Obituaries » John Reed St. Clair
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April 2, 1944 - January 5, 2021
Funeral Home Russon Mortuary Bountiful
After dealing with the lasting effects of a Traumatic Brain Injury for eight years, John Reed St. Clair passed quietly from this life on Tuesday, January 5th. He was a man of integrity, loyalty, kindness, honor, and faith, whose love of life was reflected in his great smile. He was devoted to his family and had a steadfast testimony of his Savior, Jesus Christ.
John was born on April 2, 1944 in Tooele, Utah. He was the second son and second of seven children born to Glen St. Clair and Rena Ina Higley St. Clair. His family would later move to Salt Lake City where John attended Edison Elementary, Jordan Junior High, and Irving Junior High. He graduated from South High School and went on to attend the University of Utah. John served two missions for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in his lifetime, one as a young man called to the Australia Mission, and another after his retirement, when he and his wife served in the Family and Church History Mission in Salt Lake City.
John joined the United States Air Force in 1967 and served for four years, including a tour of duty in Vietnam. While he was stationed at Mountain Home Air Force Base in Idaho, he met Linda Marie Gifford at a young adult activity, and they were later married in the Idaho Falls Temple on November 15, 1968. Three weeks later, he left for duty in Vietnam for a year. In those days, there was no internet, texting, skype, or FaceTime as a way to instantly communicate. Instead, John and Linda wrote to each other every single day that they were apart. When he returned and was stationed at Davis Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, AZ, Linda remained in Idaho to finish her degree at Boise State, so the daily letters continued until they could be together again five months later.
John was honorably discharged in April of 1971. He went back to school at the University of Utah where he completed a degree in Accounting. In the years following, he worked as a controller at Lewis-Clark State College in Lewiston, ID, as an office manager for Amalgamated Sugar in Nampa, ID, and as a revenue officer for the Internal Revenue Service in Twin Falls, ID, where he retired in 2008. John worked hard to provide for his family, which would grow to include six children, four daughters and two sons. Once, when he was between jobs and couldn’t find work in his field, he dug basements by hand with a good friend and neighbor.
He served in many callings in the wards he lived in through the years: bishop’s counselor, primary teacher, ward organist, High Priest Group Leader, ward clerk, and stake missionary, to name a few. However, the one he may have enjoyed the most was serving as a Cub Master for four years. People who thought he was so quiet and reserved were amazed to see him “perform” those silly cheers at Pack Meetings. He even attended Wood Badge and worked diligently to earn his beads afterwards.
Music seemed to be an integrated part of John’s very being. At an early age, he learned to play the piano, accordion, and organ. He loved all kinds of music: jazz, classical, country, rock and roll, hymns, ballads, show tunes, and more. The “Hooked on Classics” cassette tapes were a hit with his kids. Largely because of him, to this day, his children love music
As part of his hobbies, John somehow managed to combine two things he really enjoyed, reading and walking! People still comment on how they used to see him reading a book as he would go on one of his daily walks! (He claimed he only ran into a mailbox once or twice!) For years, John would get up early to walk a paper route with his son. In later years, whenever he went to visit one of his kids, he would always ask if someone wanted to join him on a walk through the neighborhood.
He loved to garden and work in the yard. His Golden Jubilee sweet corn that he grew in Nampa was a family favorite! Green beans, not so much. He had peach and apple trees that he also carefully tended. The kids snacked on the fruit he would dry, and his younger son loved the homemade applesauce.
John loved spending time with his family! What great memories they all have of camping in Idaho, trips to Disneyland, walks with their Dad, family game nights, dancing in the living room, and holiday traditions. As the children grew up and went on missions or moved away, John developed a love of travel as he and Linda went to visit them in Georgia, North Carolina, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Utah, Florida, and Oregon. Seeing their children has taken them to Church history sites in New York and Ohio, to a castle and the alps in Germany, to see porpoises frolic in the Gulf of Mexico, and to stand on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC.
Mostly, he just loved his family. The greatest joy he found in life was being a father. He rejoiced when they rejoiced, cried when their hearts were aching, and ever only wanted them to be happy. He had a fervent testimony of and found comfort in the principle of the eternal family unit. Together forever.
John is survived by his wife, Linda; his six children: Danielle (Bart) Michaelson, Michelle (John) Dickey, Sean (Christine) St. Clair, Jenny (Darin) Thomas, Wendy (Preston) Gillespie, and Jeff (Jenete) St. Clair; and twenty- one grandchildren. He is also survived by three sisters: Ann (Carl) Huefner, Karla (Jim) Peery, and Myrla (Rick) Giles. He was preceded in death by his parents, his brother, Steven, and two sisters, Becky, who died as a toddler, and Connie Plott.
Funeral services will be held at the Russon Mortuary, 295 North Main, Bountiful, UT on Tuesday, January 12th, 2021, at 11 a.m. (Because of Covid-19 concerns, this will be for his immediate family only.) Interment will follow at the Bountiful City Cemetery.
Services will be live streamed on Russon Mortuary & Crematory Facebook page.