Cover photo for Joseph Clifton Spendlove's Obituary
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Joseph Clifton Spendlove

March 12, 1917 — April 3, 2024

Joseph Clifton Spendlove

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Cliff Spendlove, loving son, brother, husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather, great-great grandfather, uncle, and friend to many, returned home to his heavenly parents on April 3, 2024, surrounded by loving family members on both sides of this earthly veil. He had been at the Veterans Home in Ivins, Utah, for only the last two months of his life. At age 107, he joked, "I'm so old, I remember when the Dead Sea got sick and died!"

Cliff was born in Hurricane, Utah, the 6th of 11 children of Nettie Ann Sanders and Joseph Walter Spendlove, on March 12, 1917. He was a lifelong member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. His growing up years were similar to others who worked hard and had little of worldly goods, sometimes not even owning a pair of shoes. It was his job to milk the family cows beginning at age six.

During the Great Depression, Cliff wanted to work for the Civilian Conservation Corps, but he was only 15. He filled out the papers, lied about his age, and was employed. Only a year ago, when his tax return was filed electronically, did the IRS catch this error. He had to provide a valid birth certificate and get a new Social Security Card with his correct birth year. One of the places he worked with the CCC was building roads in Zions National Park. He always said that he and the other boys painted the squares that created Checkerboard Mesa.

On December 4, 1941, Cliff was drafted into the U.S. Army. Three days later, the United States entered World War II. This began his lifelong military career. In 1944, Cliff was stationed at Fort Chaffee, Arkansas, training with the 16th armored division, and preparing to be shipped overseas. During a leave of absence, he determined to return to Utah to find LeOra Isom and propose marriage to her. After accepting his proposal, she took a train to Arkansas, where she and Cliff were married on November 22, 1944. Two months later, Cliff was headed to war and LeOra back to Hurricane.

Cliff's armored unit rolled into Pilsen, Czechoslovakia, in May 1945, and after three days of fighting, liberated the city. This military operation had an impact that significantly affected post-war Europe. Cliff joked that Hitler heard he was coming and surrendered.

Cliff's and LeOra's first baby Francis Elaine was born while Cliff was overseas. She lived only 3 hours. LeOra had two more children, Sherry and Dennis, by the time Cliff was again sent to war – this time to Korea. He was a combat soldier and also a mess sergeant there, keeping the troops at the front lines well-fed. LeOra had their next child, Jolene, soon after he left. When he returned home in 1953, she was a year old. Cliff was given The Commendation Ribbon with Metal Pendant from the Army for his "Meritorious Service" in Korea.

For the next eight years, Cliff was stationed at Fort Ord, California, where Deanna was born. During this time the family was sealed in the Los Angeles Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Susan was born in the covenant of this eternal marriage a few years later. Cliff also served as a Stake missionary during this time.

The next move took the family to Anchorage, and Palmer, Alaska, where Cliff worked as a dairy food inspector in the Matanuska Valley. Cliff served in the Bishopric of the Palmer Ward. The family enjoyed many amazing outings and happy times in Alaska. They were transferred to Ogden, Utah, shortly after the great Alaskan earthquake of 1964. Here Cliff worked as a meat inspector until his transfer to the Oakland California Army Base in 1969. Again he was a food inspector, but in his spare time he assisted many GI's in a car repair shop on base, and in their preparations to be shipped to Vietnam.

After retirement in 1971, Cliff's family returned to Utah where he fulfilled a life-long dream of building his own house. He also attended Weber State College where he made the honor roll each term. Cliff was very determined that his children receive a good education, and encouraged each of them to achieve it.

In 1977, Cliff and LeOra returned to their roots in Hurricane and built their final home, as well as a cabin on Kolob Mountain. They purchased a small motorhome and enjoyed traveling for several years. Whenever they visited their children, there were "work projects" to help them with. Cliff was very active in the community, serving in the Church, Sons of Utah Pioneers, and the American Legion. Cliff was instrumental in building a skating rink next to the old American Legion Hall.

In 1987, LeOra passed away at age 60. Later that year, Cliff married Jesse (Jan) Wallace. They also had many travel adventures together. They created the Golden Oldies Band in which Cliff played the guitar. They played for many community functions and nursing homes. Jan passed away in 2007.

Cliff loved building things and working with wood. He built many things in his woodshop, to the benefit of his children and grandchildren and many others. He enjoyed baking bread and taking it to neighbors and widows in Hurricane. He loved fishing, gardening, listening to music, parades, ice cream, buying new cars, and telling jokes! He loved to watch the Jazz games. He was personally honored when he attended games on his 102nd and 105th birthdays. Cliff especially loved his country and other military veterans. His favorite song was America the Beautiful.

Cliff was preceded in death by his siblings; two wives, LeOra and Jan; daughters, Francis Elaine Spendlove and Deanna Bradley (Chuck);  son, Dennis Spendlove; and granddaughter, Kneesha Marie Spendlove.  He is survived by daughters Sherry Spendlove, Jolene Allphin (Michael), Susan Bringhurst (Ron), step children Andrea and Brad Staples, and his good friend, Daryle Bartholemew. Cliff has 97 direct descendants – 120 counting their spouses. He loved each one dearly. We will all miss him!

Services will be provided at McArthur Funeral Home, 160 W. 700 S., St. George, Utah. A viewing will be held on Friday, April 19, from 6 to 8 p.m., and Saturday, April 20, from 9:30 to 10:45 a.m. The funeral will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, followed by interment at the Hurricane Cemetery. See mcarthurfuneralservices.com.

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Spendlove, Cliff Program (Final).pdf
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Friday, April 19, 2024

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Saturday, April 20, 2024

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Saturday, April 20, 2024

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Interment

Saturday, April 20, 2024

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225 E 600 N, Hurricane, UT 84737

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