Clarence E. Faulk, Jr., 1950, taken upon the occasion of him being elected President of the Louisiana Press Association.
Clarence Eugene Faulk, Jr.
RUSTON, LA - The Ruston Community and the wider spheres of journalism, radio, real estate, self storage warehousing and philanthropy lost a friend with the death of Clarence Eugene Faulk, Jr. Mr. Faulk passed away at his residence on Friday, March 5, 2010. Services will be held for Mr. Faulk at Trinity United Methodist Church on Wednesday, March 10, 2010 at 11:00 A.M. with Rev. Jerry Hilbun officiating under the direction of Kilpatrick Funeral Home in Ruston. Visitation will be held on Tuesday, March 9, 2010 from 5:00 - 7:00 P.M. at Kilpatrick Funeral Home Chapel in Ruston.
"Mr. Clarence" as he was affectionately called in later life, was born January 9, 1909 in West Monroe, Louisiana. He is preceded in death by his parents, Mr. Clarence Eugene Faulk, Sr. and Mrs. Josephine McClendon Faulk of West Monroe. Mr. C.E. Faulk Sr. was a founder, President (1934-1945), and Chairman of the Board of Delta Air Lines from 1948 until his death in 1951. Mrs. Josephine Faulk died in 1962. His sister, Eleanor Faulk Cone of Falls Church, VA, was a graduate of Cornell and Tulane Law schools and died in 1993. His brother, Robert McClendon Faulk of Vero Beach, FL, was a Fighter Pilot in WWII and a career commercial pilot for Delta Air Lines and died in 1988. "Mr. Clarence's" much loved wife, Louise Page Faulk, originally from Topeka, KS, died in 2003.
Mr. Faulk is survived by two sons, Clarence Eugene "Gene" Faulk III of Canandaigua, NY, and Dr. W. Page Faulk of St. Simons Island, GA, and a daughter, Amelia Faulk Rauser of Rockville, MD. In addition, Mr. Faulk leaves ten grandchildren and seven great grandchildren. His grandchildren are: by Gene, Alec Faulk of Ruston, who manages Westside Self Storage, Andrew Faulk of Worcester, MA, and Jolly Faulk of Framingham, MA, who has two daughters, Jessica and Jane; by Page, Robin Faulk of Studio City, CA, Josie Faulk Comerford of Chicago, IL, Saskia Faulk Antonakis of Pully/ Lausanne, Switzerland, who has two daughters, Athena and Artemis, and Holly Faulk Chevalier of St. Felix de Lodez, France, who has a daughter, Leopoldine; and, by Amelia, Christy Rauser Johnson of Alexandria, VA, who has two daughters, Carolyn and Leigha; Katy Rauser Barnum of Annapolis, MD, and Henry Rauser of San Diego, CA. "Mr. Clarence" will be missed by his many friends and family and by his longtime caregiver, Mr. Johnifer Evans of Ruston, who is like family.
Mr. Faulk's remarkable life could be organized into four main interests: newspapers and attendant publishing, radio broadcasting, commercial and residential real estate and one of the first mini-warehouse businesses in Ruston, Westside Storage, which he built at the age of seventy.
Mr. Faulk served for many years as the president of the Louisiana Press Association and the Louisiana Broadcasters Association. He was well suited for these positions because he owned the Ruston Daily Leader and radio station KRUS for decades. These endeavors were familiar to him, for he had grown up in a publishing family where his father was publisher of the Monroe News Star before selling the newspaper and going into the airline business. After two years at the University of the South in Sewanee, TN, he transferred to the School of Journalism at the University of Missouri where he met Miss Louise Page, who also was studying journalism. They were married in 1931 and had 72 years of happy life together. That same year Mr. Faulk became the publisher of the Ruston Daily Leader, a position he maintained for thirty one years until 1962. In addition, overlapping this period, in 1947 he brought Ruston its first radio station, KRUS, and managed it for 21 years (i.e., 1947-1968).
Those who knew him best in business and in his personal life recognize that his love for Ruston and his place in the community were major driving forces of his life. Together with Mrs. Faulk, he owned numerous rent houses, a sixteen-unit apartment complex and several commercial buildings in Ruston. In 1988, he was awarded the highest honor a Ruston resident could receive when he accepted the Russ Award from the Ruston-Lincoln Parish Chamber of Commerce for his tireless efforts on behalf of the Ruston Community.
Of great importance to him were his memberships in Trinity Methodist Church, where he served many functions, including teaching Sunday school for 12 years; and the Ruston Kiwanis Club, where he was a member for 70 years and served as a president. Other entities to which he was devoted include the Ruston-Lincoln Parish Centennial, the Peach Festival, the Lincoln Parish Housing Authority, which he chaired for twenty-nine years, and the Lincoln Parish Library. Also, in good times and in bad, he was a faithful supporter and contributor to the Department of Journalism at Louisiana Tech University, where he founded the Clarence and Louise Faulk Chair of Journalism.
Mr. Faulk's one hundredth birthday in January 2009 was the occasion of a festive party at his home in Westwood Hills in Ruston. He accepted many honors that day with grace and humor, while also acknowledging the role of his late wife in each award. He expressed particular pride in the honorary doctorate degrees that Louisiana Tech University awarded him and Mrs. Faulk in 1985.
During his one hundredth birthday party a framed Certificate of Honor was presented to Mr. Faulk by President Dan Reneau of Louisiana Tech University for his contributions to the University; a proclamation designating January 9 as "Clarence Faulk Day" was presented to Mr. Faulk by Ruston Mayor Dan Hollingsworth; an Expression of Commendation along with a Letter of Special Recognition from Louisiana Governor Jindal were presented to Mr. Faulk by Representative Hollis Downs, a member of the Louisiana House of Representatives. Also, United States Congressman Rodney Alexander presented Mr. Faulk with a Letter of Congratulations and a United States Flag that had flown over the Capital in Washington.
"Mr. Clarence" was a well recognized source of oral history about Ruston and North Louisiana, and he greatly enjoyed telling stories that were filled with historical gems. In fact, he became known as an expert on the 1934 ambush of Bonnie and Clyde, since as a young newspaper reporter he covered the story on the scene. He had many stories about this area during WW II. Classified 4-F due to serious eye problems, nevertheless, he served as a First Lieutenant in the Home Guard. He also was a member of the War Price and Rationing Board, and was chairman of the Lincoln Parish effort for the United States Savings Bonds Program. He was a detailed source of information about Camp Ruston, a Prisoner of War Camp located just west of Ruston that held thousands of German and Italian prisoners during WW II.
"Mr. Clarence" loved to travel with his wife and was full of stories about their adventures throughout nearly all the world. However, the thing that he perhaps enjoyed as much as anything was to escape to a hunting lodge in Tensas Swamp with a few friends, just being in the woods, swapping stories around a camp fire and communing with nature. He was a wonderful man and a real repository of our past and "Old Ruston." He will be deeply missed.
Online condolences may be sent to the family at www.kilpatrickfuneralhomes.com
. Kilpatrick Funeral Home
Ruston, LA 318-255-2832
Published by Shreveport Times on Mar. 7, 2010.