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Kenneth W Clark
December 29, 1951 ~ April 19, 2023 (age 71) 71 Years Old
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It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Kenneth W. Clark Sr., on April 19, 2023. He left us far too soon, at the age of 71, after battling an extended illness. Ken managed his illness the same way he managed his life, with strength and grace. He adored his family more than anything else in the world and wanted to spend as much time with them as possible. On his final day, he passed peacefully at his home in Canton, OH, surrounded by his wife, children, and grandchildren.
Born on December 29, 1951, in Bonne Terre, MO, to the late Ella Louise Clark of Arnold, MO., Ken graduated from Fox High School and went on to attend Mineral Area College. He retired from Frito Lay in 2011 after nearly forty years of dedicated service. In retirement, he carried on his strong work ethic at various jobs, including O’Reilly Auto Parts and Meyers Driving School.
Ken held many roles in life, but his most important role was being the family patriarch. He loved nothing more than spending time with his family. He was a kind, loving husband to his wife Sandy, who he always referred to as "Dear". He was a wonderful father, grandfather, and great grandfather. His family was one of his biggest accomplishments, and he considered it a privilege to have the opportunity to lead them.
He had many hobbies and interests. Some of his best days were spent out on the golf course with his boys or on the lake fishing with his good friend and neighbor, Jeff. More than anything though, he loved making his home a place for all his family and friends to gather and enjoy themselves. At home he would often be found behind the grill. If you’ve ever attended one of the Clark family cookouts, you would have surely tried some of his famous ribs. Ken loved having everyone over on gameday to watch the Browns or Buckeyes and was a lifelong St. Louis Cardinals fan.
Baseball was a way of life for Ken. He spent his childhood studying the game and developing his skills out on the sandlot. His hard work and dedication made him a standout high school player and earned him a scholarship to Mineral Area College. He was an immediate starter for the MAC Cardinals, where he earned many accolades for his play on the field. When Ken’s playing days were over, he found another way to stay connected to the game he loved. He spent many years coaching his son’s baseball teams and passing on his knowledge to a new generation of players. As a coach, he developed a real talent for teaching the fundamentals of the game. He always found a way to bring out the best in his players.
Along with his "Dear" wife Sandra (Vodopich) Clark of Canton, OH, Ken is survived by his four children, Tina Clark of Tacoma, WA, Tammy (Mike) Stevenson of Malvern, OH, Kenneth W. Clark Jr. of Canton, OH, Kevin (Angie) Clark of North Canton, OH; 8 grandchildren; and 3 great-grandchildren with another on the way. He is also survived by his two brothers, Jerry Clark and Bill Clark of Arnold, MO; brother and sister-in-law, Al and Patty Pachmayer of Casselberry, FL; as well as many cousins, nieces, and nephews.
Ken was known for his witty personality and sound advice (solicited or not) and was always quick with a one liner. Even up to his last moments, he never lost his sense of humor. Throughout his entire journey he cracked jokes, told stories, and even had a lighthearted back and forth banter with his nurses. His great ability to make others smile and lighten the mood will certainly have a lasting impact on his family and friends. His was a life well lived and he will be greatly missed.
Never one to allow people to make a fuss over him, Ken wished to have no services. A private celebration of life for immediate family members has been held at the family’s home.