Jack Clark, 87, after a valiant struggle with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, passed away peacefully to join his loved ones in heaven on April 28, 2021. His family, as well as several devoted nurses and hospice personnel from The Manor Nursing Home were at his side.
“Jackie” was born on Christmas day,1933 in Poplar Bluff, Missouri to Columbus Benton Clark and Myrtle (Christian) Clark. He was preceded in death by his parents, his older sister, Mildred Carr (Bus) and his older brother, Lt. Col. Jim R. Clark.
On August 14, 1959 he married a former tomboy lifeguard, Laura Spencer, whom he met at Hillcrest Pool. She survives along with their son, Dean Spencer Clark, who was an international teacher before returning to his home town due to illness. Jack is also survived by a sister-in-law, Elaine Clark of Florida, seven nieces: Terry Hall (Jim), Jane Walker, Valerie Lisa, Sarah Polda (David), Donna Albani (Dr. Frank), Vickie Blevens (Bud) and June Barbas (Rick), five nephews; Greg Clark (Carmen), Jeff Clark (Laura), Mark Clark (Brenda), Peter Kimble (Brenda), and Chris Kimble (Pat).
In 1952 Jack was graduated from Poplar Bluff High School. As a teenager he had a coveted job at the very new Rodger’s Theater as an usher, where he was able to watch movie after movie! He remained an avid film buff his entire life, ensnaring his wife and son into becoming similar movie and TV series admirers. Jack was always a reader, starting with comic books. North D Street legend has it that Jackie, with towel cape from a backyard structure, attempted to emulate a certain well known flying hero… (once). His love of reading included the author, Edgar Rice Burroughs, science fiction novels and anything to do with history. He was a physical fitness buff and remained so up until his seventies.
Mr. Clark was a 1960 graduate of Southeast Missouri State College with a BS degree in History and English. His teaching career included Bernie and Qulin where he could teach with only two years of college before teaching at Risco High School 1960-1961 Ritenour High School in St. Louis county in 1961-1962, Dexter High School 1962-1967, and Poplar Bluff High School 1967-1993. In 1970 Jack received a Master of Arts in History from the University of Missouri in Columbia.
Family vacations were usually to historical sites. Mesa Verde was visited three different summers and always amusements park visits for Dean. For their silver wedding anniversary Jack and Laura spent two weeks in France and one week in England where Laura got to watch two days of tennis matches at Wimbledon. His favorite vehicle was his 1980 blue-black Camaro Z28 with the plate “Z Clark”.
Jack and Laura have been members of Holy Cross Episcopal Church since 1989, where he was church treasurer for several years. He was also president of the Morning Optimist Club in 1989, and could be found selling Christmas trees for the club on the Kroger parking lot. Jack was also a long time member of the NRA.
The Clarks shared their much loved home peopled with dogs or cats since 1969. Max and Gabor, two fine feline siblings, are currently in residence there.
Jackie was a man of integrity, a deep thinker, a kind and helpful friend and a professional whose briefcase was always full of papers to grade. He believed in Jesus and admired our Constitution’s structure which allows for the peaceful attainment towards a more perfect union for all citizens.
For Dean he was a respected father. To his devoted wife, Laura, he was “the silver cord” and “the golden lamp” whose love for her remains her inner treasure. He will be missed.
Visitation will be held on May 5th from 9:00-11:00 am at Holy Cross Episcopal Church. Service will follow with the Rev. Annette Joseph officiating. Visitation is open to the public, but the service will be limited to family and church members due to COVID restrictions. The service may also be viewed live online at the Holy Cross Episcopal Church Facebook page and will be available afterwards on Youtube.
Any donation to a charity of your choice that helps people, animals, or nature will be appreciated.
Please disregard the following automated sentence:
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Jack "Jackie" Clark, please visit our floral store.