With heavy hearts, we say farewell to Darla Dean Merrill Clark, a powerful, fearless woman who embodied hard work, dedication, and charity in all areas of her life. Born on January 21, 1946, in Clarksburg, West Virginia to Glacus G and Marie B Merrill, she was proud to share the same birthday with Stonewall Jackson - also a Clarksburg native. After battling several health complications, Darla passed away at Maple Springs in North Logan, Utah. Though we mourn her passing, we celebrate the legacy of a remarkable woman who left an unforgettable mark on those who knew her.
Darla grew up on a city farm that housed many animals, including sheep, Aberdeen Angus, horses, pigs, chickens, and bees. Her upbringing instilled a fierce work ethic, loyalty, and perseverance - traits Darla carried throughout her life. In 4-H contests, she showed her Suffolk sheep all over the state, winning the Grand Champion title an impressive six years in a row at the West Virginia State Fair. Her favorite horse Dotie also won numerous awards at various county fairs.
Darla attended Washington Irving High School, where she graduated in 1963. She was a student-athlete in softball and basketball and was a force to be reckoned with in both sports. Her brother Greg can attest Darla had a great arm, as her fast pitch would hit hard - stinging through a baseball glove. She was also a talented bowler, winning the Women's Junior Championship three times. Darla always had a competitive spirit, putting her heart and soul into everything she did.
In addition, Darla enjoyed playing the trumpet in her high school band and later while attending Utah State University--a 1,900-mile drive she made from her hometown. She graduated from USU in 1967, earning a Bachelor of Science in Physical Education and Communications with a teaching certificate.
In 1968, Darla made history by becoming Utah's first full-time female disc jockey. Known on the airwaves as "Darla Dee," she took rock & roll requests every night on KBLW-AM and later KBLQ-FM. Darla Dee spent the next 12 years as a trailblazer on the radio and was well-known throughout Cache Valley.
In 1974, Darla married Dennis Clark in the Logan, Utah temple. A year later, they started a local gun and sporting goods store called Traders Den. Their store was one of the top sporting goods stores in the state for 25 years. They also owned and operated Clarksburg, Stoneleigh, and Breslaw student housing apartments near Utah State University.
Never content with anything ordinary, Darla made history again in 1993 as the first female Mayor of Logan City, claiming victory in a tight race against eight male candidates. "It was a very interesting and challenging job," she noted. Despite initially grappling with constraints and, at times struggling even to make payroll for city employees, Darla left the position four years later, having added $26 million dollars to the city's reserve. She approached being Mayor with gusto, relishing the risks and rewards associated with the job. "I have been privileged to have so many wonderful experiences and opportunities in my life," said Darla. "I love challenges and to see projects get completed."
Darla's commitment to service, charity, and community involvement was unparalleled. She was always eager to lend a helping hand to anyone in need. Darla was actively involved with the Logan Rotary Club, earning the prestigious "Service Above Self" award in 2022. She also served on numerous boards and volunteer organizations throughout her life and career, including ten years as the chairwoman for the Cache Humane Society; the Governor-appointed Utah Peace Officer Standards and Training Board; the Federal Emergency Management School, Utah Nurses Foundation President; Board of Directors of Utah Gun Collectors; President of Logan Business and Professional Women's Club; Recreation Board; Logan-Cache airport authority; Board of Utah Association Municipal Power Systems; Chair of Cache County Civil Services and Merit Commission; Graduate of both Logan City and Cache County Police Academy; the Utah Festival Opera Board; and the Logan Regional Hospital volunteer board. She was also a graduate of the Radio Engineering School in Florida. Darla personified a commitment to excellence underscored by a true spirit of service and constant efforts to give back to her community.
Darla's inspiring legacy lives on through her family. She is survived by her brother Gregory (Joan) Merrill and her four nieces and nephews - Stefanie (Matt) Hansen, Stanton (Michelle) Merrill, Chad (Chelsea) Merrill, and Jessica Merrill - whom she treated like her own children. She was also an active influence in the lives of her ten grandnieces and nephews. She was an avid pet owner and adored her miniature teacup poodle and Yorkshire Terriers.
Darla was a brilliant example of determination, passion, and the happy pursuit of one's dreams. We honor her life, her fiery passion for greatness, and all her groundbreaking accomplishments. Her positive impact on those she loved will be forever cherished.
Funeral services will be held at 12pm on Monday, April 24 at the Allen Mortuary located at 34 E. Center St. in Logan, Utah. Viewings will be held from 6 to 8pm on Sunday, April 23 and from 10:30 to 11:45am on Monday prior to the funeral services. Graveside Ceremony will be at the Logan City Cemetery.
Condolences and messages may be sent to the family online at