June 30, 1950 - November 29, 2007
WAITSBURG - Waitsburg resident Stanley Nelson Clarke, 57, died at his home unexpectedly on Nov 29, 2007.
A memorial service will be at 2:00 p.m. on Sat., Dec 15 at the Waitsburg High School gym on Coppei Avenue (Hwy 12) in Waitsburg. Pastor Michael Ferrians of the First Christian Church of Waitsburg will officiate. The celebration of Stan's life will continue at the Center for Enology and Viticulture on the Walla Walla Community College Campus following the service. Arrangements are through Herring Groseclose Funeral Home, Walla Walla .
In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the First Christian Church of Waitsburg Building Fund, 604 Main St, Waitsburg 99361 or to the Stan Clarke Viticulture Scholarship Fund at the Walla Walla Community College Foundation, 500 Tausick Way, Walla Walla 99362.
Mr. Clarke was born June 30, 1950 in Ukiah, California to Russell L and Mary Buhn Clarke. He graduated from Ukiah High School in 1968.
Mr. Clarke was a 1972 graduate of the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs with a Bachelor of Science in history and received his commission as a second lieutenant. He served as a weapons control officer at Fort Yukon, Alaska and Birkenfeld Army Installation in Germany.
Upon leaving active duty in 1976, Mr. Clarke went to the University of California, Davis. where he earned a second Bachelor of Science degree in Plant Science. He married Carol Ann Champion, whom he had met while in Germany, at Davis in September, 1978.
In the summer of 1979, he and his wife moved to Grandview, Washington where he was the Grower Relations Manager for Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery. In 1982, he joined a partnership of grape growers and became the first winemaker and general manager for Quail Run Winery (later renamed Covey Run). During his time at Covey Run, Mr. Clarke began writing a column "From Berry to Bottle" for the Yakima Herald. In 1987 he served as president of the Washington Wine Institute. A few years later, he became the first winemaker and general manager for Hyatt Vineyards of Zillah.
Upon earning a masters degree in teaching from Washington State University, he began an 8 year career as 6th grade teacher at Grandview Middle School. Then, in 2002, he became instructor and coordinator of the viticulture program for the Center for Enology and Viticulture on the Walla Walla Community College campus. He held this position until his death.
He also served as a judge for various wine competitions and as a consultant for several wineries throughout the state.
In 2004, He and his wife moved from Grandview to Waitsburg.
He loved working in his yard, participating in Fantasy Baseball and playing sports with his sons and the children of the community. He volunteered as a coach for various sports. He was a fan of the San Francisco Giants and Seattle Mariners and knew just about everything about baseball there is to know. He was a Sunday School teacher both at the Grandview United Methodist Church and the First Christian Church of Waitsburg. He enjoyed being a camp counselor at Lazy F Christian Retreat Center near Ellensburg and most recently at Wyldlife Camp in the Oregon. He was a mentor for several young people and the host father to five exchange students.
Mr. Clarke is survived by his wife, Carol; three sons, Matthew and Brian of Walla Walla and Mark of Berrian Springs, Michigan; his niece (who he and his wife raised following the death of her parents) Kate and her husband, Eric Grieve of Gig Harbor; his mother, Mary Morrissey of Walla Walla; his father, Russell Clarke of Ukiah, CA; two sisters and their husbands, Judy and John Lanzit of Ukiah, CA and Janine and Mike Gallagher of Yountsville, CA; his brother-in-law, Steve Champion and his partner, David DeVargas of Wilton Manor, FL; his uncle and his wife, Richard and Joyce Buhn of Pennington, New Jersey; three nieces and their husbands and several great nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his grandparents, Jack and Carrie Clarke and Norman and Verna Buhn and his uncle, Norman Buhn.
Published in Ukiah Daily Journal on Dec. 6, 2007.