Earl Hacking Calder

July 19, 1916 — March 5, 2015

Earl Hacking Calder

On March 5, 2015 a quiet hero slipped away to join his sweetheart. Born of goodly parents, Wallace and May Hacking Calder, on July 19, 1916 in Vernal; Earl Hacking Calder's life spanned the years - through world wars, horses and buggies, depressions, drones, and smart phones. His was a heritage of pioneers, hard work, and commitment; and a legacy of family, honesty, and integrity. As a young boy, Earl herded sheep and cattle from Willow Creek, Diamond Mountain, Brown's Park and Ashley Gorge to Hacking Lake and Lake Shore Basin. At fifteen he was the first Eagle Scout in the Basin. At seventeen he placed first in the state cross country run. By his early twenties he held the world record for spinning the most individual ropes at the same time. In 1941, after several years at BYU, Earl married his dancing partner, Afton Goodrich, in the Salt Lake Temple. Shortly afterward, during the Second World War, he served in the US Army. Earl had the highest respect for those who served our country. Earl had a great love of, and interest in, the Old West; occasionally recalling past encounters with outlaws and lawmen. He loved the mountains, animals, dancing, deer hunting, rodeos, playing the harmonica, fire-fighting, family get-togethers and fixing and building things. Although quiet by nature, he found delight in his "Scottish" heritage when it came to bargaining or making a deal. An expert welder and mechanic, with an uncanny ability to design and build things from memory, Earl designed and built more than one horse trailer from plans only in his head; he also designed and built the first mechanical barriers used by the PRCA in the western states. He was an amazing multi-talented man, he could break a horse, rope and brand a calf, repair an engine, weld a trailer, build a house, sew up a chair cushion, reupholster a car seat, sing at a funeral, dance a jig, spin a rope, tell a back-when story, read his scriptures or bring a tear to your eye as he prayed. Quiet, reserved and hard-working (to a fault), with a gruff stern outer-shell that hid a kind, gentle, quick-witted spirit; he could be found in the background - always helping. He was the "go to man", if you were stuck-he could get you out, if you needed something repaired-he could repair it, if you needed something built-he could build it, if you needed to learn a lesson-he could teach it, if you needed a shirt-he would give you his, if you needed to be rescued-he would be there. Earl loved the temple, and after retiring, he and Afton traveled to the Provo temple every week for seven years where they served as ordinance workers. Then later they accepted a weekly sealing assignment in the Vernal Temple. Earl also loved to sing and was gifted with a beautiful voice. He sang to his sweetheart, his family, and at many, many funerals through the years. And, with a twinkle in his eye, said that maybe he'd even sing at his own funeral. As patriarch of his family: Cody and Anita Calder, Craig and Kathy Calder, Wayne and Ina Calder, Earleen and Rian Peltier, along with forty-five grand and great-grandchildren, he quietly led the way he wanted and expected his family to go. Sweet remembrances of "Grandpa's candy box" will linger in family memories for years. He is survived by one brother, Paul Hacking Calder and his wife Geri. Earl loves his family, he loves his sweetheart, he loves the temple - he is our quiet champion whose memory will live on as those he loves emulate the qualities that made him great. Hero is not just a noun, hero is a verb. "When your time comes to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with fear of death, so that when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way. Sing your death song, and die like a hero going home." Tecumseh Services are under the direction of Blackburn Vernal Mortuary. www.blackburnvernalmortuary.com
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