Joseph Grant Chamberlain passed away on August 28, 2012 in Berkeley, California. He was born September 24, 1930 in Salt Lake City, the eighth of nine children of Joseph and Lorene Heaton Chamberlain.
Raised in Salt Lake City, Grant graduated from West High School. Starting at age 12, he worked at his father’s barbershop on South Temple in SLC as the shoeshine boy. While there he became acquainted with many of the Apostles and Prophets of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. His business soon grew to have one employee and was making substantial profits. This enabled him to pursue his dream of taking flying lessons. At age fifteen he cycled to and from the SLC airport to take lessons. He earned his student pilot license at 16, before he got his drivers license. A year later he earned his private pilot license.
From 1949 to 1951, Grant served a mission for the LDS Church in the New England States Mission. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Banking and Finance from the University of Utah in 1954. Grant participated in the Air Force ROTC during both high school and college. Following his college years, he served two years of active duty in New Mexico and Southern Nevada, advancing to the rank of captain. He was the financial controller of Indian Springs Air Force Base.
Upon separating from the Air Force, Grant moved to the San Francisco Bay Area where he took a job with the John F. Forbes Accounting Firm. On August 26, 1957 Grant was married to Marilyn Wittwer in the Salt Lake LDS Temple by David O. McKay, a personal friend from his shoeshine days. Grant and Marilyn have been married 55 years.
After 7 years with Forbes during which he completed his M.B.A., Grant took an accounting position with Berkeley Asphalt and Ready Mix, Berkeley, California. Later becoming the Treasurer and Vice President, he retired after forty years with the firm.
Grant felt it was a privilege and blessing to serve his Savior Jesus Christ. Among other positions, he served in the LDS Church as the Bishop of the Berkeley Ward from 1976 to 1984, in the High Council of the Oakland, California Stake, and as the District President of the Oakland International District from 1991 to 1996. He was loved and supported by all he worked with.
Grant had a gift and passion for music. He was a member of the quartet that placed 1st in the All- Church quartet of the year (1952). Throughout his life he enjoyed singing in choirs, directing music, and supporting his family in a variety of musical activities. He was often heard whistling or singing at home as well as stopping to lead choirs that came on the radio or TV. This trait, along with his sense of humor would elicit a smile, calm a trouble, and bring happiness in his home.
Undoubtedly, Grant’s greatest legacy was his devotion to his wife and children. His example, kind words, and actions influenced all. Providing opportunities and experiences for the development and enjoyment of his family brought him great joy. His constant example of selflessness are proof of his testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and one of his favorite principles: “To act and not by acted upon.”
His oldest son, David preceded Grant in death. He is survived by Marilyn, his wife, and four children: Alyce (Mike) Todd of Mesa, AZ; Marilee (Howard) Olson of Lindon, UT; Cathy (Randy) Cribbs of Taylorsville, UT; and Brian (Janet) Chamberlain of Las Vegas, NV; Patti Chamberlain (Dave’s wife); 21 grandchildren, and siblings Josephine Foulger and David Chamberlain.
Funeral services honoring him will be held on September 8, 2012, at the Berkeley Ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Corner of Walnut and Vine, Berkeley, CA at 11am with visiting from 10-10:50am. The graveside service will be held on September 15 at Wasatch Lawn Cemetery, Salt Lake City, UT. All invited.
Donations may be made to Juvenile Diabetes Assoc. or Oakland Family History Center, 4766 Lincoln Ave. Oakland, CA 94602