Don Clayton "Clay" McConkie
Teacher, Scholar, Author

Clay McConkie, BYH '47
D. Clayton McConkie, BYH Class of 1947

Brigham Young High School
Class of 1947

Don Clayton McConkie was a member of the Brigham Young High School Class of 1947. He was known by his middle name "Clayton" or "Clay" because his father has a very similar name. His father, Don L. McConkie, was a teacher and principal at the school.

At BYU, Clayton McConkie worked as a reporter on the BYU Universe student newspaper. In October 1948 he was credited by sports editor John Mooney with helping Coach Eddie Kimball keep his coaching job at BYU, based on interviews Clay had with most of the BYU football players.

Clay's parents, Don Leo McConkie and Grace Pickup McConkie, lived in Provo. Clay received a BA degree from Brigham Young University, and an MS and PhD from the University of Utah.

Clay married Julie Grace McDonald Wilson. Clay was a teacher, scholar and author. He taught in Salt Lake City schools for thirty years.

Dr. McConkie and his wife Grace served together on four LDS missions. They are the parents of four children.

Clay McConkie in 1950
Clay McConkie in 1950

Books Written by Dr. Clay McConkie:

  • The Drama and Majesty of the Second Coming [Nook] (2010)

  • 600 BC: The Departure of Lehi [Nook] (2007)

  • A Man Named Peleg (2007)

  • Fields of Sunshine [Nook] (2007)

  • In His Father's Image (2004)

  • In Ephraim's Footsteps (2003)

  • The Ten Lost Tribes (2002)

  • One Flesh (2001)

  • The Final Countdown (1998)

  • The Gathering of the Waters (1997)

    Dr. Clay McConkie has authored and published 10 books, described at

  • Don Clayton McConkie, BYH Class of 1947
    Dr. Clay McConkie & his wife, Julie Grace

    In Memoriam
    Clay was born in Maeser, Utah, to Don Leo McConkie and Grace Pickup McConkie on May 27, 1929. In his early years, he developed a love of the desert, camping, and hiking ó a love that would stay with him his whole life.

    In 1942 he moved to Provo with his parents and younger sister, Colleen, and graduated from Brigham Young High School in the Class of 1947. He attended BYU where he was a reporter for the BYU Daily Universe.

    After serving in the Northeastern States Mission, Clay met, fell in love with, and married Julie Grace Wilson on December 18, 1953, in the Salt Lake Temple.

    Soon after, he was drafted into the US Army, serving for two years with the 97th Field Artillery Battalion in Germany, which gave him and Julie Grace the opportunity to travel across Europe.

    He returned to complete his bachelorís degree at BYU, and masterís and doctorate degrees in education at the University of Utah.

    Clay taught for 31 years at Jackson Junior High and Clayton Middle School, where he taught English, Yearbook, and Journalism.

    Clay and Julie Grace were blessed with four children (two daughters and two sons). He valued time spent with his family, and chose not to pick up a summer job so he could spend more time with them, taking them across the country to national parks, Disneyland, Church historical sites and Washington DC.

    Clay was known most as a teacher, scholar, author of eleven books, poet, skillful genealogist, and fly fisherman.

    Clay was a devoted member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He and his wife, Julie Grace, served together on four LDS missions to the Manitoba Winnipeg Mission, Swiss Temple twice, and Washington DC Temple. His faith and testimony of Jesus Christ and His gospel were unwavering.

    Surrounded by family and loved ones, Don Clayton McConkie, 87, passed away on February 17, 2017. He will be remembered for his quiet and gentle manner.

    Clayton is preceded in death by his parents, and will be greatly missed by his loving wife, Julie Grace; children, Burke (Elaine) McConkie, Caryl McConkie, Kristina Hanks and John (Liz) McConkie; sister, Colleen McConkie Beesley; twelve grandchildren and spouses; and four great-grandchildren.

    A family reception was held on Friday, February 24, 2017 at the Pleasant View 9th Ward Chapel, 2445 Timpview Dr, in Provo, Utah. A memorial service followed. Interment, Provo Cemetery.

    Brigham Young - Biographies
    BYH Biographies