|John L. Clarke
John L. Clarke was born and reared on a farm in American Fork, Utah. He was the fifth of the
eleven children. As a senior, he was student body president of American Falls High School
and graduated in 1923. He attended Brigham Young University for three years. He interrupted
his education to serve a mission in Great Britain. He married Fay Christensen when he returned from his mission in 1931. He went back to BYU where he earned his
bachelor's degree and later, in 1932, his masters degree in political science.
He taught in various high schools around Utah and Wyoming until 1939 when he became the Director
of L.D.S. Institute of Religion at Gila College in Thatcher, AZ. Later, he was Institute
Director at Dixie College in St. George, Utah.
In 1944 he became president of Ricks College at the beginning of an era of phenomenal growth
and change. During his administration, which lasted 27 years, he constantly sought to improve
the college. He expanded the curriculum. The campus itself grew from 80-acres to over 250-acres.
In the 1950's when the future of the college was uncertain, he led with vision and determination. During his administration, Ricks changed from a 2-year college to a 4-year college in 1948, only to change back to a 2-year institution in 1955.
In 1970 after the death of his wife, Fay, he married LaRae King.
After serving at Ricks in 1971, he served as a mission president in the Boston Massachusetts
Mission. With in weeks of returning home to Rexburg in 1974, he was called as Stake Patriarch.
He served in many other Church positions.
President Clarke died in 1991 and is buried in Rexburg.
Fay Christensen Clarke
Fay Christensen was born and reared in American Fork, Utah. She was an only child of a well-to-do family. She was very talented and as a girl, took ballet lessons, singing lessons, piano and violin lessons. Besides her many talents, she loved to swim and to ride horses.
She had known John Clarke since they went to school together in American Fork. They had a few
dates in high school, but were not serious about each other. Faye married another man and was
later divorced. When John returned from his mission in 1930, he courted Fay and they were
married in December 1931. They became the parents of two girls and one boy.
Fay was a good and faithful wife and very patient. She followed John willingly wherever his work
took him from Utah to Wyoming to Arizona and finally in 1944 to Idaho.
She spent many active and productive years helping John promote the work of Ricks College and
taking part in many community activities. She was president of the Y.W.M.I.A. and served on the
Primary stake board. She led a Primary chorus, which sang for stake conferences. She was active
in community affairs, and was president of the Rexburg Civic Club, the Literary Club, and the
Ricks College Faculty Women's Association. Being especially gifted in music, she played first
violin for the Ricks College Symphony Orchestra when it was first organized.
Fay was ill the last few years of her life and she died in February 1970.
Margaret LaRae Picket King Clarke
Margaret LaRae Picket was born in Logan, Utah but spent her childhood in Ammon, Idaho. She attended Ricks
College and graduated with her bachelor's degree in 1951. Her major was Speech and Drama with a minor in English and Secondary Education. She did graduate work at Fresno State, University of California at Santa Barbara, and University of Hawaii. She taught at Sugar Salem High School in Sugar City, Idaho.
LaRae married LeRoy E. King. They lived in California for 16 years and were the parents
of four children. She taught English and Communications for twelve years at Porterville High School
and at the junior college in Porterville, CA. In 1966, she was awarded the Outstanding Junior
College Teacher for the State of California.
She taught at BYU-Hawaii from 1966 to 1970, serving as the Speech and Drama Department
chair for two of those years. Her husband, LeRoy died in Hawaii.
LaRae accepted a position with the Communications Department at Ricks in 1970 and moved her
family to Rexburg.
In 1970 she married John Clarke, who was then President of Ricks College. The following
spring after he retired, John was called as mission president to the Massachusetts Boston
Mission. They served in Boston for three years.
Upon returning to Rexburg, LaRae worked at Ricks College in the Student Life Office, eventually becoming
Dean of Women. She served at Ricks for 20 years. In 1986, she was honored as the Outstanding Administrator of the Year.
LaRae has served as R. S. president, Y.W. president, and Primary president. She taught in
various auxiliaries and served on stake boards in the Church. She was active in community activities and
belonged to the Art Guild and the Civic Club.
She died in the fall of 2007 and is buried in Rexburg.