Lesley Aileen Hales Clyde died December 24, 2019, after battling metastatic breast cancer. Aileen was born in Springville, Utah, May 18, 1926 to G. Ray and Minnie Lesley Grooms Hales.
Aileen attended grade school in Spanish Fork before moving back to Springville where she attended Junior High School and graduated Springville High School in 1944, where she was the Utah State Champion extemporaneous speaker. Aileen attended BYU, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in English with high honors. Hal Mendenhall Clyde was also a member of the Springville High class of 1944, and after he was honorably discharged from the Navy, they were married in the Salt Lake Temple on September 2, 1947. Aileen and Hal had three sons, Hal Michael, Kevin Edward, and Jon Courtney. After Courtney was born, Aileen was asked to teach freshman English at BYU, and what started as a one semester assignment became a 10-year career.
Aileen always had an abiding interest in legal and social justice issues. She was an early and vocal advocate for the Equal Rights Amendment at a time when that view was deeply unpopular among her peers. In 1986 she was appointed to chair the Utah Task Force on Gender and Justice, which spent four years examining the nature, extent, and consequences of gender bias as it might exist within the Utah court system. Their report, published in March 1990, confirmed systemic gender bias in Utah courts. The report found just over 7 percent of the 90 state court-of-record judges in Utah were female, that women had unequal access to the courts, were unfairly treated in divorce actions, that sexist stereotypes of women and female lawyers permeated Utah's judicial system, and that most of those “who engage in gender-biased conduct have no idea that they are giving offense or making decisions based on anything other than sound, unbiased reasoning.” The report went into a second printing in 1992 and remains one of the court system’s most requested publications. Aileen also chaired the Utah Commission on Juvenile and Criminal Justice and was a founding member of the Utah Women’s Forum.
As a young woman, Aileen served as a Ward Relief Society President, and she always was committed to that organization. In 1990, President Gordon B. Hinkley called her as the second counsellor in the General Relief Society Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints where she served with Elaine Jack and Chieko Okazaki until 1997. She also served on the Young Women’s’ General Board.
Aileen was a member of the Utah State Board of Regents from 1989 to 2001, and she was vice-chair for six of those years. She also served on the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education and as a member of the Board of Trustees of the University of Utah Hospitals and Clinics. Aileen is the past chair of the Coalition for Utah's Future, she was a special advisor to Envision Utah, and a member of the Utah Citizen’s Council. Aileen was also a member of the Board of non-profits that shared her interests, including the Utah Symphony and Opera and the Utah Board of the Nature Conservancy.
The Aileen H. Clyde 20th Century Women’s Legacy Archive was established in her honor at the University of Utah to document and preserve the history of women whose lives and work helped create social and cultural change.
Aileen received numerous awards for her public service. She was awarded the Amicus Curiae (Friend of the Courts) Award by the Utah Judicial Conference for uncommon commitment to the Judiciary's goal of equal justice for all. The American Judicature Society awarded Aileen the Herbert Harley distinction for the promotion of the effective administration of justice. In 2000 she was awarded an honorary doctor of humanities degree from Southern Utah University. In 2018 the Mormon Women for Ethical Government honored Aileen as the year’s “Woman of Valor” for her contributions to the community and social justice efforts.
Aileen was preceded in death by her loving husband Hal, nearly 7 years ago on January 24, 2013.
Aileen is survived by her three sons, twelve grandchildren and sixteen great-grandchildren:
Hal Michael Clyde and Sharona Wolff, Menlo Park, California. Emily Ellen Clyde Curtis and Nathaniel Curtis and their children, Asher, Luke and Emmeline, Phoenix, Arizona. Sarah Lesley Clyde, Phoenix, Arizona. Rachel June Clyde Jones and Corey Jones and their children, Evan, Cora and Jasper, Flagstaff Arizona. David Michael Clyde and Jessica Bosen Clyde and their children, Ben, Andy, Natalie, and Will, Las Vegas, Nevada. Thomas Peterson Clyde and Lizzy Muldowney Clyde, Collingswood, New Jersey. Sylvie Alessandra Rachel Chandra, Chicago, Illinois.
Kevin Edward Clyde and Rhonda Gotway Clyde, Moab, Utah, Patrick Ben Clyde and Meghann Madden Clyde and their children Simon, Amelia, and Desmond, Burtonsville, Maryland. Matisse Aileen Clyde Madden and Jared Madden, and their children Rockwell and Aurelius, Windsor, Connecticut. Kevin Chase Clyde, Salt Lake City, Utah. Daniel Scott Clyde and Grace Nielson Clyde, and their son, Paul, Salt Lake City, Utah.
Jon Courtney Clyde and Kathryn Ann Nielson Clyde, Spokane, Washington, and their daughters Hannah Rebecca Clyde, Salt Lake City, Utah, and Elissa Mackenzie Clyde, Salt Lake City, Utah.
Aileen is also survived by her brother George. She also has two brothers, Delbert and Howard, who are deceased.
There will be a viewing at the Wheeler Mortuary, 211 East 200 South, Springville, on Friday evening, January 3, 2019 from 6-8 p.m. and funeral services will be at the Springville Stake Center, 245 South 600 East, Saturday, January 4, 2019 at 11 a.m., with a viewing at 10 a.m. In lieu of flowers, you may make a donation to the Aileen H. Clyde 20th Century Women’s Legacy Archive at the University of Utah. Contact Dr. Todd Samuelson, (801) 581-3813 or firstname.lastname@example.org. To leave condolences, please visit www.wheelermortuaries.com
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