1937 ~ 2019
Sara Ann Simmons Dearden Clark, our beloved wife, mother, and grandmother passed away Friday, October 18, 2019, in Layton, Utah, after a fall. Ann was born in Idaho Falls, Idaho on November 27, 1937, to Eli Alma and Sara Klingler Simmons. She was the youngest of five children. Her family had a 160-acre farm in Terreton, Idaho. Her father died when she was four, and her mother chose to stay on the farm, which meant there was plenty of work for the children. Ann learned to cook on a coal-burning stove, and learned to drive the tractor when she was eight.
Her natural gift for music was apparent at a very early age, she sang her first solo in Sacrament meeting at age four, and began piano lessons at six. She also played the coronet. Although she had innate talent, she was expected to practice piano two hours a day, and three during the summer.
Ann graduated from Roberts High School and then attended Ricks College planning to major in music. She married Hal Holden in 1957, they were later divorced. She had three children in four years and was a wonderful mother. During this time she taught piano and coronet, and also served as president of the Toastmistress organization.
Music was the joy of Ann's life. In addition to serving as organist in many wards, she served as ward choir director in American Falls for about 14 years. At various times she sang, accompanied, and directed the local community women's choir, "A.F. Sharps," who performed concerts all over the area and also presented a spring concert. She made many friends and was involved with this group for over 16 years. The weddings and funerals she provided music for are innumerable.
Over the years she worked as a secretary for Kraft Foods, and also at Production Credit Associates in American Falls. Ann graduated from beauty school and ultimately opened a salon in American Falls for a few years. Concerned about spending too much time away from her children, she sold the business and worked part-time. Ann was a fabulous cook (her cinnamon rolls are lovingly remembered). She was also an accomplished seamstress and enjoyed golfing and snow skiing.
She married Clair Dearden in the Idaho Falls temple on May 12, 1990. After her marriage, she traveled a great deal. They bought a home in Liberty, Utah, but travelled to Cairo, Egypt and Netanya, Israel where Clair was working. Between travels, they enjoyed the rural atmosphere and friendships of Liberty and the Ogden valley. Ann loved her grandchildren and supported them in all of their activities and accomplishments whenever possible.
Ann and Clair served for 18 months in the Taiwan Kaohsiung Mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Upon their return, they moved to Layton, Utah where they made many close friends. Ann served as a volunteer at McKay Dee Hospital in Ogden for many years and served in the Ogden LDS temple. Ann and Clair also served as ushers at the Salt Lake Conference center for three years. Her husband, Clair passed away in April of 2012.
Ann married "her cowboy" Elwood Clark on March 23, 2013. They especially enjoyed sharing their love of music together and had many mutual friends from Liberty, Utah. They also enjoyed a trip to England. His loving care for her after her injury was exemplary.
Six years ago, Ann had a serious accident that resulted in a traumatic brain injury. After five months in a coma, her family was told to say goodbye when her trachea tube was removed. But at that time Ann would begin what can only be described as a miraculous recovery. After intense rehabilitation, she returned to her home in Kaysville in August of 2014. Although she was never 100%, she had nobody paralysis, remembered her life and family, and went on to once again serve as ward organist, a position she kept until six months before her death.
There are few people that are angels on earth, but Ann was one of those, she radiated goodness, tolerance, and joy wherever she went. The symphony of family and friends that she touched will forever cherish her memory and strive to make her proud by following her example. Once she said, she was worried if she could "endure to the end," Bravo Ann, not only did you endure, you showed us how it^s done.
Ann was preceded in death by her parents, siblings, daughter Tammy, and husband Clair. She is survived by her husband, Elwood Clark, children Heidi Noack (Drew), Tony Holden, stepchildren Sue Naylor (Lance), Tom Dearden (Jana), Dan Dearden (Vivian), Lisa Trepanier (Patrick), Lori Mulvey (Steve), Dan Clark, Anne Jensen (Darell), Leslie Warren (Michael), Mary Ellen Chitwood (Ric). Twenty-eight grandchildren, and numerous great-grandchildren.
Funeral services will be held, Friday, October 25, 2019, at the Kaysville Fairfield Ward, 1085 N. 50 East. Friends may visit with family on Thursday from 6:00-8:00 p.m. at Lindquist Mortuary, 1867 N. Fairfield Rd, Layton, Utah, and 9:30-10:30 a.m. prior to the service at the church.
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