|Birth: ||Jun. 29, 1916|
|Death: ||Nov. 22, 1990|
That's my Dad on the left. The picture was taken with a buddy of his when they came home from WWII. If anyone knows who this gentleman is, please contact me.
After 23 years it is still painful to talk about my Father's death. He was the greatest man I have ever known. He was my best friend. We shared secrets and many laughs. I am 54 and have never known such a good friend as my Dad.
He was born in Lindsay Oklahoma on June 29th 1916 to Andrew and Nannie Clark. He was raised with Sheb Wooley that was years younger. Sheb wrote the song "The Purple People Eater" and would remain my Dads good friend for a lifetime. When we moved to Alaska Sheb would come stay with us and created the character of "Ben Colder". When he would visit, he always included us in his shows.
When my Dad was 12, during the dustbowl in Oklahoma, his family traveled west to the orange groves of southern California. He was the oldest of 3 brothers. Delbert, the baby and Lloyd the middle child. Lloyd and my Dad looked so much alike. (In his later years he was visiting his Brother Lloyd. A neighbor came over and was startled. "Lloyd, I just saw you leaving the house!" "No, that's my Brother Bill".) Since times were hard, Dad dropped out of school in 5th grade to help support the family.
PFC William Clayton Clark was one of the few survivors that made it off the island of Iwo Jima after the first attack. He was knocked out and pulled out from the dead that covered him. I only learned this at the gathering after his funeral. My Family told me he suffered from survivors guilt. He would never speak of the war or the battles he went through.
All 3 boys enlisted in the war of WWII. They were all stationed in separate parts of the world. By coincidence, they were all discharged the same week. Grandma removed the star from her window that showed family members were away at war. "Pop" was quietly thrilled his boys were all home, safe and sound. So one day, the first week they came home, the brothers painted "Pops" car pink! Grandpa came home from work, saw his car, and in his Oklahoma drawl, calmly asked, "Now what ja'all go and do that for?" He was just glad to have all his boys home safe and sound. They could have done anything at that point and got away with it!
About the same time, my Dad went to a USO dance. This is a story my Aunt told me over and over. He came home from the dance and told a story of meeting a gorgeous red head. She danced like an angel and Dad was walking on air. 2 weeks later he married her.
They moved to Sacramento. My Mom worked in an office building in Sacramento while Dad built homes. One day, the Postman came in and was ashen white. She asked, "Vic, what's wrong"? He replied, how do you go about adopting a baby out?! My Mom replied, "We would love to adopt the baby". That's when I came into existence. They always told me I was special since they had "chosen" me. When other kids would tease me about being adopted, I would tell them, "My Parents chose me, your Parents got stuck with you!" Mom and Dad also encouraged me to look for my biological family and last year I found them.
As soon as I was adopted, my Parents left California and moved to ALASKA! Dad was stationed at Elmendorf Air Force Base in the Civil Service. In his spare time, he built our house as well as other homes. We lived in Anchorage for 14 years. My Dad taught me how to fish and goldpan. We went camping all summer long. Everyday was an adventure! I was the light of his life and adored him. I've included a picture of my Dad and I at Portage Glacier outside of Anchorage. Dad also taught me how to play poker at the early age of 4. We kept a jar of pennies and were always playing.
In 1974 Dad retired and we moved to Tangent Oregon. I always had a passion for horses and animals so my Parents bought a small farm where I could enjoy these passions. We had horses, cows, dogs, cats, rabbits, goats, and every other animal you can think of. The farm came with an antique Allis Chalmers tractor. Dad would plant our garden every year plowing the ground with the old tractor. My Dad also taught me woodworking which is one of my passions that I make money at today.
I married at 19. Though the marriage did not work out, it produced a Son. Dad fell in love with this beautiful little boy. Mom and Dad would watch him when I went to the local college for my classes. After I finished my schooling, I couldn't get a job. The economy had bottomed out in Oregon. Our next door neighbors suggested that I move to Las Vegas where they had come from. Though I couldn't fathom leaving my Son, I left to seek employment. I did quite well, and my Son did also being raised on the farm. I missed my family terribly and they would visit me often in Las Vegas. My Son eventually came out to Las Vegas and resides there to this day.
On November 22, 1990, Thanksgiving morning, my boss called me into his office. My Mom had called him. After he had me sit down, he told me, "You're Dad had a massive heart attack, and passed away this morning." I screamed and cried. My Mom had made the right decision. She knew I couldn't handle this alone. I immediately flew home and tearfully helped plan his funeral. The holiday season has never been the same.
I was not the only one that couldn't handle the news. Mom was so angry about my Dads passing. Her Husband of 47 years. We laugh about it now, but Dad's favorite holiday was Thanksgiving. He loved the first big feast of the season!! Mom had cooked all night long to please my Dad. She was angry that he couldn't have waited until after he ate to pass away!
My Dad was a friend to many, (I wish I knew who this was in the picture with my Dad), especially the men he fought along side with in WWII.
Dad had a special way of walking onto a car lot and making a deal. His favorite car was the 60's mustang. He bought 5. A 64, 65, 67, and 68. He bought me a 69 candy apple red mustang when I got my drivers license. You can see in one of the photo's the first brand spanking new Mustang my Dad bought in one of the photo's with the 4 of us. In the picture, he looks like he's feeling pretty cool!
Dad taught me so much. He taught me how to laugh, love, and especially, how to fish! He taught me many other things also that make up who I am today. It's been 18 years, but I can't stop thinking about my Dad. I still cry and dream about him. He was my best friend ever. He comes to me in dreams to let me know he's O.K. He has left me little gifts which I keep in a "treasure chest". The last gift was a dozen yellow roses where I park my truck when it was in the shop. I was telling my Husband how much I miss my Dad and stories of him the night before. The next morning when I was leaving the house, I discovered the roses. This Man was one in a million. He was the first to go out of his Brothers though they have all passed away now. Heaven is so much richer. I miss my Daddy and look forward to seeing him again.
William Clayton Clark was one of God's best creations. I Thank God that he is my Dad. That is the best gift God ever gave me. My Dad. The Love of my life.
I would like to give a big Thank You to Judith (Konkler) Zervas for adding my Dads record to Find A Grave. It was such a pleasant surprise.
Riverside National Cemetery
Plot: 28, 948
Created by: Molly1959 Daughter Of An...
Record added: Mar 04, 2000
Find A Grave Memorial# 3802802