Clarence Ralph Ramsay
January 26, 1924 ~ February 3, 2015
Clarence Ralph Ramsay was born January 26, 1924 in Snowflake, AZ to Ralph Cheshire Ramsay and Elsie Maud Frost Ramsay.
His father’s father was Ralph Ramsay, the talented carpenter who carved the original Eagle for the Eagle Gate in Salt Lake City.
Clarence’s mother’s father is William Allen Frost, who moved to Monticello in 1906 and made the brick for the new church, the Co-op store, and the George Adams’ home.
Clarence, and his twin sister Clara, were born during one of the worst snowstorms in Snowflake’s history. Clara was born first. Clarence was tiny and weak when he was born, and they didn’t expect him to live, but in 91 years he outlived his parents and all his sisters.
Clarence was raised with six older sisters who adored him. Clarence enjoyed growing up in the small town of Snowflake in the 1930’s. They never did have much materially, but the home was filled with love and they were happy.
Clarence enjoyed swimming in the creek, fishing, playing marbles, eating frog legs, and making beanies and flippers. He enjoyed exploring the junkyard and finding parts to piece together sleds, wagons and other toys he made.
He climbed trees and made a big tree house. He also enjoyed going down to play at the canyon. Clarence was always running and could outrun almost anyone.
His chores included tending and milking cows, irrigating, and hauling manure to fertilize their large garden. They had a big hay barn where they spent a lot of hours working and playing. Tromping hay was one of his first responsibilities as a little boy.
Clarence carried milk to the neighbors, chopped wood, hoed weeds, and raised chickens. He worked at Smith Heywood’s store and as a janitor at the school.
In grade school Clarence played baseball and soccer. In high school he played football, basketball, and tennis. He was a class officer and participated in class plays and F.F.A.
After Clarence’s sophomore year, he started going to Monticello to work during the summers. He helped build the granary out on Dodge.
The summer after he graduated from high school in Snowflake he came back to Monticello and worked for the C.A. Frost Company clearing land on Boulder Point and driving tractor on the Vega land.
Clarence volunteered for the service during World War II. He entered the Navy April 27, 1943 and went through training in San Diego, CA; Astoria, OR; Ventura, Point Magoo, and Oxnard, CA. He became a ground crew aviation machinist mate third class, learned about airplanes and received commando training shooting rifles.
He was shipped out on a transport ship to Guam by way of Honolulu, HI at Pearl Harbor, where he saw the damage from the attack and the ship Arizona.
Clarence was stationed in Guam for the rest of the war. He was thankful he never had to shoot at anybody.
He was Plane Captain for an F6F fighter plane stationed at the Agana Airstrip. Many off duty hours were spent watching movies on base and writing many letters. Clarence was honorably discharged from the Navy December 27, 1945 and was home in time for New Years.
Clarence went back to work in Monticello driving truck for the flour mill. During the summer of 1946 he started working on his own land on Boulder Point bought with his Navy pay.
Clarence attended the 1947 winter quarter at Brigham Young University, taking agriculture and general education classes. He was quite popular because he was one of the few students who had a vehicle, a Studebaker pickup bought from his brother-in-law’s car dealership.
Clarence farmed in the summer and went back to BYU for the 1948 winter quarter. There he met Shirley Alice Petersen, attending BYU from Reno, NV. They were married in the Manti Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on April 7, 1948 and came to Monticello, where they lived for the next 65 years.
They raised nine children: Kevin (1949), Aleta (1950), Sheila (1953), Delta (1955), Jason (1956), Erwin (1957), Tyson (1960), Clifton (1963), Regan (1966), and a baby boy stillborn in 1969.
Clarence always worked hard. He built the three houses they lived in. He farmed wheat and beans and raised cattle. In addition to farming he worked for the Utah Highway Department for 26 years and was station supervisor 16 of those years.
Clarence has always been an active member of the LDS church. Clarence and Shirley served in St. George, UT for a year on a Historical Mission for the Church.
Clarence was a very kind and generous man, loved by everyone who knew him. Since his wife, Shirley, passed away in July, 2013, Clarence spent time in Monticello and enjoyed visiting his family in Utah, Colorado, Nevada, Arizona and Michigan. His adventures have been chronicled in his “Where’s Clarence” notebooks.
During the last week of his life Clarence was able to see all eight of his living children and many of his 45 grandchildren, 67 great-grandchildren, and one great-great-grandchild.
Clarence passed away peacefully among family on Tuesday, February 3, 2015 in Monticello, UT. His funeral was on Tuesday, February 10 with military honors in the Monticello cemetery.
Card of thanks
The family of Clarence Ramsay would like to express appreciation for the great outpouring of love and service for him and for our family. We would like to thank all those who have helped care for him in the past few months, with the funeral arrangements and food, and Danny Palmer for his compassionate and professional service.