Martin Clark Obituary
Martin Hill Clark, beloved husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather passed away peacefully at home in Ogden, Utah on Sunday, July 14, 2019. Martin was born on May 8, 1931 in Port Orchard, Washington to Moses Hill Clark and Mabel Marrs.
He was blessed with a remarkable memory, perhaps best illustrated during a recent conversation reflecting on his early years when he stated, “I was delivered at home, by a mid-wife Mrs. Mason – I remember her well”. As a boy growing up in Port Orchard his mother would give him 50 cents on Sunday so that he could take the ferry to Bremerton and attend mass. The ferry was 5 cents each way, he was instructed to put 10 cents in the collection basket, and with the remaining 30 cents he could buy a hamburger, milkshake, and go to the matinee.
The family moved to Centralia, Washington when he was 11. He graduated from St. Mary’s School in Centralia in 1948. He enlisted in the Air Force in 1949 and was assigned as a communications specialist at Johnson Air Force Base in Tokorozawa, Japan. The Korean war broke out within days of his arriving in Japan and he was transferred to Pusan, South Korea. After the war he was stationed at Fairchild Base in Spokane, WA and then discharged in October 1953. For his service in the Air Force he was awarded the Good Conduct Medal, Korean Service Medal, and Bronze UN service medal. He attended college at St Martins and Seattle University. Seeking adventure and work, he traveled to Alaska and joined the roofer’s union. His roofing and carpentry skills were well used helping build the growing city of Anchorage and later helping build Copper River School in Copper Center.
On a visit home to Seattle he attended a party at which a beautiful girl from his hometown of Centralia, Washington, approached him and asked, “Are you Martin Clark from Centralia?” He would later say “Those were the best words I ever heard in my life”. He married Janice Margaret Hafer at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Bellevue, WA on July 12, 1958. With newborn son Paul, and three older boys Stephen, John and Brian, the family moved to Anchorage, AK in 1965. In 1966 the family moved to Barrow, Alaska where Martin worked for the Bureau of Indian Affairs and his wife Janice taught first grade. In January 1967 he was made a member of the “40 Below Club” by the Boy Scouts of America for camping out above the Arctic Circle with a group of boy scouts with temperatures plummeting to minus 40 degrees. In 1967 the family moved to Dillingham, AK where Martin worked as a carpenter at Kanakanak Hospital and Janice taught school.
In Barrow and Dillingham Martin and Janice formed deep, life-long friendships with many local native people. In Dillingham, summers were spent fishing for trout and salmon in many of the finest sports-fishing rivers in the world. In the fall Martin and his boys would go hunting for geese and moose, and in the winter many fine times were enjoyed snow-machining, skiing, taking steam baths and jumping naked into the snowbank afterwards to cool off. Among his many talents Martin was an amazing cook. He never met a stranger, and he was never happier than when he had the opportunity to make a new friend and share an always exquisite meal.
After many years working as a carpenter at Kanakanak Hospital he started a small construction business and later a fish processing business. Despite putting his heart and soul into making it work, timing, circumstances and a couple of poor salmon runs broke his business, but it did not break his indomitable spirit. His wife Janice continued to support the family working as a teacher. After her retirement they moved to Ogden, Utah. In Ogden they made many wonderful friends. Martin attended daily mass at Holy Family Catholic Church. He was a life member of the Knights of Columbus; and was awarded the Formation Degree in 2019.
Martin was preceded in death by his son’s Paul Martin Clark, and Brian Thomas Clark.
He is survived by his wife of 61 years Janice Margaret Clark, sons John and Stephen, grandsons Matthew, Danny and Adam, and great-granddaughter Kaiyah.
Martin will be remembered by all who knew him as a generous, humble, kind man with a great sense of humor and a talent for telling stories, some of which were true. He was deeply faithful and prayed daily for his deceased son’s Paul and Brian and other loved ones.
A funeral mass will be held at Holy Family Catholic Church 1100 East 5550 South on Friday, July 19, 2019 with a rosary at 10:30 and Mass beginning at 11:00 a.m. Burial will be next to his son’s Paul and Brian at Holy Rosary Cemetery, Dillingham, AK.
The Clark family would like to thank all of Martin’s dear friends for their prayers, support, compassion, and kindness. A special thanks to his wonderful hospice nurse Julie, and to his grandson Adam, who at age 19 gave selflessly of his time, sacrificed sleep and other activities that are normal for teenagers, to be there and help his grandfather and grandmother during their time of greatest need.
Condolences may be sent to the family at www.leavittsmorturay.com
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