A Life Well Lived

David Gibbons Clark Sr.

August 4, 1949 – September 16, 2018

Dave was born in Chalfont St. Giles, England on August 4, 1949 to parents Gibbons and Phyllis Clark.  His father was a pastor, so growing up they lived in a few different Michigan communities where he served in local churches.   Dave attended Lansing Sexton High School through his junior year of high school.  He then graduated from Northville HS in Northville, MI in 1967.  He studied at Moody Bible Institute, earning certification in Missions and singing in the Moody Choir. While living in Chicago he worked at the legendary Garrett’s Popcorn!  After Moody he attended University of Illinois at Chicago, and then finished his Bachelors of Science at Western Michigan University. Continue reading “A Life Well Lived”

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Biblical Reflection On Dad’s Passing

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Here is a snippet of what I shared at my dad’s memorial service…

“But friends and family as deep as this hurts and as heavy as the sorrow is that we feel, we are not grieving without hope. Rather, we are grieving and we are crying with hope. As all of you know my dad tragically took his own life last week. But let me remind us that darkness and depression and despair did not ultimately prevail last Sunday morning. Because on another Sunday morning over 2,000 years ago Jesus got up out of the grave, conquering sin and death and Satan. And because my dad trusted in Jesus, he is not condemned because of his tragic final act, but rather he is covered by Jesus’ final act on his behalf. Jesus died and rose so that through faith in Him, we too might rise. That is our hope in the midst of our tears. It was my dad’s faith in Christ that sustained him during this last year, as he endured anxiety and depression and despair. He clung to Jesus as his hope in this life and the next. And better yet, Jesus clung to him. Friends, my family’s faith and my family’s hope is in Jesus, and therefore we grieve and we hurt and we cry, but yet we have great hope!”

John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.

John 11:25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live…

“My dad is in the presence of God in heaven right now. His mind is at peace. He is completely healed. And he’s there not because he was such a great guy and great dad (and he was), but rather because he trusted in a great Savior!”

I miss my dad so much, but I know he is HOME.

#RememberingDaveClarkSr

John’s Tribute

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My dad was larger than life. He was a big kid and in his right mind just loved experiencing life’s many adventures and interacting with family, friends, and even strangers. He was the best soccer coach I could ever have had, and I played for him for close to 10 years. His club teams won numerous tournaments and his high school team won the 1998 state soccer title. He was the best boss I could ever have had, and I proudly worked for Clark’s Lawn Care for seven summers and helped with Fall cleanup, and I cherish those days working outside with my dad. He loved to travel and he made every trip more fun because of his child like excitement, even if it was just an evening trip to South Haven to watch the sunset. Continue reading “John’s Tribute”

My Dad’s Battle

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My dad had three difficult seasons of depression (2003, 2013/2014, and 2017/2018). Although each time was unique in its own way, each of them included significant anxiety, occasional panic attacks, and days or parts of days filled with despair. After his death (9/16/18) our family agreed that we wanted to be transparent about his struggle and battle with depression, including the way that his life ended. We realize that there are many people who are suffering with depression and other forms of mental illness. Therefore, we believe that talking about it (raising awareness) may help other people to get help. At his funeral we asked, his primary care physician Shannon Dudycha Brown to speak about depression in general and my dad’s journey. Here is an excerpt from what she shared. Continue reading “My Dad’s Battle”

My Dad & His Work

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My dad began cutting people’s lawns in order to help pay his way through school. Things took off from there, and Clark’s Lawn Care was born.

Some of my favorite memories with my dad are of working with him. I have never met anyone that works as hard as he did. He loved a good days work, and he worked with so much joy at the same time. We worked hard and we had a lot of fun.

I also loved watching my dad interact with his clients. He did so with great care and intentionality. He also had great relationships with his employees. I have observed him having fun with the guys, giving them counsel and advice, and being stern when needed. He was more than a business owner and a boss. He was a friend and a father.

Whenever I do yard work I think of my dad. Whenever I’ve had a full day and fallen asleep in the living room I think of my dad.

I’m so grateful for his example of hard work with joy.

#RememberingDaveClarkSr

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Coach Clark

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My dad coached youth sports for many years. He began coaching my brother John’s travel soccer team when he was 11 years old, and coached them through their high school years. During that time he was Paw Paw’s varsity soccer coach for 2 seasons. In 1998 he led them to the Division 3 State Championship. He coached with great passion, and worked hard to get the most out of his players!

However, his greatest success had nothing to do with wins and losses. My dad was intentional to instill character into the young men he coached, and he impacted the lives of many.

Grandpa Dave

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My dad was an amazing grandpa. All of his grandkids adored him and couldn’t wait to spend time with him. They have so many great memories and times with him.

Even my daughter Jaye who is only 20 months old loved her “Papa.” She keeps asking for him on this trip. We keep telling her Papa is with Jesus. I can’t wait to tell her stories about what a great man her “papa” was.