|Birth: ||Feb. 26, 1899|
|Death: ||Mar. 29, 1999|
JAMES L. CLARK, age 100, passed away March 29, 1999 at Hill View Retirement Center in Portsmouth., where he had lived since 1981.
Born February 26, 1899, on a farm in Adams County, Oh., he walked six miles to school in Seaman. At age 9 he (along with 8 brothers and sisters) was left an orphan, when both his
parents died within weeks of each other. The 9 siblings were "farmed out" to
A patriot at heart, he left for Cincinnati to enlist in the Marine Corps just 11 days after the U.S. entered the World War in 1917. By the time he should have received his high school diploma, he was already in France with
the American Expeditionary Forces, under General John J. Pershing. He was with the famous "Fighting Fourth" Brigade as they lead the Allied Armies in decisive battles, culminating in the break-through at Belleau Wood, where historians declare "the tide was turned" in WWI. On June 6, 1918, his unit
surrounded, he was dispatched back to HQ with an SOS. Gravely wounded, he crawled over 2 kilometers through enemy territory to deliver the message for help. For gallantry in action and bravery under fire, despite severe wounds
suffered in battle, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, the Navy
Cross, and the Purple Heart. The Commander of the French Armies decorated him
with the "Croix de Guerre" for his courageous exploits and when he returned to
his home state of Ohio, then-Governor Harry C. Davis made him a Brevet Captain
in the Ohio National Guard for his bold acts of heroism. He worked his way through Ohio State University, earning a degree in agriculture. While at OSU, he helped found the "Zero Hour Club" for disabled WWI veterans - to promote
patriotism and loyalty to their Country. In his senior year he was selected to lay the wreath at the dedication of Ohio Stadium in 1922. This past January, the French Republic named him Chevalier of the National Order of the
Legion of Honor, the highest honor bestowed by France on foreign nationals.
He served public education in Medina, Morrow, and Jackson Counties, ending his
26-year career as executive head of Rio Grande Schools in Gallia Co. He went on to a second career as an examiner for Auditor of State, Jim Rhodes, auditing public accounts for another 15 years. Active in the Methodist Church, he helped found Camp Francis Asbury in Gallia Co. He was a life member of the American Legion and a long-time member of the Masonic orders.
Preceded in death by his wife BEATRICE (WILCOX) CLARK. Survived by daughter,
ANNE CLARK FOLTZ (JOHN), Columbus, Oh.; grandson, Dr. JOHN CLARK FOLTZ
(BARBARA); great-grandsons, JOHN and JAMES, Moscow, Id.; granddaughter, Dr.
MARY BETH ARENSBERG (BRAD); great-grandson, MARK, Columbus, Oh.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Gallia County 4-H Endowment Fund c/o Jim
Dailey, Ohio Valley Bank, Box 240, Gallipolis, Oh. 45631.
Memorial service 11 a.m. Saturday, April 3, Hill View Retirement Center, 1610 28th St.,
Portsmouth, Oh. Dr. Robert Mussman officiating.
Interment Vinton Memorial Cemetery.
Beatrice W. Wilcox Clark (1903 - 1985)*
Vinton Memorial Cemetery
Created by: Tonya Sparks
Record added: Jul 16, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 73443393