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Merlin Clark Wager, 95, of Highland, Utah, passed away peacefully on Thursday, May 9, 2019, of natural causes.
Clark was born on June 30, 1923, in Los Angeles, California, the second child of Fred Augustus Wager, of Wager Mills, in Benton County, Arkansas, and Frances Lillie Olsen Wager of Ogden, Utah. His brother Fred was two years of age.
In his youth, Clark lived in and around Ogden, Utah, but returned to California when he was a teenager, where he began to develop his musical talents playing clarinet in a marching band. In August 1942, he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force.
Following WWII, Clark served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for 2-1/2 years in Mexico. It was there that he met the woman he would marry, a fellow missionary, Kathryn Woolley, of Santa Monica, California. They married in St. George, Utah, on Sept. 9, 1949.
Clark attended the University of Utah on the G.I. Bill, and he received both a B.S. and M.S. in Electrical Engineering. He spent the majority of his career in southern California working in the aerospace industry.
Genealogy and family history were of great interest to Clark and he eagerly researched his family lines across Europe. Once he retired, he and Kathryn dove into the work wholeheartedly, relocating to Utah so that they could have easy access to genealogical records. They occasionally interrupted their work to serve Spanish-speaking missions for the Church, including at the Los Angeles Family History Center; in Caracas, Venezuela; and in Spain.
Clark is preceded in death by his parents, his wife Kathryn on March 7, 2016, and his brother Fred on June 12, 1973. He is survived by his nine children, Frances Hostetter (Randy), Phillip (Nancy), Stephen (Criscell), Kate Toepke (Mardy), Eugene (Debbie), Joseph (Deborah), Christine Hughes (Douglas), Carl (Sarah), and Julie Glasgow (Scott), 37 grandchildren, and 66 great-grandchildren.
A viewing will be held Friday, May 17, 2019 from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m., at Olpin Family Mortuary, 494 S. 300 East, Pleasant Grove. Funeral services will be conducted Saturday, May 18, 2019 at 3 p.m. at Hillside Chapel, 1960 N. 1500 East, Provo, with a viewing prior to the service from 2:00 - 2:45 p.m. Interment will be in the American Fork City Cemetery. Condolences may be sent to the family at www.olpinmortuary.com.
In lieu of flowers, a donation may be made to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Missionary Fund.