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,
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
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,