"Well done, thy good and faithful servant, thou has been faithful over a few things. I will make thee ruler over many things; enter thou into the joy of the Lord ..."
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William Horace Clarke, lovingly and affectionately referred to as "daddy, "goddaddy", "Uncle Horace" or simply "Horace", was peacefully and serenely summoned to the Master's side after a blessed life of labor and love, on Monday, Feb. 25, 2013, at 2:50 p.m. at Chippenham Medical Center in Richmond, Va. His home was a humble haven of love and simplicity at 2827 Kingsdale Road, Richmond, Va.
Horace was the last surviving offspring and loving patriarch of the union between the late John Ivory Clarke Sr. and Evelyn Elizabeth Friend Clarke. He was blessed by God to outlive his five brothers, the late Leon, Frederick Sr., John I. Jr., Joseph Raymond, Staley "Pat"; and his only sister, the late Elva Clarke Yancey.
Horace was born on Aug. 8, 1923, in the modest little village of Centralia in Chesterfield County, Va. He attended Centralia Elementary School. At the tender age of 11 years old and under the nurturing of his beloved parents, Horace confessed Christ as his personal Savior and was baptized at the historic First Baptist Church Centralia. His commitment to God and his church remained faithful for more than 68 years. He was a proud member of the James White Bible class, The Brotherhood Ministry, The Hospitality Committee and The Premises Beautification Committee.
Horace strived to maintain an exemplary work ethic as he was employed with Defense General Supply Center (Bellwoood) and retired with 35 years of faithful and dedicated service. His civic commitment to his country was proudly displayed as a member of the United States Army having attained an honorable discharge for four years of active military service.
On Aug. 26, 1950, Horace was united in holy matrimony with a proud, pretty and petite young woman whom he referred to as his "angel", the late and loving Eva Vernell Webster Clarke, who went home to be with the Lord on Feb. 8, 2002. God's grace and mercy blessed them to celebrate 52 years together as husband and wife. They were exceedingly blessed with the gift of a loving daughter, Melany Marcia Clarke, who was truly "daddy's girl".
As a humble man with a quiet, sincere and loving demeanor, Horace was an impeccable tower of strength and tenacity for his entire family. His steadfast determination and his unyielding faith in God allowed him to always "hold to God's unchanging hand", even in the midst of his extreme sickness and debilitating condition. It was his daily desire to "trust in the Lord with all his heart and lean not unto his own understanding". We are thankful to God for blessing our lives with the gift of a loving and caring father, godfather, uncle, neighbor and friend.
Although he is now absent from his tired, weak physical body, his soul is now present with the Lord.
Cherished memories and a lasting legacy of our dear Horace will be perpetuated by his loving, faithful and devoted daughter, Melany M. Clarke-Moore; a loving and devoted godson, H. Bertram "Bert" Boisseau; a loving goddaughter, Bianca M. Davis; a son-in-law, Alvin R. Moore; many loving nieces and nephews; loving cousins; his devoted caregivers, Izetta Anfield and Janice Watkins; and his lifelong neighbors and friends of the Kingsdale Road community.
A celebration of the life, love and legacy of Horace will be held at 1 p.m. on Saturday, March 2, 2013, at First Baptist Church Centralia, 2920 Kingsdale Road, Richmond, Va., the Rev. Dr. Wilson E. Shannon, pastor. Interment will follow at Sunset Memorial Park, Chester, Va.
His remains will rest at the church from 12 p.m. until the hour of service.
The family may be contacted at his residence and by calling 804-275-8126.
All immediate family members are asked to assemble at the residence at 12:30 p.m. on the day of the funeral.
Funeral arrangements entrusted to the staff of J.M. Wilkerson Funeral Establishment Inc., 102 South Ave., Petersburg, Va. 804-732-8911, www.jmwilkersonsince1874.com.
Published in The Progress-Index from Feb. 26 to Feb. 28, 2013