Billy Max Clark
22 February, 1929 – 27 September, 2019
Billy Max Clark was born February 22, 1929 in Kellogg, Iowa to Taylor and Amelia Clark. Billy had a twin sister Betty, brothers Bob, Ray, Vernon and Dale, sister Ruth; making one Big Happy Family.
Bill is a Veteran of the Korean War, serving the US Air Force. He was stationed in Japan on his last tour and was offered Technical Sergeant or Officer Training School positions at the end of his four-year term. However, his passion for higher education led him to his undergraduate and master’s degrees at the University of Iowa. At the age of 39 years old, Bill still had enough aspiration to continue his college by completing his Ph.D. in Education at Iowa State University. Bill’s forward and creative thinking produced many amazing educational programs and in turn he was recognized by state and national peers with numerous awards.
Bill was quite “The Music Man” (he was in the musical). He sang and performed throughout his life. Also starring in the productions of “My Fair Lady, Doctor Zhivago, The Last Supper, Oklahoma” and many more. He participated in many choirs and was a member of a Barbershop Quartet.
Bill was in the Masonic Lodge Organization and then became a member of Kiwanis of West Des Moines and Ahwatukee. Along with being the President of the Ahwatukee Chapter, Bill served three terms as a Lieutenant General of a tri-state area. Bill had compassion for “Reading is Fundamental” and community service.
Bill enjoyed so a variety of hobbies and activities which included family and grandkids, golfing with cronies, tennis, fishing/hunting, blackjack in Las Vegas, traveling, exploring, cribbage, music and sporting events.
Even though he was a bit technologically challenged (he really tried) …he loved his iPhone and PC computer. FaceTime and Facebook were not his forte although he made many attempts to master. Other modern devices were less of a priority.
Always surrounded by family and friends, he found goodness, kindness and laughter with everyone. Billy Max Clark and Elinor Christine Clark were married for 59 blissful years. They had two amazing kids; Steven Jay and Diane Kay (kudos to us as we write this), Seven grandkids-Leah, Emilio, Tatiana, Kristi, Carlo, Paolo, Patricia. Six great grandkids- Ben, Leana, Dylan, Dane, Cameron, Isabelle and one great grandchild, “bun in the oven”, due April 24, 2020.
There are not enough words to express the life of this GREAT Man. “The idea is to die young as late as possible”- Montagu…and he did just that!
- Memorial Service Sunday, 6 October , 2019
Billy Max Clark
24 October 2019
I had the privilege to work with Bill from the time I started work with Polk Co Board of Ed in 1970 until his retirement. I remember the great fun and hard work that went into the many programs Bill both initiated and administered. I am especially remembering IMPACT. That was such a great learning experience for teachers. We used to have such fun together, too. I particularly remember a staff picnic when we played a game of softball. Bill hit a double and ran pretty hard to 2nd base. He was quite winded and took the opportunity to shed his toupee. That event was priceless as many of us, me included, was unaware that he wore one. Such a fun time. I will always remember Bill as a great leader and a person that took a personal interest in those he worked with. He was one of a kind.
Peggy Van Kirk
19 October 2019
Bill Clark hired me as a special education consultant for Heartland Area Education Agency(Ames office) in 1977. I worked there in various roles until retiring in 2007. Bill was well-respected and remembered for his kindness and care for his employees. It appears he had a wonderful life beyond the AEA. Rest in peace, Bill.
7 October 2019
It was only this evening (Oct. 7) that I heard about Bill's passing. My thoughts are with the family. Bill was a good friend - and a great Kiwanian. So many memories from the West Des Moines days - a fun wine-tasting party at Bill's and Chris's house, playing couples' bridge in the neighborhood group, at least two memorable practical jokes that were told and re-told many times over, lots of laughter, lots of fun.
Diane babysat for us when our kids were small, and went along to Clear Lake once to help with the children on our vacation. We accidentally left our little dog out running loose in Clarks' yard when we unpacked Diane's things at her house at the end of that weekend - and didn't realize what we'd done until we got to our own house about 8 blocks away on 18th. (Rushed back, only to find the dog was sitting on the familiar back step of the house we had owned a couple years before in the "old neighborhood"!)
Thanks for the love and the memories. Blessings to you all.
30 September 2019
My Dad, Uncle Bill and Uncle Burr always took a long weekend trout fishing trip in the fall to northeastern Iowa. On one of the first trips Uncle Bill had wandered down stream a ways and had hit a honey hole full of trout. He called out to Dad and Uncle Burr to come down and help him catch some trout. When they arrived they wanted Uncle Bill to show them the four fish he had caught. He untied the stringer from his belt and held it up for them to see. When he did this the fish slid, one at a time, off the end of the stringer and into the stream. Uncle Bill had forgot to tie the end of the stringer around the mouth of the first fish he had put on the stringer. Dad and Uncle Burr gave him a pretty hard time about losing all his fish and Uncle Bill came right back with "at least he had caught more fish than both of them." They would retell this story every year before going on the next trip up north.