Clye L. Rowley, beloved husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather passed away Tuesday, May 31, 2016. Clye was born December 1, 1923, in Green River, Utah, to Lorenzo Leroy Rowley and Ada Mae Lance Rowley. Clye’s mother died when he was two years old. While he was growing up, he had several stepmothers and his family moved a lot. He lived in Hiawatha, Moab, Old LaSalle and finally Salt Lake City.
Clye had a variety of jobs in his younger days. In 1941, he and his dad went to California where his dad worked at Camp Roberts as a carpenter and Clye worked in the almond orchards and grain fields. He worked there for three months and came back to Salt Lake City. His uncle, Von Rowley got him a job working in Walt Bloomfield’s Top Shop.
After that he worked for Streator Chevrolet, where he bought his first car; a 1931 Chevrolet for twelve dollars. It was all in pieces and it took him a week to put it together and get it running. He then went to work at the Ogden Arsenal. From there to the Naval Supply Depot, but soon grew tired of the drive from Salt Lake especially in bad weather. Next, driving truck for Pacific Fruit. Clye and some of his friends would go roller skating at the S & M Roller Rink in Granger, Utah where he met his future wife, Dorene Warr.
Clye enlisted in the Navy on May 13, 1943. He was on a destroyer ship named Gansevort. They sailed to Pearl Harbor, then to the Suva Fiji Islands, and then to New Zealand. They were in a task force which picked up a load of Marines and went to the New Hebrides Islands. They were there for three days. Then they took the Marines to the invasion of the Gilbert Islands. It took about three weeks to secure the Islands. Then they came back to San Francisco to have some turbines replaced on his ship. At this time he received a two-week leave.
He returned to Salt Lake City and he and Dorene were married on February 1, 1944. This year they celebrated 72 years of marriage! After the war, he went to work for his uncle Von at Rowley’s Top Shop in Murray, Utah. At about this time he built a small garage house in Granger on a piece of property that Dorene’s mother and father had given them for a wedding present. They lived in the garage house for two or three years while Clye built their new house.
Next he worked for Jacks Top Shop in Salt Lake. For extra money he would buy a broken or wrecked car and fix it up to sell. About 1952, Clye bought a boat that needed the whole interior done and needed paint. He worked hard and made a nice boat out of it. He named the boat “Driftwood”. Clye, Dorene, and their kids spent many weekends boating on Utah Lake, Pineview Reservoir, Bear Lake, and the Kennecott Duck Club. In 1959, he decided to start his own business. He named the business Utah Auto Trim which was located at 2906 So. State Street. He operated this upholstery business until 1974. He decided that this was a good time to retire; at least part time.
In the summer months he would work for either Jack’s Top Shop or Ute’s Top Shop. Then about October or November, he and Dorene would load up their trailer and with several of their friends head South to Arizona for the winter. In 1968, Clye and Dorene bought a piece of property above Oakley on The Weber River at The Beaver Springs Ranch. Clye built a nice “A” frame cabin that they and their children and grandchildren enjoyed summer and winter. In 1995, Clye and Dorene decided they would like to live a little farther south. They sold their house in Granger and bought a very nice home in Hurricane, Utah and have truly loved living there.
When Clye finally decided it was too much work to hookup the trailer and go south, he would always say “Well my old patio is looking better all the time.” In his younger days he liked to camp, fish, and hunt. In the latter years he and Dorene liked to travel. Clye truly was part of The Greatest Generation.
Clye is preceded in death by his parents; in-laws, William Leslie and Olga Christina Warr; sister, Ginger Smith; and daughter-in-law, Elaine Rowley. He is survived by wife, Dorene; children: Jerry Clye (Sandra), Darel Lee, and Lisa (Andrew) Irwin; brothers: Kent (Leola), Farrel, and Boyd; 11 grandchildren; 24 great-grandchildren; and 7 great-great-grandchildren.
- Graveside services will be held Saturday, June 4, 2016, at 10 a.m. at the Hurricane City Cemetery, 255 E. 600 North Hurricane, Utah.
Arrangements have been entrusted to the care of Metcalf Mortuary, 435-673-4221.
For condolences, full obituary, and funeral listings please visit Metcalf Mortuary online.