goes out to Judy and the rest of the family. You guys are a close family. It's wonderful that we know of Heavenly Father's great plan for us and our families - that we can be together forever. My thoughts and prayers are with all of you during this difficult time. Much love, Janice
- Janice Paur
I am saddened to hear of Oscar’s passing. I had the honor and privilege of working at Kirton McConkie and with Oscar and his sons, Oscar III and Dan. What amazing men they all are. Oscar will be missed by all who knew him. I am so very sorry for your loss.
- Debra Domenici
I had the distinct honor of being one of President McConkie's 600 missionaries in the Arizona Tempe Mission. I cherish those 2 years spent under his stewardship and will ever remember his amazing discourses with both arms outstretched holding a set of scriptures in each hand! He had a very positive impact on my life and I can never forget him or the passion he had for life and family and the gospel of Jesus Christ. My love and prayers are with Judy and her family.
- Jeff Smith
Dear McConkie Family, We are saddened to hear of your loved one's passing. There is no greater loss than one's parent that shaped your life and filled it with love.
We had the honor of meeting Oscar when he visited Pace and Marilyn in Annapolis. His love of family and joy was witnessed in our short time of meeting him and reflected God's love to all of those around. To each of the children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren we extend our deepest sympathy and pray all the fun times, love and joyful occasions will fill your hearts with smiles during this sad time. God bless your mom and you as God wraps His arms around you. The Dyers
- STEVE AND PHYLLIS DYER
Marc and I send our deepest condolences and love.
We so enjoyed our visit with you and Oscar.
May the Lord's deepest blessings surround you now and always.
Vicki and Marc Sorenson
- Vicki Cummings Sorenson
Oh, Judy. It's the end of an era. I served as a counselor to Bp McConkie of the University 4th Ward from 1957-1959 with Neal Maxwell as the other counselor. Those were the days! I was a student at the U of Utah in those days and Oscar and Judy went down to the St. George Temple with Diane and me when we got married. Oscar's signature is a witness on our marriage license. We learned a lot from both Oscar and Judy and have kept in touch over the years. I wa able to drop in and see them a couple of times when I was in Salt Lake City within the last year or two and I'm so glad I did. They were both examples and great teachers and our kids all know about them. What an influence they both had on us. Judy, I'm glad you are still around to receive my condolences. My prayers are with you and your family now at this trying time. I wish Diane were still around to express her condolences too, but she's probably already said hello to Oscar in the spirit world.
Love, Don (Donald R. Snow)
- Donald R. Snow
To Judy and the McConkie family..
Words cannot express the love and respect the we have for your example and the many memories that we shared in Arizona. Havasupai..Jacobs Lake..mountain top conferences..
Road trips to zone conferences.. Oscar was the best boys man I have had the opportunity to associate with and learn from. His life experience afforded non stop stories that could entertain and educate. Thank you for allowing me and my family to be enriched by our association.
- J Lyn and Janece Wood Family
My sincere condolences to the McConkie family. Patriarch McConkie gave me my patriarchal blessing and I am very grateful for his example growing up. May you feel the Lord's love during this time.
- David Larkin
How wonderful to have seen my second cousin pass away. His life is exemplary and we have admired him for his good life and wonderful family. We were related by the Redd family who all admired him.
Condolences to the family. At age 97, it will not be possible to attend but wish we could
- Wayne Ursenbach
Dear McConkie family. I extend my heartfelt condolences for your loss. I never knew Oscar McConkie but I knew Dan and Oscar III (O3) when I worked at KM Law Firm. You will never meet two finer men who dispel all the jokes about attorneys and entitlement. I would imagine they learned it from their Dad and Mom; how to be gracious and kind to the insignificant people who can offer them nothing but they still treat everyone with equal respect. By knowing Dan and Oscar III, I feel I knew a little of their Dad and he must have been and still is a truly wonderful man. God be with you till we all meet again.
- Allison Seabury
Dear Judy and family, we are so sorry for your loss. Our family appreciates the friendship of your family very much. Please know that our thoughts and prayers are with you.
Much love, Todd and Kay Cummings and Family
- Todd and Kay Cummings
Oscar will live forever in our hearts. My life has been deeply touched by Oscar and Judy's example of love and faith. Hurrah for Israel. I look forward to being together again in the next life.
- Marcie McIntosh
Judy and family: Oscar was one of the finest people I have ever known. Please accept my sincere condolences at this tender time of his passing. He has left his family a legacy almost unparalleled. His life was exemplary in every way. When I became President of the Salt Lake Temple Square Mission and found that many of the foreign sisters came without patriarchal blessings, I asked the Church what I could do about it. I was informed that I could ask any of the local patriarchs to give blessings. I immediately thought of Oscar. He gave many wonderful blessings to the sisters on Temple Square. The bond we established while we worked together there is one I will cherish forever. Oscar was unique among men. He had a bigger than life presence about him, and always had a smile and a good word. Much love to you Judy and to your wonderful family. Garfield Cook
- M. Garfield Cook
We were deeply saddened by the passing of our dear friend. Oscar was such a spiritual giant and was always a wonderful example of Gospel living to us. He had such great wit and told such marvelous and uplifting stories. He gave some of our children their patriarchal blessings, and they are a treasure to them and us. We love Judy, who is equally extraordinary, and the entire exceptional family and pray that all of you will be blessed at this time. We treasure the friendship Oscar and Judy had with Jane's parents and the fun, weekly tennis matches Oscar and Neal would enjoy together! We love you all!
- Marc and Jane Sanders
I met Oscar once, in his office at Kirton-McConkie almost 30 years ago. At my request he helped me prepare a paper for a communication law class. I also talked to him on the phone some 15 years ago on another matter. He treated me with respect. He reminded me of his brother Brit, who was one of the great mentors in my life. Oscar complimented me on the book I wrote about his older brother Bruce. It is not hard to know where fine celestial people like these will end up in the next life. God bless Oscar and his siblings and family.
- Dennis Horne
DEAR JUDY AND FAMILY: Joy and I mourn with you the passing of your husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather. In 1984, he ordained me a high priest and set me apart as a counselor in the University of Utah Eleventh Ward bishopric. Upon removing his hands from my head, he commented: "With your hands on his head, you can tell a lot about a person." I have never forgotten how I felt at that moment, and have thenceforth admired and benefited from the example of this wonderful man. On several occasions, as I sat in training at his feet, or witnessed him speak from the pulpit, he, through the Spirit, enriched my testimony of the Savior and His Restored Church. For all of the foregoing I shall be eternally grateful. In my experience, Oscar W. McConkie, Jr., has always exhibited, in ways too numerous to describe in this brief account, the characteristics and conduct of a true disciple of Jesus Christ. Joy and I send our heartfelt condolences at your temporary separation from the patriarch of a unique and model family.
- Robert F. (Bob) Orton
Judy, when I heard of Oscar's return Home, it brought a flood of tender memories of time spent in the University Stake. The many Stake Conferences and his powerful voice urging all of us to REPENT, to move forward. I remember social gatherings, your quick wit and exchanges that caused so much happy laughter.
What a blessing a beautiful, loving family is at these tender times and in that regard you are truly blessed. Please know I'm thinking of you with love and empathy.
- Carolyn Welling