Cover photo for Clair Johnson "CJ" McKell's Obituary
1932 CJ 2022

Clair Johnson "CJ" McKell

March 31, 1932 — November 18, 2022



Clair Johnson McKell “CJ” passed away on Friday November 18th peacefully at home surrounded by loved ones.  He was born on March 31,1932, in Spanish Fork, UT, the 3rd sibling of 4. His mother was Thelma Johnson of Icelandic descent, and his father was Merrill Goodson McKell of Scottish descent. His given name is Clair Johnson McKell which was not particularly bothersome, until he received a free sample of Tampax in the mail, it was at that point he told his mother that he needed to change his name and from then on, he went by “CJ”. 


In his own words “The 1930’-1940’s in our country created many problems for families and mine was no different. We were issued ration cards for almost everything. Food, products, gas, and many other items were rationed but of necessity. My parents did their very best to provide for our family.”


He attended the local schools in Spanish Fork, UT and graduated from Spanish Fork High in the spring of 1950. Following graduation, he attended BYU for 2 years prior to enlisting in the US Army. He completed basic training at Fort Hood in CA, then was transferred to a permanent assignment at the 7th Army in Stuttgart, Germany. He was assigned as a clerk typist in the artillery section. For the most part he felt like this was a good assignment, for he was able to travel and enjoy various parts of Europe. During his time in Germany, he had the opportunity to attend the dedication of the temple in Bern, Switzerland. 


Following his discharge from the military he returned to BYU where he received his bachelors in financing and banking and a minor in accounting in September of 1958.


Also in September of 1958, he began his career in the banking business working for First Security Bank where he was able to work his full career of 36 years, retiring in September of 1994. As stated by CJ, “The pay was poor, but the job was great.”


He met Kathleen Hadley in December of 1961, they dated a few months, and he asked her to marry him, she said “yes” but could not marry him until softball season was over. They were married on August 9th, 1962. Their marriage was solemnized in the Salt Lake City temple on December 16th, 1962. 


CJ was a dedicated member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints where he served with various callings, but his favorite calling was that of the Ward Clerk for the Butler 12th Ward, where he served for multiple bishoprics over 25 plus years. 


Those who knew CJ knew he didn’t talk much, but the little he said was wise or funny. He is known for famous one lines such as “YEP”, “You’re living in a dream world”, “The time is going to pass anyways, might as well do something with it.”, and “My hell Kathleen!” 


CJ was preceded in death by his parents, Thelma and Merrill G. McKell; sister, Merlene (Chuck) Fullmer; and brother-in-law, William Scheidecker; and his beloved dogs, Noel and Ginger. 


He is survived by his wife, Kathleen; his daughter, Karie (Paul) Gallegos of Columbus, OH; son, Steve (Autumn) McKell of Syracuse, UT; sister, Blanche Scheidecker of Redwood City, CA; brother, Merrill J. (Becky) McKell of Spanish Fork, UT; 6 grandchildren Jamie (Curtis) Reed, Tabitha Gallegos, Kory (Steve) Hamilton, Baylee (Abel) Portillo, Ashlee (Kolby) Johnson, and Zackery McKell; 9 great-grandchildren, Karmela, Janay, Xavier, Max, Whitney, Breann, Pyper, Ashton, and Kaysen.  


We would like to thank Jodi Gill with Symbii Hospice for her kind and loving care for CJ over the past few months.  


Services will be held as follows:

-Viewing Tuesday, November 22, 2022, 6:00 to 8:00 PM at Lindquist’s Syracuse Mortuary 869 South 2000 West, Syracuse, UT 84075

-Graveside service Wednesday, November 23, 2022, at 1:00 PM at the Plain City Cemetery located at 4373 West 1975 North, Plain City, UT 84404.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Clair Johnson "CJ" McKell, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Tuesday, November 22, 2022

6:00 - 8:00 pm (Mountain time)

Lindquist's Syracuse Mortuary

869 S 2000 W, Syracuse, UT 84075

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Graveside Service

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Starts at 1:00 pm (Mountain time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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