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Obituary: John Alan Carver, M.D

Obituary: John Alan Carver, M.D

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Obituary: John Alan Carver, M.D

December 26, 1947—July 24, 2020

John Alan Carver, M.D. peacefully completed his life’s mission on July 24, 2020 due to causes incident to age.

His life began in Filer, Idaho on December 26, 1947 as the fourth and last child of Max Wendell Carver and Hazel Janetta James. They nurtured their two sons and two daughters with childhood homes in Texas, California, and Idaho. As a young boy, Dad spent many hours fishing, hunting and snow skiing with his father, developing a lifelong love of the Sawtooth National Forest, in particular, Redfish Lake. Following a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ in Dusseldorf, Germany, he graduated magna cum laude, Phi Kappa Phi and University Scholar from Brigham Young University in 1972. He graduated from the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine in 1976 with honors. He completed his two-year academic Ophthalmology residency at the University of Washington including service as chief resident.

He met Kathryn Hoopes at a church Family Home Evening group at BYU. They were married in the Salt Lake City Temple on June 28, 1973. The births of Rachael Claire and John Spencer followed. In 1980, Kathryn was diagnosed with leiomyosarcoma and passed away on October 15, 1983. Dad fell in love with Joan Marie Miller, along with her 9-year-old son, David Miller Adams, in the summer of 1987. They were married in the Utah Manti Temple on February 14, 1989.

He joined The Eye Clinic of Provo, along with Drs. Merrill C. Oaks, Delbert G. Ririe and Herman K. Hatch. After 12 years, he left to complete formal Surgical and Medical Retina fellowships in 1993 at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville and in 1994 at the University of London, Moorfields Eye Hospital with Professor Alan C. Bird.

He started his own full-service Retina practice, Retina and Vitreous Surgeons of Utah, in 1994 in Utah Valley with weekly outreach clinics in Vernal, Roosevelt, Ephraim, Richfield and Price, Utah. He was a former Department Chair at Utah Valley Regional Medical Center (UVRMC), Research Attending for the national Cryo-ROP study, Morcher IOLrido Prosthesis Study and co-author for American Academy of Ophthalmology Uveitis Study Group.

Dad spent his life as a dedicated surgeon who took prodigious care of his patients, regularly spending his evening hours and countless weekends saving the eyesight of people he loved. He understood and worked tirelessly to alleviate human suffering, so much so that he was routinely late to events, keeping friends and family waiting as he frequently but willingly tried to offer relief to the person in front of him. His profession truly fulfilled the measure of his creation and no greater honor could be paid to him for a long and successful career than the gratitude felt from his patients.

He was an Associate of the American Society of Retina Specialists, Assistant Clinical Professor at the Moran Eye Center, University of Utah, and Consulting Ophthalmologist for the Newborn ICU at UVRMC, Timpanogos Regional Medical Center, Intermountain Medical Center, St. Mark’s Hospital and Jordan Valley Hospital. He was an active member of the Research To Prevent Blindness, EyeCare America, University of Southern California Professional Group, Utah Medical Association, Utah Ophthalmology Society and participant in Mountainlands Volunteer Group.

He was a man of faith, with a steadfast belief in a God who guided his path both on and off the surgical floor. He found tremendous fulfillment working alongside the Church of Jesus Christ and Deseret International with clinics in Bolivia, El Salvador, Ecuador, Guatemala, Argentina, Chile and Peru. We knew him as our kind, generous father who always encouraged education and exploration, constantly telling us to “learn something new”. He was an enthusiastic gardener who approached his collection with nostalgia and precision, transplanting roots and trees carried over from childhood homes. It was not uncommon for him to leave a nursery with not just his car stuffed full of plants, but a trailer as well. Dad loved big family gatherings, but also routinely opted for solitude in the forests of Idaho or on mountain peaks with his dog Duke. His favorite was Mt. Rainier in 2002. As a family, we have fond memories of crepe breakfasts, over-scheduled travel agendas, unwanted assistance with math equations, Dad stopping at every historical marker on car trips, Gary Larson’s “The Far Side” mixed with dad’s sarcastic wit, never-ending museums, annual reunions at Sun Valley (ID), Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker” and trips with his grandchildren.

Dad wrestled with insomnia most of his adult life. If you were lucky, you’d find him in the midnight hours, a book in one hand and a bowl of ice cream in the other. He enjoyed the writings of the poet Robert Frost, in particular, “Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening”. Tears were always shed as he read the final lines out loud: “The woods are lovely, dark and deep. But I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep, and miles to go before I sleep.” To our dear father we say, your promises have been kept and your miles are done. Go to those deep, lovely woods and take your rest.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Kathryn Hoopes (1053), parents Max Wendell Carver (121/05) and Hazel Janetta James (0344), sisters, Maxine Kay Boehm (639) and Sharon Rae (67/00). He leaves behind his wife Joan Marie Miller of Provo, Utah, daughter Rachael Claire McKinnon (Greg) of San Diego, California, sons David Miller Adams (Erin) of Provo, Utah and John Spencer (Brittany) of Herriman, Utah, along with 12 grandchildren: James Levi McKinnon, Bradley John Carver, Andrew Archibald McKinnon, Ethan David Adams, Elizabeth Skye McKinnon, Lucy Isabelle Carver, Evan Cole Adams, Amelia Kathryn Carver, Matthew Carver McKinnon, Luke Seth Adams, Max Brian Carver and Elle Elizabeth Adams. He also leaves behind his elder brother James (Darlene) Carver of Boise, Idaho and sister-in-law Claudia Hoopes of American Fork, Utah.

The family would like to thank the doctors and nurses in the ICU at UVRMC as well as the medical staff at Point Meadows Health and Rehabilitation Center.

A public viewing was held at Walker Sanderson Funeral Home, 646 East 800 North, Orem, Utah on July 31 from 6 to 8 p.m. Dad will be interred at the Brigham City Cemetery in Utah.

Condolences and memories may be offered to the family at

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