MCMINNVILLE, Oregon––Edward Russell Clark, 74, former president of the Western Jurisdiction of United Methodist Men, died peacefully on Feb. 14, 2014, at his home after a formidable battle with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease).
Ed was the fourth of nine children born to Archie and Genevieve (DeGroot) Clark. The family moved to Los Angeles, Calif., in 1948. He began working, before and after school at the family gas station and delivering newspapers, and graduated from Belmont High School in 1958. While being a student athlete, Ed met Mona, the love of his life, and the couple were married on Nov. 10, 1958 at the First Methodist Church of Los Angeles.
Ed then attended junior college while working full time .
The couple moved to Canby, Oregon in 1961, and in 1963, they became the proud parents of Edna Jean. Delos Russell was born in 1969, followed by Genevieve Marleen in 1973.
The family moved to McMinnville, Oregon in 1978.
No matter the demands of work or how frantic the pace of life, Ed always gave his first time and energy to serving God and the community. From United Methodist Men, to youth group "parent", to 4-H Dad, Cub Scouts and little league, Ed always had time and energy for others, for his family, his church and seemed to gain energy with each additional request for his time!
Ed became a licensed United Methodist local preacher in the early 1960s regularly preaching at a small United Methodist church near Canby, while remaining active in the Canby United Methodist Church as lay leader, president of UM Men, Sunday school teacher and trustee.
His service to God and community continued in McMinnville throughout the next 36 years, and will be affectionately remembered as “Mr. Ed” by two generations of church youth group kids who enjoyed his wit and wisdom during many adventures.
In the 1990s Ed was elected president of the Western Jurisdiction of United Methodist Men and a member of the United Methodist Men Foundation. He was inducted into the John Wesley Society in 2003.
Ed's professional life was primarily as a dairy feed salesman, grain salesman, business entrepreneur, and bus operator. From the time he was 9, until just after his 73rd birthday, when he was diagnosed with ALS, Ed was "on the job". He also served honorably in the Army National Guard from 1961-1969.
Ed will be remembered for his larger than life laughter that filled a room; for his deep spirit and confident trust in God; his devotion to God, Family, and community; and for his jokes and infectious humor.
He is survived by his wife, Mona P. (Holzer) Clark; brothers Leo and wife Armeda Clark of Sacramento, Calif., Jack and wife Betty Clark of Mont Clair, Calif.. sisters Janet and husband Paul Hilse of Park, Ariz., and June and husband Phil St Laurent of Isabella, Mo; daughter and son-in-law Edna and Floyd Bullock of Portland, Ore.,; daughter and son-in-law Genevieve and John (Fisher) Clark of Okinawa, Japan; grandsons James, Joseph, and Scott Bullock of Portland, Ore., Declan Clark of Sherwood, Ore., and granddaughter Alaina Clark of Sherwood, Ore. Ed is preceded in death by his parents, Archie and Genevieve (DeGroot) Clark, siblings Mark Clark, Harold Clark, David Clark, Bernice (Clark) Giacinti, and his son Delos R. Clark.