Chad John Flake, 1929-2003

Biography
Chad J. Flake, 73, died Wednesday, June 18, 2003, from leukemia. He was born December 28, 1929, in Snowflake, Arizona, a town founded by his grandfather William J. Flake. Chad was the son of John Taylor Flake and Carrie Lindsey Flake. His mother died when Chad was 9. Later his father married Annise Jackson Flake, and Chad developed a deep love and respect for his caring step-mother.

Following his graduation from Snowflake High School, Chad attended Northern Arizona University and Brigham Young University. He received a Master of Arts degree from Denver University.

Chad joined the faculty at BYU, where he served as General Reference Librarian, Documents Librarian, and was eventually appointed Curator of Special Collections. Under his direction, the Lee Library developed the finest collection of rare books in the Intermountain West and the second finest Mormon collection in existence. He was instrumental in acquiring and preserving rare manuscripts for BYU. One of Chad’s greatest contributions to BYU and to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was a monumental work Mormon Bibliography, 1830-1930, for which he received the John Whitmer Association Award for the best Mormon book of the year and the Mormon History Association’s award for best book of the year. College and Research Libraries recognized this bibliography as one of the two significant religious reference works of 1978. This work and its supplements remain an essential resource for researchers today.

Chad was a popular teacher and lecturer. He touched the lives of thousands of students, always demonstrating his love for books.

Chad created the Aldine Classification Schedule which expanded greatly the Annales de L’imprimerie des Aldine…by Antonio Auguste Renouard. He served as a member of the Library of Congress Classification Committee; and as a member of the Library Preservation Committee, he wrote a disaster preparedness plan that received wide recognition at the Cambridge 1980 International Conference on the Conservation of Library and Archival Materials and the Graphic Arts.

An active member of both the American and Utah Library Associations, Chad also served as president of the Western History Association.

A member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Chad served as a missionary in the British Mission, and he held many ward and stake positions; counselor in a bishopric; High Councilman, stake Sunday School superintendent, and many teaching positions.

Chad is survived by brothers Burton F. Flake and William L. Flake and sister Melba F. Pierce. He was preceded in death by his parents and step-mother and his sisters Kathleen F. Couger and Zona F. Hatch.

His friends will sincerely miss his unique presence in their lives. They wish to thank the nursing staff on the seventh floor of the Utah Valley Regional Medical Center for the loving care they provided during the month that Chad was hospitalized. Internment will be in Snowflake Cemetery.

Last Modified: July 28, 2015

Follow Us on Social Media

Special Collections Events

Special Collections RSS

Catalog Search

Search the HBLL catalog:

Advanced Search

Manuscript Search

Search finding aids for selected manuscript collections.

Digital Collections Search

Search for digitized content from our collections.