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Obituary for Clayton Furch

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Clayton Furch

August 16, 1930 - November 23, 2014

Clayton Gene Furch, age 84, passed away Sunday, November 23, 2014. He was born August 16, 1930 to Roy Garrett and Evelyn Mildred Martin (Schram) in St. Paul, Minnesota. He attended public schools in St. Paul and graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1952 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education.

Clayton moved to Ogden, Utah to accept a teaching job as a band director at Washington Junior High School in the Ogden City School District. He taught 34 years in various schools in the district, retiring in 1986. From 1953-55 he served with the U.S. Army as a band instructor at Ft. Ord, CA. He received a Master of Music Degree from Utah State University in 1969. At Weber State University, he was an adjunct instructor in the Music Department, teaching jazz history and jazz piano.

On August 3, 1954, he married RayAnn Carolina Smith. They were later sealed with their children in the Logan LDS Temple in 1964. They were happily married for 61 years.

He was a High Priest in the L.D.S. Church and served in many Ward and Stake leadership positions. He and RayAnn served a Mission to the Monroe Youth Branch from 2001-2002.

As a professional musician, he performed throughout the intermountain area. For many years he played keyboard with his group, “The Gene Clayton Trio.” He played clarinet in the “All Faces West” pageant, the Ogden Rodeo Band and the Ogden Municipal Band. In 1989 he wrote the original music for the “Miles Goodyear Celebration” held at Fort Buenaventura in 1989 and 1990.

Many students received private music lessons from him on band instruments and keyboard. In his home, he had a music studio/recording studio where he taught and recorded his own CD’s. He performed as a soloist, a duo with Joe McQueen, a trio “Clayton and the Gang”, the Crestmark Band in Logan and the “Junction City Big Band” in Ogden.  He played as a volunteer pianist in the Lobby of the McKay Dee Hospital, and, with his trio, performed at many of the assisted living places in the area. In 2005, Clayton received the Ogden Mayor’s Award for fine arts honoring his contributions and service. His passion for music inspired everyone he knew and he touched innumerable lives with his talents.

Besides performing and listening to music, he enjoyed traveling, fishing, camping, gardening, photography and especially laughing with his family.

He is survived by his only brother Gary Furch, St. Paul, MN. His wife RayAnn and their four children: Lori (Kenley) Drake, Derek (Nancy), Spencer (Jennifer) and Gregory (Sheri) Furch. Also surviving are 12 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.

Funeral Services will be held Saturday, November 29th at the Pleasant Valley 5th Ward, 5735 Crestwood Drive, South Ogden at 11:00 am with visitation from 9:30-10:30 am. Viewing will be held Friday evening from 6:00-7:30 pm at Leavitt’s Mortuary, 836-36th Street, Ogden. Interment at Aultorest Memorial Park.


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Service Schedule

Service Information

Date: Saturday, November 29, 2014

Time: 11:00 am -

Pleasant Valley 5th Ward, 5735 Crestwood Drive, South Ogden at 11:00 am

Visitation from 9:30-10:30 am.

Viewing will be held Friday evening from 6:00-7:30 pm at Leavitt’s Mortuary, 836-36th Street, Ogden. Interment at Aultorest Memorial Park.


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Timeline for Clayton Furch

Born: August 16, 1930
Died: November 23, 2014

Condolences for Clayton Furch

Doug Stephens posted on 12/2/14

What a great man. I have to say that Mr. Furch was an important figure in my life. I started playing the clarinet with him at Lorin Farr Elementary in the 6th Grade. The following year I went to Central Jr. High and then on to Ogden High. All along the way Mr. Furch was involved in one way or the other. I deeply admired him. I am sure there are so many kids that he taught that would say the same. The last time I saw him was playing with Joe McQueen and after being out of school for over 30 years he remembered me. Rest in peace Mr. Furch. You will be sorely missed.


Kay Ann Hoogland posted on 12/1/14

There was never a time when Clayton Furch was not in our family's life. From the time he and his parents moved to Ogden next door to our family, through today (still a neighbor to my mom at Chimney Hill), Clayton was always in and around our life. Thanks, Clayton, for playing at my wedding in 1984, and for all the music before and since that you shared. You were gifted and generously that gift with so many. All our Hoogland family love to Rae Ann, Derek, Lori, Greg, Spencer and the entire family.


Skip Musgraves posted on 11/30/14

Been to a lot of funerals. I have been around Utah since 1976 (College at Weber State). NEVER heard a choir like that at a funeral. WELL DONE ALL! Not really surprised. Clayton was an amazing guy. GREAT left hand, especially. LOVED playing music with him and Joe over the years. What a GREAT tribute to him. I don't know you folks (wish I did), but what you did, I know he would approve. All of the kids have the same sense of humor. I enjoyed sitting with my great bud Joe McQueen, and remembering all those moments. I raise my can of Whipped Cream! Even the stuffy Mormon guy got that! Loved the man....Truly.......wonderful of God's best creations.....FOR SURE......Celebrate.....consider the lilies......


Janet Erickson posted on 11/29/14

You now have a room with a view and can see the whole picture. You are going to have one amazing gig I'm sure. Thanks for the memories. From "All Faces West" down to the attempt to teach our youngest jazz cords on the piano. Our loss of your happy sunshine is heaven's gain and won't we all make a happy noise one day. May the Lords sweet care and keeping be with your sweet family,


Stefani Rhees posted on 11/28/14

Mr. Furch taught me French Horn 39 years ago when I was in 5th grade. I played another 8 years. I loved him. He was so funny and kind. I have great memories of him. May he play and entertain in heaven.


Frank Badger posted on 11/28/14

Hey Clayton Thank you for the many fond memories. I will never forget you at the piano, Herb on the drums, and Gloria as soloist over at Manor Care. Then when you wrapped up the program with that selection of the military songs and see the patrons come to life as you inviting us to stand when our song was played. You had a truly great gift and you shared so freely. Thank you is inadequate. You will never be forgotten. Love Frank and Lynda


Scott Collard posted on 11/28/14

I had the pleasure of being in the Hiker Band at Highland Jr. High 69-72 under Mr. Furch's direction. I played trombone. He was a very classy gentlemen. The memories of concert band, marching band, pep band, jazz band and special quartets I will cherish forever! He was an extremely talented artist and expected the best out of his students. The Sunday afternoon concerts in the park were eagerly anticipated by all. He raised the bar for many of my other endeavors in life. Please accept my sincere sympathy for your lose. Scott Collard


Tom Webber posted on 11/26/14

I took band from Clayton in 1955 at Lewis Jr.High School, trying to play the French Horn! I really appreciated getting to know him and to see him here in Ogden from time to time.Thanks, Clayton, for your patience with us at good old Lewis! We'll miss you. Linda sends her regards also. Tom Webber


Michael Keeney posted on 11/26/14

I got to know Mr. Furch when he was the band teacher at Mount Fort Middle School in 1984. Computers were just becoming mainstream at that point, and Mr. Furch was tasked with setting up the school's first computer class, and I was assigned to be his aide. For someone as "old" as he was (from the perspective of a 12-year old - and he would have been 54 at the time), I was impressed that he knew as much as he did about computers and was able to organize the class as quickly and efficiently as he did. He was a great mentor and I appreciated his patience and willingness to teach. Mr. Furch was a great teacher and he will be missed. My most sincere condolences to his family.


Wally & JoAnn Berrett posted on 11/26/14

Dear RayAnn, We were very saddened to hear of Clayton’s passing. What a kind & caring couple you both are. We have missed seeing both of you very much. We love all of the beautiful music CDs that Clayton gave to us, & we will be forever grateful for them. We play them often. We also really appreciated his many visits. It was so thoughtful of him to stop by to chat with Wally. Wally always enjoyed very much the visits he had with Clayton . What a joyous reunion you will have when you meet each other again & know that you can be together for eternity. RayAnn, you are in our prayers. Please know that our thoughts & love are with you & your family. What a wonderful legacy you & Clayton are leaving for them. May our Heavenly Father’s choicest blessings be with you to comfort & sustain you. Wally & JoAnn Berrett


Sherri Condie Sillitoe posted on 11/26/14

Mr. Furch was my band director at Mound Fort Jr. High in the 1970's. He instilled in my a love for music. He directed me toward playing the clarinet and I had so many great times and learned to love music and the world that it opened up for me. He was a kind man who I admired. He took my clarinet home one time and changed the pads and oiled it to make it work as good as new. He was an example and I have always admired him for the patience he had to have to direct the band students who were just learning (the squeaks, squawks, bangs, etc.). Thank you Mr. Furch for instilling the love of music in my soul and for being part of my life.


Jennie Budge Garner posted on 11/26/14

Whenever I think about Clayton Furch, I remember the golden age of Roadshows in the old 73rd Ward. I can still see him at the piano improvising and having a good time working out the music, lyrics and choreography with RayAnn and Kay Hardy. The music for the "Slippery Bark Elma" dance was my favorite - I wish I knew what it was really called. Thanks for the memories, Clayton.


Jim Harvey posted on 11/26/14

On Mothers day each year, Priesthood members would take that day and give the sisters in the Primary organization the "day off". With only a little encouragement and for nearly a decade, Clayton and I would always do the music portion was not your ordinary primary music session. Between the two of us, we'd try to give the kids a "music time and experience" they'd never forget. I love you friend and the sharing of your time with others will forever play wonderful notes in my memory forever.....JIM HARVEY