He proved to the world that men can quilt, cook amazing meals for the guys laying new carpet or whoever happened into church that Sunday; catch extra minutes of rest at the church pulpit or a drive across town, and be aware of the latest gossip without being ever called a gossip. Franklin Delano Barkdull was born January 30, 1934 in a little house in Paris, Idaho. While he was raised in small towns in southeast Idaho, his heart was always set on the greater world around him. Dad enjoyed debate, drama and choir, and often sang us to sleep as children.
When he was a freshman at Pocatello High, he became acquainted with a popular girl, Sally Bennett, and they seemed to be attached to each other from then on.
He completed a Bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from George Washington University. Dad came from a strong Mormon heritage. His great great grandfather Michael followed the prophet Joseph from Ohio to Missouri and then to Illinois, where he died as a consequence of their forced exodus. His great grandfather Jason was sent to help colonize the Bear Lake Valley. His parents were working class people and some might describe Grandpa as not terribly devout, but they instilled a faith in Dad. In 1953, Dad left the West for Europe, where he spent the next two and a half years as a missionary for his church. Amongst other responsibilities, he was asked to be the leader of a small congregation of Mormons in Berlin, and left Eastern Germany with a love of the culture, food, and people that became a part of our upbringing. Special Sunday dinners always involved Rouladen and Rotkohl, with Mom and Dad cryptically discussing family issues in German (or broken Spanish).
After his mission, Dad began courting the vivacious Miss Bennett. Somewhere in those years, she finished nursing school at Idaho State, went to graduate school in Seattle, and Dad finished his degree at BYU. They were wed in the Logan Temple on September 17, 1958, then headed off into the world, making memories, friends and children as Dad began his career in the Air Force. They made stops in Kansas, Morocco, Spain, Nebraska, Panama, Ohio and Virginia, adding a child at each stop along the way.
In addition to his military duties, he served in various service capacities in church congregations around the world. There are some simple things that need to be known about Del: he would have worked any job to keep his family clothed and fed. He taught us to be proud of a day’s work because he made us work. He never swore. He had a Puritan mindset about topics of conversation. He was absolutely loyal and devoted to my mother. Dad served others in his own quiet way and would have been embarrassed if others knew of his assistance to others (Matt. 6:3-4).
He loved his grandchildren, would hold and kiss and sing to them. He was a wonderful teacher – and greatly enjoyed expounding on eternal concepts with devotion, enthusiasm and quiet faith. He wasn’t above a good dumpster dive when appropriate. He had a small hoarding problem when it came to wood, appliances and cookie tins. He could make a mean breakfast for one or one hundred.
He never got a good night’s sleep as an adult, but he did get some satisfying naps at church or watching Lawrence Welk. He charged his boys’ a free newspaper daily for about 15 years in return for driving them on their Sunday morning paper routes. He was a king of Trivial Pursuit. He fancied himself more learned in the administration of medicine than his nurse-trained wife, and when he would thrust his jaw forward, that meant you were wrong. Dad never had any interest in sports. He couldn’t tell you anything about how a game was played, who famous athletes were, or even much about the local professional teams. But he knew when our games were, and he attended soccer, football and lacrosse matches despite the distance he had to travel.
Dad never did anything life changing or extraordinary. He was a good man. He loved his wife. He loved his children. He loved the gospel of Jesus Christ because he molded his life to be like Him. Dad was a Saint. We will miss him painfully, but we are grateful for his example, influence, and the good father he has been to each of us. To be able to tell him that one more time . . . but he knows. We wish to extend our gratitude to all who provided care and support to Dad these past few years. He is survived by his six children, David (Kristy), Steven (Lisa), Lisa, Chris (Chris), Jason (Jennifer), and Thad (Jill), along with nineteen grandchildren and four great grandchildren. He is preceded in death by his wife, Sally (the first time she made it somewhere before him), his parents Nate and Pearl, his two sisters Doris and Donna, his brother Reed and three infant grandsons. He’s finally getting a good night’s sleep.
A viewing will be held on Friday evening, August 2, 2019 from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. at Olpin Family Mortuary, 494 S 300 E, Pleasant Grove, Utah. Funeral services will be held Saturday, August 3, 2019 at 10 a.m. in the Manila Ward Chapel, 3396 North 900 West, Pleasant Grove with a viewing from 9 – 9:45 a.m. prior to the service. Interment will follow at 2:30 p.m. in the Montpelier Cemetery, Bear Lake, ID. with military honors. Condolences may be sent to the family at www.olpinmortuary.com. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a donation to the LDS Church Humanitarian Fund.
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