Our beloved Uncle L.D. Clark, 91, passed from this life on March 19, 2014 in Gainesville, Texas. One of seven children, he was born on October 22, 1922 on the Clark farm seven miles southeast of Gainesville to Tom and Ruby Loyd Clark.
Raised on a farm among generations of his elders that loved to tell stories of family history and their struggles and joys among the river breaks, streams and furrowed fields, he began his education in a one-room schoolhouse called Six Mile (or Hog-Eye) that got its water carried in from a spring in the woods. He graduated from Gainesville High School in 1940. After attending Cooke County College (now NCTC) for one year, L.D. enlisted with the Army Air Corps in August 1942 and served in the Pacific as a gunner and weathercaster on B-24 bombers running search and destroy missions.
After his discharge in 1945, he decided to take advantage of the GI Bill and studied at Columbia University in New York City where he received a B.A., an M.A. and a Ph.D. in English Literature. There in a creative writing class he met the love of his life, a young girl from Smithville, Texas named LaVerne Harrell. They were married on September 15, 1951 in Smithville.
L.D. was as a professor of English at the University of Arizona for thirty-three years in Tucson and also spent time at the University of Nice, Kansai University in Japan and Korea University. Author of fourteen books, he was an avid writer of both fiction and literary criticism and became a well-known scholar of D.H. Lawrence as well as professor emeritus of English at the University of Arizona.
He and LaVerne traveled extensively abroad and in the United States. Upon retirement, he and LaVerne moved from Tucson to her childhood home in Smithville in 1999. L.D. returned to his beloved Cooke County in 2010 to be near his nieces and nephews. He continued to write his last novel, a book of reminiscences and commentary on the great changes that have taken place in our world during his long lifetime.
He was a member of the Cooke County Historical Commission, Cross Timbers Genealogical Society, Great Hanging Memorial Foundation and the Texas Institute of Letters. He dearly loved the Mt. Springs community and performed yearly at the Melodrama.
He was predeceased by his loving wife, LaVerne in 2008, his parents, five brothers, one sister and seven nephews.
He is survived by nieces, Carol Harshbarger, Nell Reta Johnson, Sherri Auchter, Colleen Carri, Renee Clark, and Cindy Mangum and nephews, Miles Ray Clark, Larry Clark, Neil Clark, and Gerald Clark. Also surviving are many great nieces and nephews, great-great nieces and nephews, and two great-great-great nephews.
Saturday, March 22, visitation will be at the George Carroll Funeral home at 1:00pm, followed by Services at 2:00pm in the funeral home chapel with the Rev. Hollis Parsons officiating... Graveside services will be held on Monday, March 24 at 2:00 p.m. at the All Faiths of the Pines funeral home in Smithville, Texas. The family will receive friends at the All Faiths of the Pines funeral home at 1:00 p.m. on Monday March 24.
The family wishes to thank the wonderful staff at the Renaissance Care Center for their kind support and caring hands.
In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made to the Great Hanging Memorial Foundation, P.O. Box 461, Valley View, TX 76272.
Published in Austin American-Statesman from Mar. 21 to Mar. 22, 2014