Ruth Clark Hafen Rose Garden

 

Ruth Clark Hafen was born January 6, 1909, in Panguitch, Utah and was later educated at Brigham Young University. On August 17, 1932 Ruth married Orval Hafen. After his death in 1964 she taught French at Dixie College for twenty years. In 1985 she moved to Orem, where she lived until her death in 1995. She cherished her participation in speech, theatre, music, literature, French, and the community of St. George.

Like the beauty of this rose garden, which she planted and tended year after year, Ruth lived an abundant, inspirational, and productive life. She was a stimulating teacher of literary and cultural arts, having helped to found the Alice Louise Reynolds Club and the Dixie Reviewers Club in St. George. Her outlook and manner reflected a gracious eloquence that blended naturally with her deeply rooted love for God, her family, her students, her friends and this exquisite rose garden.

 

THE ORVAL HAFEN FAMILY

Orval & Ruth - C Ruth C. Hafen Orval Hafen - 1920 Orval Hafen - 1960 Hafen House - 1 Rose Garden Hafen - Image 4 Hafen Home Plaque Orval Hafen - 1940

Orval Hafen (1903-1964) was born in Santa Clara, Utah. After graduating from Dixie College and Brigham Young University, he earned a law degree at the University of California at Berkeley in 1929. He married Ruth Clark of Provo, Utah, in 1932, and they moved to St. George for a temporary stay that became permanent.

He then practiced law, served in the Utah State Senate for 12 years, and was involved in many local civic and business projects. He was president of the Utah Bar Association in 1943 and president of the Utah State Senate in 1959. From his earliest adult years, Orval felt a deep faith in the ultimate destiny of the Dixie area, a destiny he tried to help realize through a lifetime of public service. Orval served in the LDS stake presidency and President of the St. George Chamber of Commerce in 1933, when the LDS Church announced it could no longer pay the operating costs for Dixie College. He and other local leaders struggled to keep the college open for two years until the state of Utah took control.

Some 25 years later, when the Utah governor at the time felt the state could no longer maintain the school, Orval co-sponsored legislation urging the state to continue Dixie’s ownership. After a public referendum, that state agreed to continue its support of the college. Orval then helped sponsor legislation that created a unified system for Utah higher education, which strengthened the status of Dixie College. Then he worked with his close friend, Dixie College President Arthur F. Bruhn, to secure state funding to create a new Dixie campus. Orval Hafen had many interests, but found service to others his most satisfying experience. He and Ruth are the parents of three sons and two daughters.

Ruth Clark Hafen (1909-1985) was born January 6, 1909, in Panguitch, Utah, the first of six daughters, to Joseph C. and Claire Clark. Her family later moved to Provo. She was a graduate of BY High and BYU, where she loved her involvement with speech, drama, music, French, and the Val Norn social unit. She then taught school at Juab High in Nephi, UT. On August 17, 1932, Ruth married Orval Hafen of St. George, where they lived until his death in 1964. She taught French at Dixie College for the next twenty years, then moved to Orem where she lived from 1985 until the time of her death. Ruth was a devoted member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, serving, among other callings, as ward, stake, and regional MIA drama director. She was also a lifelong student and teacher of literary and cultural arts, having helped to establish the Alice Louise Reynolds Club and the Dixie Reviewers Club in St. George. The Heritage Arts Foundation recently memorialized the dedication she and her husband gave to the arts, the Church, and the St. George community by naming a theatre at Tuachan for Orval and Ruth Clark Hafen.

Ruth lived an abundant, productive life. She and Orval enjoyed a lifelong romance with each other that may now be resumed after a separation that seemed much too long and sometimes lonely for her. She loved good books and beautiful flowers. She was curious, thoughtful, and full of spiritual, intellectual, and aesthetic character. Her outlook and manner reflected a gracious eloquence that blended naturally with her deeply rooted love for God, His creations, her family members, and her many cherished friends.

GARDEN PLAQUES

Claudine Cooper
Dr. Craig & Maureen Booth
Dan Watson
Dana & Angie Pratt Family
Danny Gull
Darrel & Carolyn B. Gubler
Delmont & Karol Truman
Dixie College Program Bureau 1967-1990
Ernie & Cindy Doose
George & Becky Barker
Jeanne C. Fredrickson
Jon Michael Hafen
Joseph “Jan” Clark Hafen
Karl F. & Carla Hoyt Brooks
Ken & Dona Hafen Pulham
Dr. Lee C. & Cleo R. Atkin
Leon M. & Barbara W. Watson Family
Lloyd & Toni Meeker
Lowell W. & Marie Pearson
Margaret Hafen Archibald
Matt & Mace Jacobson
Mont Alan Willis & Brian M. Johnson
Rick & Bette Ariel
Dr. Robert T. & Nettie Mearie Benson
Rodney C. “Hot Rod” Hundley
Roene B. DiFiore “My Children”
Dr. Roy & Janice Nisson
Sheryn Daugherty

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