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Carene LaRae Clarke Jordan, 85, passed away peacefully on February 24, 2023 in Highland, Utah.
Carene was born on the bright and sunny morning of June 13, 1937, in Salt Lake City, Utah, the first-born child of Leo David and Rayma Healy Clarke. This was a prelude to her life where she was a beautiful light to all those who knew her.
Growing up with her brother David by her side, she could do anything inside and outside the home. You would often find her and David tagging along with their father to help him paint houses. She was also wonderful at everything domestic. She could cook, sew, clean, and she was a master with crochet hooks and knitting needles.
Carene attended high school at West High in Salt Lake City, excelling in academics and performing arts which earned her a place on the Principal’s Academics List or what we now refer to as the Honor Roll.
The Clarke family then moved to Pocatello, Idaho where Carene began her studies at Idaho State University. During her time as a student at the University, she participated in the Miss Idaho Pageant which she won and later competed in the Miss America Pageant in Atlantic City, where she won a best talent award in music. This didn’t slow her down academically. She earned her place on the Dean’s list all four years at ISU. She graduated with honors with a Bachelor’s of Dramatic Arts degree with the dream of going to Hollywood.
Carene was a skilled actor, playwright and director which she put to use during her time at ISU and later attended Brigham Young University where she was very active on and off campus with church, friends and the theater.
Carene met her future husband as they were cast in a play together at BYU. Roger and Carene were then married in the Idaho Falls LDS temple on March 18, 1960.
Soon after they were married their first child Bryan was born. He died 3 days later and it took it’s toll on Carene. But she couldn’t have imagined that after that sorrow, she would be blessed with many more children. Kathryn, Michael, Nancy, Susan, Jenny, Wendy, Steven, Robert and Richard.
Carene could juggle a million things all at once. She took care of the house, fulfilled many callings in the church, and continued acting, writing and directing. In one of the stakes where she lived, there was a healthy “road show” competition where her shows won “best show” in the stake almost every year. She not only wrote the shows, she wrote the music, sewed the costumes and helped build the scenery. She was always home in a theater no matter how large or small.
She was an amazing director and incredibly organized. The stake president in that same stake found out about her talent and asked if she would start directing large scale musicals that would involve the entire stake. She took on that responsibility and built a fine-tuned organization that lasted for years. Her close friends commented that during her years directing these productions, she lifted them out of the challenges of their own lives as they spent many hours with her planning, directing and performing in these musicals. They became so popular with sold out audiences, that the local television stations would cover them every year.
Carene had an unusual excitement for every holiday and you could see it reflected in the hundreds of decorations she displayed in her home. There was no holiday safe from her “holiday spirit”, which brought levity to some of the challenges of her life. Valentine’s Day always meant sugar cookies, for St. Patrick’s Day she taught her children about leprechauns and pots of gold with the movie “Darby O’Gill and the Little People”. The 4th of July meant going to the parade in Provo and hiking up to the Timpanogos Cave. Halloween was one of her favorites where she would brew a batch of home made rootbeer. And then Christmas was her favorite holiday with caroling, mounds of presents and a nativity set in the yard lit up for everyone to see. She loved traditions and passed them on to her children.
One of her many accomplishments was to bless her children’s lives with music. She started to teach them very young and all of them have been able to use this gift in many areas of their lives. It has been generational, blessing the lives of her grandchildren and great grandchildren as well.
In her later years she continued her acting career, performing in many Hale Center Theater productions. She was able to perform with several of her grandchildren and they learned all about “celestial music” and the value of hard work from her.
She loved Family History work and worked on finding her ancestors all her life. This was a project that she would often enlist the help of her children. She spent hours and hours at the genealogy library in Salt Lake City on the microfish machines trying to find just one more person and connect them to her family. It was important to her that she never leave anyone behind. She passed this torch on to some of her children and grandchildren that have kept her spirit alive in the work she loved so much.
Carene loves the Lord and spent many hours in the temple helping those on the other side where she has joined her mother and father, David, Kathryn and Bryan. She had talked many times about her mom and dad waiting for her. What a blessing for her to have them there to welcome her and to love her. She was truly loved by her Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. And she talked of Them often. She passed on from this life knowing exactly where she was going. And couldn’t wait to get there.
Carene’s beautiful legacy will live on through her 8 surviving children, 27 grandchildren and 15 great grandchildren.
Funeral services for Carene will be held on Saturday, March 11, 2023 at the Mount Mahogany LDS Chapel at 1320 West 3540 North, Pleasant Grove, Utah 84062. A viewing will be held Saturday, March 11, 2023 from 9:45 AM to 10:45 AM at Mount Mahogany LDS Chapel. Please share a memory on Carene's Tribute Wall at www.AndersonMortuary.com.
Saturday, March 11, 2023
9:45 - 10:45am (Mountain time)
Mount Mahogany 6th Ward
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