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Gary "Papa" Ray Clark

Gary "Papa" Ray Clark
October 23, 1941 - June 16, 2017

Our Lord and Savior called Gary Ray Clark “Papa” home after a heroic battle. Gary Ray Clark, 75, of Beaumont, peacefully passed away June 16, 2017, at his home in San Antonio, Texas, surrounded by his family.

Gary was born in Yellowpine, Texas, on October 23, 1941, to Henry Ray Clark and Mertie Click Clark. He was the youngest of four children and was preceded in death by his parents, brothers Edsel “Jack” Clark and Gerald Clark and his sister Juanita Clark Elliott Steck.

Gary grew up in Beaumont, attended elementary through high school here and was known by all as Gary Ray. While at French High School, he lettered in both basketball and baseball. Gary played forward guard on the ’59 French Buffalo’s District Champion team. Also, his senior year, he was elected Twirp King and named Senior Class Favorite. Gary was scouted to play baseball for the farm teams of the Chicago White Sox and Pittsburg Pirates. Instead of playing baseball, he enlisted in the US Army and was stationed in Korea.

After returning home from serving his county, Gary began working in construction and later studied the field of Structural Engineering. He was part of the crew that built the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri.

On a trip back home to Beaumont, Gary met his future bride, Clifteen Tomlin, on a blind-date. After a very short courtship, the two married on November 27, 1965, beginning their 51-year adventure. Adventure was the correct word; newlyweds bought a travel trailer and began a two year “gypsy” life. They traveled all over the United States, while Gary worked construction jobs. The Texas boy shoveled his way out of the Chicago Blizzard of 1967.

When it was time to start a family, Gary and Clifteen returned to Beaumont and opened their family business, Gary Clark Contractors, Inc. In the early 70s, they welcomed their two children Heather and Gary “Cliff”. In the mid-90s Gary retired. That didn’t go over well and he later returned to the construction field he loved most. He later served as Vice President Building Division with Brystar Contracting, Inc. This soon became the best of both worlds, retired and working. Gary took immense pride in his work but his “Papa-time” came first. His pride and joy were lovingly referred to as “Papa’s Best Buddy” and “Papa’s Pretty Thing”. Gary burned up I-10 as he traveled between Beaumont and San Antonio, never missing an event for his grandkids or a work deadline. As everyone in the construction business knew, Gary’s word and handshake was a sealed deal.

Gary was a very active community member and volunteer. He was a member of many community organizations. He served and volunteered during Cliff’s YMCA Little League days and Heather’s school events, Blue Bird events and the two enjoyed Indians and Princesses together. Gary was named “Honorary Pi Guy” in 1992, after years of dedication to Alpha Delta Pi Sorority.

Gary grew-up fishing and hunting in East Texas and continued until one day in his early 40s, a deer looked him in the eyes and he laid down his gun and he became a deer lease “head cook”. Cooking became a passion and he soon became the neighborhood cook, too.

Gary will be dearly missed by family and friends but his GREATNESS will NEVER BE FORGOTTEN. Gary is survived by his wife, as he called her “His Child-bride”, Clifteen Tomlin Clark, daughter Heather and husband Clark Boudreaux, son, Gary “Cliff” Clark, grandchildren Trenton and Ashlyn Boudreaux, sister-in-law, Shirley Tomlin, his red dog, Maggie and many nieces and nephews.

Honorary Pallbearers are John Elliott, Tim Elliott, John Michael Butler, Bobby Burford, Grant Sutton, Tony Levacy, Cole Gober, Phil Young and the Brystar Team.

Words cannot express our respect and gratitude for Clark who moved in to Gary’s house and took care of him for 3 weeks with patience, respect and unconditional love. We would like to thank Dr. Nathan Shumway and his staff at Texas Oncology San Antonio, Dr. Milind Javle and his staff at MD Anderson Houston and River City Hospice San Antonio for their dedication to Gary’s well-being. In lieu of flowers, we request donations be made to Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, 1500 Rosecrans Avenue, Suite 200, Manhattan Beach, California 90266, or Pancan.org.

A memorial service for Gary will be 2:00 p.m., Sunday, June 25, 2017, at Broussard’s, 2000 McFaddin Avenue, Beaumont, with a reception for his family and friends to follow at Broussard’s Centre, 1775 Calder Avenue, Beaumont.










 
 

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