Official Obituary of

David L. Barclay

December 4, 1944 ~ February 20, 2024 (age 79) 79 Years Old

David Barclay Obituary

Our father, David L. Barclay, age 79, passed away peacefully in SLC, Utah on February 20, 2024, surrounded by loved ones. In David’s own words, he had “A wonderful life, with a wonderful wife, three wonderful children, and eight wonderful grandchildren.”

David L. Barclay was born to Joseph Gardner Barclay and Sarah Margaret (Lyon) Barclay in Blackfoot Idaho, December 4, 1944.  He was the youngest of 3 children and was lovingly referred to as “Davey” by his older sister, Nancy Jane. When David was 11 months old, his father died unexpectedly, leaving Margaret to care for three young children on her own.  She moved them to Salt Lake City, found work at Mountain Bell, bought a small home, never remarried, and worked tirelessly to give them the best life she could.  His mother’s work ethic had a profound impact on David, and he viewed her sacrifice as an expression of her unconditional love.  It was a point of pride that David could continue her legacy by providing financial stability and opportunity for his wife and children.

David attended Highland High School (Class of ’63) where his natural talents were able to shine. His acting prowess and beautiful tenor voice won him multiple awards, including the “Utah State Best Actor” award, which led BYU to offer him a full-ride drama scholarship.  However, being a true Ute at heart, David chose to attend the University of Utah where he majored in accounting and went on to earn a law degree. 

From 1965-1967, David served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in France.  While knocking doors in Rennes, he met Julia Kiriakov, a young Bulgarian refugee who had fled communism with her parents and younger brother. Baptizing each member of the Kiriakov family into the LDS Church was the highlight of Dave’s mission, and he was proud of their subsequent accomplishments.  A Utah Senator introduced federal legislation, which allowed her father to enter the U.S.–despite having been a card-carrying member of the communist party. Julia attended BYU and went on to translate all the LDS Church’s Standard Works into Bulgarian.  She had the historic privilege of announcing the fall of the Berlin Wall to her country via “Voice of America” radio, and her father became the first LDS mission president of Bulgaria.

David married Claire Leslie in the Salt Lake City Temple on February 2, 1968, and they were blessed with three children: Amy Barclay, Ryan (Allison) Barclay, and Adrienne (Derrek) Tyler. He is survived by his wife and children; his sister, Nancy McMurray (John); and his eight grandchildren: Connor Barclay, Parker Barclay, Avery Tyler, Luke Tyler, Mae Tyler, Max Barclay, Miles Barclay, and Isla Barclay.  He was preceded in death by his mother and father, and his brother, Neil Barclay.

David joined the Judge Advocate General’s Corps. in college and was a member of the U.S. Army reserve during the Vietnam War.   After graduating from law school David passed both the Utah and California State bar exams on his first try.  He began his impressive career as an attorney at the law firm of Mackey, McGregor, Benion, and Walsh in Los Angeles, California.  He and his family moved back to Salt Lake City in 1976 where he became general counsel for Prudential Federal Savings and Loan, and eventually joined the law firm Richards, Brandt, Miller & Nelson where he became a partner and spent the remainder of his career. During his time as an attorney, David was appointed Special Utah Attorney General during the thrift financial crisis, and managed litigation for Westinghouse Credit Corporation and others.

David loved and respected his legal colleagues, and his family has fond memories of the law firm’s annual summer parties.  David wasn’t just a great attorney; he was an entertainer! He loved making people laugh, and his impressions of Father Guido Sarducci (SNL), and Rodney Dangerfield, were frequent hits at company parties.  One of his colleagues was so fond of his impressions, he recently requested David to do his Sarducci impression at what happened to be their last gathering.

David loved the arts and spent his quiet time listening to classical music, reading history, and writing.  He was a talented writer and produced many beautiful works including poems, short stories, and even well-researched historical fiction novels. He played the guitar, banjo, and mandolin beautifully after taking minimal lessons as a child; and learned to play the piano completely by ear.  He joined equally talented neighbors Elaine Anderson and Rick Barney to form the folk singing group “Times & Seasons”, where they performed for many special events.  David loved his time with Rick and Elaine, and we know that he and Rick are now together, laughing and singing once again!

As a child, David developed a love for the outdoors that he carried into adulthood.  He enjoyed camping, fishing, hiking, motorcycling, and spending time at his cabin. He joked that if given a second chance at life, he’d choose to become a forest ranger instead of an attorney.

Heaven just got the best banjo playing, outdoorsman, sketch comedy, lawyer-guy it could hope for.


As a family, we wish to express our gratitude to the many friends and neighbors who have surrounded us, as well as the doctors and nurses who cared for our Dad during his final days on earth.

1 Samuel 16:7

“…For the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.”

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March 1, 2024

10:00 AM to 12:00 PM
East Mill Creek 9th Ward
3750 South Hillside Lane
Salt Lake City, UT 84109

Funeral Service
March 1, 2024

12:30 PM
East Mill Creek 9th Ward
3750 South Hillside Lane
Salt Lake City, UT 84109

Video is available for this event


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