On January 5th, 1934 John Arthur Clark was born to farmers, Simeon and Lizzy Clark and 8 siblings in a small house, upon the country lands of Knightdale, North Carolina.
On December 6th, 2016 at the age of 82, surrounded by a loving family, and a lifetime of rich memories, he walked in beauty as he returned to God.
John and his siblings spent their younger years first at home and then after the passing of their father, John and siblings; George, Lamar and Martha Ann, were placed in the care of the Methodist Children's Home in Raleigh, NC. The years in this orphanage fostered countless stories and deep friendships, lasting to this day.
In February of 1954 John entered the United States Army. He proudly served in the Military Police for the occupying forces in Austria, after World War II as well as serving on the US Army’s Ready Reserve until his Honorary Discharge in March of 1962. John was awarded the National Defense Service Medal, Army Occupation Medal (Germany) and Good Conduct Medal.
Returning home from Europe, John entered Carson Newman College in Jefferson City, Tennessee, where he met June Randolph, fell hopelessly in love, and were married on September 5th, 1961.
John’s desire to pursue divinity studies lead June and he to Fort Worth, Texas and theSouthwestern Baptist Seminary. Although John did not complete his divinity training, there is no question thatJohn allowed his path to explore his deep religious and spiritual nature.
Not long after moving to Texas their family grew when June gave birth to their very beautiful daughter, Karen Jean. Texas, was rich with joy, music, fellowship at Broadway Baptist Church and with a group of other young families. A close knit collection of friends, later known as the “Family Group”.
Eventually, June’s desire to pursue a career in law afforded the family another adventure. June entered the law school at Emory University in Atlanta. John, June and Karen relocated their lives and found the fellowship of Central Congregational Church and later with the Atlanta Friends Meeting.
Now in Atlanta, John’s interests found voice through politics with CALC, Clergy And Laity Concern, as well as through direct political action with the Jimmy Carter campaign. Religiously he enjoyed fellowship and study through the Central Congregational Church UCC, and with the Atlanta Friends Meetings. John also discovered Buddhism, worked through the five precepts, and was blessed with a different way of communing with God. He chose to bridge in harmony, his love of Buddhism with his traditional Christian beliefs as well as with an acute interest in the spirit of the land, and the native american peoples.
John’s held a deep love of nature. He, June and Karen enjoyed camping and hiking. Favorite jaunts often brought them along the Blue Ridge Parkway in the Great Smokey Mountains. And especially to Mount Le Conte in Tennessee. Finding the beauty of the land was no stranger to he and June as evidenced by the magnificent gardens they planted at their home on Lively Ridge Road in Atlanta. Through the lens of a 35 mm camera, we were given a chance to view life through his eyes. And through this lens we saw what caught his eye; Austria, Texas, Atlanta, family, friends, and landscapes, to say the least. This love easily transferred to his later interests in birding and like minded friends.
In 2006, John and June moved to Roanoke, Virginia and found both neighbors and the Roanoke Friends Meeting all too willing to welcome them. Ten years in Roanoke was not nearly enough for the loved ones there, but with failing health, John and June were welcomed into their daughter Karen’s family home in Vermont. Taking the opportunity to grow even closer, this greater family of seven also made room in each others hearts. In the care of June, Karen, Christopher, Asher, Sofia and Raina, John was able to walk through the end of life stages, at home and in the arms of loved ones.
John is survived by his lifelong spouse of 54 years, June Randolph Clark, Karen Jean Clark, Christopher Carfaro, son-in-law, Christi Jaco, and sixgrandchildren.