James W. Clark
James W. Clark, age 91 of Keldron, passed away on Saturday, June 2, 2018 at the Hospice House in Rapid City, SD.
Memorial services for Jim were held at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, June 12, 2018 at the New Hope Worship Center in Lemmon, SD, with Pastor Harold Delbridge officiating.
Visitation was on Monday, June 11, 2018 from 1:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. followed by a friends and family service at 7:00 p.m. all at the Evanson Jensen Funeral Home in Lemmon.
James William Clark was born on September 19, 1926 to Avery Albert Clark and Genevieve (Schmidt) Clark in Lemmon, SD. His father homesteaded in 1911 and began to carve out a living for his family. Jim was the third of six children born to this union. He was the oldest boy of three boys and this required him to become a man at an early age due to the untimely death of his father, when Jim was 19 years old. Jim attended the Riverside school north of the Grand River, prior to the family moving to the current ranch south of the Grand River. Upon their move, Jim attended the Elm Grove School, where he went through the eighth grade. He loved to help his dad on the ranch, and at the age of 15 he added to his resume as he began herding sheep for Roland Haynes in the Black Horse Butte area. He also worked for Gordon Drieske, an area rancher. At the age of eighteen, he went to take his physical for the U.S. Army. In 1945, his father passed away of a heart attack. Jim was deferred from the Army, and returned home to help his mother. There was a ranch to run and younger siblings to care for.
In 1946, at a Grand Valley Hall dance, he met Mavis Olson who was working for the Charles Fish family. The courtship began, and on May 4, 1947, they were married in the Presbyterian Church in Morristown, SD. After a honeymoon trip to eastern South Dakota, they returned to the Clark ranch and began their life together. Jim’s mother taught at White Deer School, so she and Charles, the youngest, were gone during the week and home on the weekends. Jim’s other younger siblings, Jack and Mary Lee, went to school in Lemmon and Groton, South Dakota. The boys raised cattle and horses. Cowboying was a way of life, and a life that Jim enjoyed beyond words. The family worked together, putting in many hours horseback.
Although Jim never had many hobbies in retirement, it could also be said that he never really retired! Jim enjoyed many things in life and continued to enjoy them until he was well into his 80’s. Jim loved following his kids and grandkids to rodeos. He also enjoyed a good visit with friends, coyote hunts, an intelligent border collie dog, quality cattle, a robust cup of coffee, Mavis’ beans & tortillas, and being horseback with a great horse beneath him. He was a sheep herder at heart, running up to 2000 sheep at times. It was a great delight to him when his youngest grandkids, Cassidy and Teigan, bought sheep and he could “keep an eye” on the sheep…and coyotes!
In addition to years of ranching, Jim also worked at numerous salebarns, was on Bob Seim’s branding crew, and drove a pilot car for road construction. You were lucky if you got behind the pilot car when he drove…he considered speed an asset! He was always happy to help a neighbor.
Jim served on the local school board. Jim and Mavis also attended the Coal Springs Community Church. As Jim got older, his faith got stronger and he cherished his personal relationship with the Lord. He was superintendent of the Coal Springs Sunday School. He was also honored to be elected Boss Cowman in 2000.
Jim is survived by his wife Mavis of 71 years, six children: Susan Zahrowski and Ron of Douglas, WY; Lois (Art) Heinrich of Box Elder, SD; Bill Clark of Rapid City, SD; Mike (Betty) Clark Rapid City, SD; Pat (Barb) Clark of Meadow, SD; Sandy (Glenn) Veil of Rapid City, SD; 15 grandchildren: Bryce (Robin) Zahrowski, Della (Mark) Ridgeway, Lena Haugen, Gwyn Heinrich, Bret (Jeanie) Clark, Travis (Amy) Clark, Stacy (Bill) Vegus, Steve ( Danielle) Stucky, Tayte Clark, Trigve (Jordan) Clark, Cassidy Clark, Teigan Clark, Brandon (Nicole) Veil, Kendra Veil, Casey (Carly) Veil; 15 great grandchildren , one sister, Avis Portney of California, two sisters-in-law, Louise Clark of Aberdeen, SD; and Peggy Clark of Lemmon, SD; and a host of nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his grandparents, two brothers, Jack and Charlie Clark, and two sisters, Mary Lee Hinegardner and Jean Guhin.
All of Jim’s Grandsons are considered honorary bearers, Bryce Zahrowski, Bret Clark, Travis Clark, Brandon Veil, Casey Veil, Tayte Clark, Trig Clark, Teigan Clark, Steve Stucky.