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REV. WILLIAM H. CLARK

Obituary Condolences

Rev. William H. Clark of Elgin Rev. William H. Clark, 72, passed away on Monday, May 31, 2010. He was born Oct. 31, 1937, in Marquette, Mich., the son of Rollin and Helen Clark. Survivors include his wife, Betty, whom he married on June 21, 1958; four children, Deborah (Jim) Banke, William Michael Clark, Stephen (Rena Soffir) Clark and Jason (Jennifer) Clark; five grandchildren, Nicole, Rachelle and William Hurley, and Brandon and Derek Clark; two brothers, Vern (Nancy) and David (Amanda) Clark; along with his nieces, nephews, family and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents. Rev. Clark graduated in 1960 from DePauw University and McCormick Seminary in 1963. He was ordained in 1963 and was called to serve as assistant pastor at First Presbyterian Church, Elgin in 1964. A year later, he was called to continue to serve that congregation as pastor, a role he held for the next 32 years. He became active in youth events, retreats and mission trips. He became active in the Civil Rights movement in 1968. Rev. Clark provided leadership in starting the Mother Goose Child Developmental Center in 1969 and Kairos Family Counseling Center in 1976, both at First Presbyterian. He sponsored refugee families from Vietnam, and worked with the SWAP project in Yonkers, N.Y., a summer mission project to rehab low income housing project apartments and develop activities for neighborhood children. In the 1980s, he worked to form Elgin Cooperative Ministries, an ecumenical group of lay persons and clergy designed to serve as the umbrella agency for All People's Interfaith Pantry and Soup Kettles. His influence is still felt in the organization that grew out of this, the current Coalition of Elgin Religious Leaders. On a church wide level, he served as moderator of Blackhawk Presbytery, as committee chair for the Synod of Lincoln Trails International Justice & Economic Order, and as Blackhawk Presbytery chairman of the First Presbytery Church and Society Committee. Rev. Clark was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease in January of 1993, but stayed active until he retired in September of 1997 because of his failing health. He was honored on June 7, 2009, when named pastor emeritus at First Presbyterian Church, Elgin. Rev. Clark's memorial service will be held at First Presbyterian Church, 240 Standish St., Elgin on Thursday, June 3, at 7 p.m. In lieu of flowers, the family is asking that memorials be made to First Presbyterian Church, Elgin or the Parkinson's Disease Foundation. Laird Funeral Home, Elgin, 847-741-8800 or www.lairdfamilyfuneralservices.com, is in charge of arrangements.

Published in Chicago Suburban Daily Herald from June 1 to June 2, 2010
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