11/08/1947 – June 10, 2018
Elden Douglas Chard, 70, passed away on Sunday, June 10, in the presence of his loved ones living and those who preceded him in death. He died from complications following a heart attack. Though he endured many physical challenges these past six years, Doug was purified by his pain, and he extended his life by enlarging his heart. He lived to see his five grandsons grow from infants he could hold to children who could sing him to sleep. He lived to counsel his own children in their confrontation with the world that he and Susy prepared them to receive. And he lived for Susy, his wife of forty years.
Doug was born in Ogden, Utah, to Elden and Lois Chard. He was raised in Peterson, Utah, and grew up in a household of healers. He loved his father and learned how to work the farm and field at his side. He adored his mother. Although he was the middle child of five, Doug held his siblings together. He protected them all his life. He loved his nieces and nephews as his own, and the log house he later built beside the house where he was raised became for many their second home. Following the example of his beloved grandma, Aggie, Doug and Susy not only made their home a refuge for travelers linked by blood and name but also friends and strangers, migrants and visitors, salespeople of every kind and ware who were lucky enough to knock on that door.
After high school, Doug played football at Weber State College and earned a bachelor’s degree in botany. He later earned a master’s degree in macroeconomics, joined the Navy and traveled the world, made a life outside his Morgan Valley. Then, in his late twenties, after hearing one talk at a gathering of Latter-day Saints, Doug sold and left everything he owned to serve a mission in Argentina as a minister of the Savior Jesus Christ. That sacrifice altered the course of his life; it solidified his commitment to the gospel of Jesus Christ, to the church that he believed embodied it, to the kind of life that manifests a love for God by loving one’s neighbor. Above all else, that choice gave him a second country, one he loved with great passion. And it introduced him to his greatest friend and companion, Susana Muñoz Cabrera, who took the one-way ticket he offered her, who left her country and everyone she knew for their love.
At his best, Doug Chard was the best of men. His presence was full of extraordinary power, and anyone who stood near him not only sought comfort in that strength but also felt powerful themselves. He understood the wisdom of making peace, but he could also terrify fools and cowards with his resolve when necessary. Once when a neighbor boy rushed to our door followed by several teenage tormentors, Dad stepped out into the front yard and each boy froze–some are still frozen there! Over the years, many others sought Dad’s help, especially his children. More than once he stood in that same yard waiting to greet and hold us even if what followed and tormented us could not be seen. We called Dad to save us and he would.
He is survived by his wife, Susy; his children, Gabriel and his wife Marcela, Mia, Mario and his wife Wendy, and Marcos; his grandchildren, Samuel, Mason, Ethan, Jacob, and Xander; his siblings, Maria, Margie, and Jim; and his many beloved nieces and nephews. He is survived by many more who loved him.
When you read this, we hope that you can hear his voice singing El alba ya rompe to wake you in the morning, or his deep Good morning emerging from darkness when you arrive two hours past curfew, or the choice words he saved for those moments he spent looking for a wall stud, or arranging a wedding gazebo, or changing the oil in Goldilocks. That you can see him standing in his apron near the parilla, or someplace in a garden or field or school or office arriving early and working late, or waving from his porch, or feeding his birds, or see him that moment when he was young and whole and living, listening to “Sweet Baby James” from the top bunk in some small corner of a ship on the Pacific when he was missing his home the desperate way that we miss him now.
A viewing will be held on Friday, June 15 from 6:00-8:30 PM at the Morgan Utah West Stake Center at 2755 West Old Highway Road in Morgan. Funeral services will be held the next morning on Saturday, June 16 at 11:00 AM at the same location. Graveside services will follow at the Peterson Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, and should friends desire, contributions may be sent to the Elden Douglas Chard Memorial Fund at America First Credit Union to assist with medical and funeral expenses.
Condolences may be sent to the family at www.myers-mortuary.com