James Thomas Clarkson
February 9, 1927 – March 5, 2019
James Thomas Clarkson, a resident of Mercer Island for the last 47 years, passed peacefully on March 5th, 2019 in the arms of his family.
Born February 9, 1927 in East Rutherford, New Jersey to James and Maybelle Clarkson, he joins his wife Bonnie Lou, who passed away in 2015. Mentored by his high school math teacher and football coach, he was recruited by the University of Nevada, along with some of his lifelong sandlot football buddies – a move that changed his life. He received a scholarship to play football and basketball, graduated with a degree in civil engineering and met his wife of 67 years, Bonnie Lou Taylor.
Drafted into the Korean War, he was stationed in Hawaii, a place they both loved and visited often. They started their family on the East Coast with the births of their two children, Dan and Bruce. He coached youth sports, earned a Masters in Engineering, joined Shell Oil for the next 32 years and spent good times and holidays with the families of his childhood friends and relatives. These included the clans of Ken Sinofsky, his cousin Jack Clarkson and the Falicon/Elliots. Cape Cod, the Jersey Shore, Hawaii and visits to Bonnie’s family in Texas and California were cherished memories for the Clarksons.
Thanks to a Shell Oil transfer, Jim saw the light and moved back out West – first to the SF Bay area in the late 60s and finally to Mercer Island in 1972. He and Bonnie had an elegant home alongside the MI Beach Club, where he found other outlets for his athleticism, playing tennis and swimming in the Lake. Jim cultivated many groups of friends, including his tennis, bridge and ethnic out-to- dinner groups, along with lifelong friends from the Island.
JT’s smile and humor will be missed, and he leaves an inconsolable hole in the hearts of his two boys, Dan and Bruce, their wives Andrea and Julie, his four granddaughters, Margaret Aurora, Carris, AnaLucia, Ariana and his favorite grandson Taylor. In lieu of flowers, please send chocolates. Please share your memories of Jim at www. Legacy.com and join us for a celebration of his life on Friday, March 15 at the Emmanuel Episcopal Church on Mercer Island at 12:00, with reception to follow at the Church.
- Visitation Thursday, March 14, 2019
- Funeral Service Friday, March 15, 2019
- Final Resting Place
James Thomas Clarkson
March 15, 2019
Jim and my husband, Ken, were, like brothers...without sharing their blood. They started kindergarten together in East Rutherford, NJ, went through high school together as students and team mates, went to the University of Nevada to play football, then went to the Great Lakes Naval Station for their military service before returning to Nevada to complete their educations. They even both married Nevada girls who were Tri Delts. It was truly a lifelong friendship...but so much more.
Today is the day of the funeral. My thoughts and prayers are with you all. We shared a lifetime of wonderful memories. I will be thinking of all those thoughts today. So many good times together with all the gang in Florida. I feel as if I have lost a brother. Jim was one of the special people who grace our lives. I know Ken will be greeting him with open arms.
My love to to yall, Doris
March 13, 2019
Was very sorry to learn of Jim's passing and equally sorry that I could not change plans and stay in Seattle for attendance. I am so glad I was able to visit with him when I did and that is the memory I will hold. He was a good man, and he & Bonnie shared a wonderful life together; and they produced two fine, young men to carry on. I will always remember the fun times when they came to visit in Texas. Looking forward to seeing you soon and sharing more memories. Love to all.
March 10, 2019
Dan and Bruce, I cherish my memories of Bonnie and Jim and "y'all's" visit to Texas. You are so blessed to have be given your incredible parents. They were both wise, funny, full of love and so very special in their individual personalities. I know you will miss them greatly. I am praying that both of you will feel God's comfort and peace as you transition though this season of your lives. Love to you both. Laurabeth