Leland Clinger

Leland Gordon Clinger, loving husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather, passed away Saturday, Feb. 20, 2021 in American Falls, ID, after celebrating his 94th birthday on Friday.

Leland was born in Idaho Falls, ID, on Feb. 19, 1927 to Leland D. and Pearle (Johnston) Clinger, joining sisters, LaVern and Eva. Mickey and Theyls came after Leland. His father passed away when Leland was three years old, and a sister Jackie joined the family eight months later. Pearle married Frank E. Slaugh and their family grew with Frank’s children Gene, Orville and Nelda. Frank and Pearle then added Phil, Laurel, Lynn, Danny and Laird over the next few years to make a wonderful large blended family. Growing up in Aberdeen, hard work, compassion and education were the rule in their home. Leland was a great athlete, enjoying school sports, especially football and basketball. He loved riding horses and motorcycles.

Leland joined the Navy while still in high school, serving on the US Santa Fe and in Guam. A few years after being discharged he saw a cute young girl (Ila Beck) crossing the street in Aberdeen and his friend said that was marrying stuff – Leland agreed!

He and Ila were married March 26, 1952 in the Idaho Falls LDS Temple. Into this union were born six children; Lorraine, Douglas, Dallas, Jared, Jerome and Jason. They made their home in Aberdeen until they bought the Fairview School house and remodeled that into their family home. They lived there until 1973 when they bought the farm east of American Falls where they currently live.

Leland worked for U&I Sugar Company as a fieldman and farmed on the side until he decided to farm full time. Clinger’s Inc. was a passion for Leland, and he farmed sugar beets, wheat, cattle and potatoes. He purchased a semi-truck in the late 1980’s and loved long-haul trucking. He traveled the country making many friends and teaching the gospel.

Leland was one of the founding members of Double L Inc. and helped develop and test the new potato equipment. He spent many years volunteering for VOCA, traveling abroad to teach farm practices in many countries including Russia, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Egypt and Latvia.

Leland was a great friend and people were always drawn, to him; he was kind and good to all he met. He loved serving in the church and was Bishop of the American Falls 2nd Ward. He held many leadership positions in the church in his life, but bearing his testimony and sharing The Book of Mormon was a passion for him. He and Ila loved traveling, visiting over 38 countries and most of the United States. Leland and Ila served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Ghana Cape Coast Mission serving in Cotonou, Benin.

He was a great husband, father and grandpa, a great example of hard work, fun times and adventures. He gave thoughtful advice; he knew when to set aside the important things to accomplish the vital ones. He made us all feel as if we were his favorite. After he retired, he spent many hours making Adirondack chairs, writing an extensive life history and composing poetry. Good looking cowboy boots were his trade mark and he loved to play the harmonica.

He and Ila spent their winters in Casa Grande, AZ, where they made great friends and enjoyed the warm winters.

Leland is survived by: his beloved wife Ila; his five living children – Lorraine (Dan) McHargue, Douglas (Jolene), Dallas (Brenda), Jared (Michelle), Jerome (Tina); 20 grandchildren and 45 great-grandchildren;, sister Lynn (Joe) Moyle; brothers Phil (Doreen) Slaugh, Dan Slaugh; brothers-in-law, Donald Handy and Myrl Davidson; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Leland was preceded in death by: his son Jason; granddaughter, Leslie Higbee; his parents, step-father, brothers and sisters, and Ila’s parents, Bruce and Edna Beck.

The family would like to thank Edgewood Spring Creek and Power County Skilled Nursing Facility for their kindness and tender care of Leland in his last days.

Services were held in American Falls on Saturday, Feb. 27, at 11 a.m. at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 111 Church Place, American Falls, with viewings Friday, 6 to 8 p.m. and Saturday, 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. (same location). Burial followed at the Falls View Cemetery in American Falls.

Condolences may be made at www.colonial-funeralhome.com 208-233-1500.

Thanks for reading!

Read more in this week's print edition.Subscribe Today!