We have come together today to mourn the passing, and to celebrate the amazing life and legacy of Max Clark.
Born on June 19th 1929, he was the 4th child in a family of 8.
They grew up in a 2 bedroom home that did not have much more than an attached lean-to for a kitchen.
At the young age of 6 his father passed away. Max writes "I do not remember much about my father, I remember him being sick and in bed for a couple of days before going to the hospital.
They operated on him but it was too late and he died shortly after." his father’s appendix had ruptured while herding sheep. Max continues to write, "I cried and wanted him to come back.
I went to the funeral but was only able to peek inside."
With his father’s passing it left his mom with a family of 6 kids to look out for. Dick was 13, Irene 11, Ralph 9, Max 6, Rex 3, and Bob was only 6 months old.
His mom had no education or discernable skills to earn a living so she worked any odd job that she could. Usually cleaning houses and doing laundry.
Max remembers that on wash day, the kids would help by hauling water from the ditch and heating it over an open fire so that mom could clean the close on their wash board and hang them on the fence to dry.
At the age of 7 Max went to live with his grandma and grandpa Ralph where he helped milk cows and work in the fields haying.
Max recalls how the Ralph's had a cellar on the property and that grandma would always have buttermilk stored there. So on his way in from the fields each day he would make a stop for a nice clod glass.
When Max turned 14 he went to live with his brother Dick and his wife Betty. During this time he was able to attend high school where he finished out the 10th grade.
His responsibilities on the farm wear to milk the cows. At one point they had 30 head that had to be milked twice a day, by hand...
During this same time period Max and his brother Dick would go to the mountains to work at the local saw mill. It was there that he shot his first deer that started his passion for the deer hunt.
His first deer was shot and killed while only using a 22 rifle. This made all of the older men at the saw mill very unhappy as most of them went without that year.
Growing up I do not remember very many years that the family did not participate in the deer hunt.
Around the age of 16 Max went to live with his good friends Clarence and Lola Jones. Lola was like a 2nd mother to him and he writes about how they were very good to him.
Clarence owned a dude ranch near Yellow stone, up Swift Creek. Max was in charge of the horses and would often guide people into the high mountain lakes on fishing trips by horse back.
He would often walk the trails so that he could move rocks out of the way and keep the trails clear.
Max truly enjoyed this job as he loved the outdoors.
This job lasted for about 2 years before moving in with his sister Irene and her husband.
Irene and Marlin had a farm in Bluebell Utah wear Max spent the next 5 years helping on the farm.
This is truly wear Max considered home.
Max would often tell stories about him and his brothers steeling chickens. How they almost got caught, on more than one occasion and how the stolen chickens would make the best meals.
It was not until two nights ago that I found out that his soon to be bride and her sisters were the ones cooking them up.
He would also tell us stories about how much he loved tipping over out-houses.
There crowning accomplishment being the time they tipped one over onto the door with the occupant still inside.
If you get the chance ask his brother Bob about it, he would be happy to explain to you the best way of doing this...
I highly recommend it, as he gets the same shit eating grin that Max would get on his face when talking about the good old days.
Arlene, Max's wife of 66 years writes. “I started going with Max Clack before I was out of high school. Sometimes he would pick me up from school.
Mama insisted that we come home on the bus and not chase around, so we were always parked at the bus stop when it dropped off the other kids"
After graduating high school I moved to Salt Lake. It was not long after that Max had followed me there.
On November 21, 1950, we decided to get married. We did not have a car so we took the bus to the city and county building to get our license.
We found that we could get married that day so we decided to go ahead and do it.
After work the nested day we found an apartment together and moved in with nothing but a few packages of clothes.
Mama was rather upset when she found out, but after the initial shock wore off she gave me her blessing.
They only lived in Salt Lake for a few short months before Max got his call to go into the army.
He left for basic training in February of 1951. He was then sent to Japan for further training in communications before engaging in the Korean War.
His signal corps unit was in charge of laying down communication lines in front of the line for the advancing troops.
They saw action during the battle for bloody ridge wear nearly 20,00 people lost their lives
In fact they had so many missions that Max was honorably discharged after 10 months of his 1 year term.
Upon his return in December of 52 Max and Arlene returned to bluebell, UT where Max picked up a construction job putting in the first telephone lines in the area.
Over the next 12 years he and his family lived in 9 different states while he worked construction. As my mom explains, that was 9 different states usually with several moves per state...
Now when I say that max worked construction, I do not mean that he swung a hammer and built houses.
Max was way to tuff for that, he ran power and communication lines though the areas that no one else had tried before.
In most cases the terrane was to rugged to get any equipment in so they dug the holes for the power poles by hand
And physically carried the poles in from the nearest road that may have been several miles away.
Because of this most of his work will only be seen by a small hand full of people even though it has made life better for countless individuals.
One of the jobs that he was particularly proud of is the power line crossing above the green river. A location that lots of people now reference when navigating flaming gorge.
If you ever get the chance to see it, you will immediately understand why it was such a proud moment in his life.
Spanning several thousand feet across the gorge and nearly 200 feet above the water, Max work with the team that constructed this by hand.
On December 4th, 1953 Max and Arlene where blessed with a daughter, Julie. Who was born in Tremonton UT. and again blessed with a son Raymond on May 14th 1956 while in Woodland Washington.
Ray was born 3 week premature weighing only 4 lbs. 13 oz. the doctors would not release him until he reached 5 lbs.
However Max had to leave in order to follow the job up to Palmer Alaska and was unable to stay. Once there he found an apartment and sent for his family.
inlew of their arrival he waited up all night for their plane that did not arrive until 7 am the next morning so that he could hold his, now, 1 month old son for the first time.
In August of 1965 Arlene puts it as, “Max finally quit construction work and got a stable job at Logan City with the power department"
Even though I believe that Max truly loved working construction his family came first and his children needed that stability.
They settled down in Logan just in time for his kids to enroll in school.
Max worked for Logan City for the next 27 years before retiring, except, I don’t think he took a single day off in his life.
Even in the last few months of his life he would find ways to work around the house even though he was told not too many times.
We would often go over to mow his lawn to find out that he had found some way of strapping his oxygen bottle to the lawn mower so that he could push it around himself.
Or he would be attempting to push the snow off of his driveway because he could not get his snow blower to start.
In the time that I can remember, my Grandpa always set the example that hard work and persistence pay off.
He would often tell me that if you are going to do something, you should do it right
People where naturally drawn to him and his amazing personality. Anyone that spent five min with him can attest that.
There are countless stories of Max helping and serving others.
I have heard several people say; on more than one occasion that he had a hart as big as the great outdoors.
Whenever you ask someone about Max their faces immediately lights up and they have a story to tell about when he helped them with one thing or another.
Max loved his family, he loved to hunt deer, fish and just simply be outdoors. We spent a lot of time camping as a family, and he always looked forward to the Boswell family reunions.
It has been said by many, that Max was everyone’s favorite. You could always find him behind the grill at the family reunion or chasing the kids down,
Threatening to cut the girls pony tails off with his pocket knife or to give the boys some willer tea.
In May of 2014 Max Clark was diagnosed with lung cancer, and in true Max fashion he set off to beat it on his own.
After all this is Max that we are talking about. There was nothing that stood in his way before.
Like the time he was working construction and had to drive himself to the hospital after having an Ulcer burst.
Stopping along the way to ask for directions to the hospital and literally crawling his way from the parking lot into the emergency room.
He had even survived being electrocuted by 7700 volts while working on the main power line though Logan City.
But as we all know cancer does not care how tough you are or if you are the most caring person most people will ever meet
It took Max away from his loving wife and family way too soon. He did fight an amazing battel with cancer and far out lasted what the Doctor's predicted.
He leaves us with this amazing legacy of how to love, how to work and a solid foundation for others to follow in his footsteps.
I truly believe that Max is walking the trail, moving rocks and other obstacles out of the way so that his family can easily follow him in the next life.
Until we meet again, you will truly be missed.