OBITUARY

James C. Clark

April 13, 1929February 14, 2021

INDIANAPOLIS – James Coull Clark passed away peacefully on February 14, 2021 at the age of 91. Born in Indianapolis on April 13, 1929 to Alexander and Ida Clark, who both pre-deceased him, he called Indianapolis his home for his entire life. As a son of Scottish immigrants, he was extremely proud of his Scottish heritage. He is survived by his wife Claire McKinney Clark, with whom he enjoyed 64 years of adventure, happiness and love, and their four children Murray (Janet), Matt (Beth), Cameron (Jill), Heather Iffert (Pete), ten grandchildren (Jimmy, Holly, Bobby, Kate, Megan, Lilly, Adam, Annie, Luke and Collin) and one great-grandson (Teddy), and nieces Claudia Engstrom, Sandi Clark and Alexis Pariano, and nephew Bill Clark. His beloved brothers Alex and Fred also predeceased him.

He grew up on the north side of Indianapolis attending PS70 and Shortridge High School. In the Boy Scouts he achieved the rank of Eagle Scout, and loved to recount tales from his days as a counselor at Scout Camp Chank-Tan-Un-Gi (now Camp Belzer). The accuracy of these stories was often a topic of entertaining debate. After graduating from Wabash College in 1951 where he was a member of Phi Gamma Delta, he joined the United States Marine Corps and served with honor and distinction in the Korean War in an amphibious tank division. A lifelong proud Marine, he taught his children at a very young age the meaning of Semper Fi and the words to the Marine Corps hymn. After his discharge from the Marines, having achieved the rank of Lieutenant, he continued to serve his country as a Captain in the Marine Corps Reserve.

He received his law degree from Indiana University Law School in Bloomington in 1957 and then began a distinguished 60-year law career in the law firm then known as Quinn, Howard and Clark (now known as Clark, Quinn, Moses, Scott & Grahn). He practiced law with his brother Alex for 34 years, and practiced at times over his career with his three sons, and many other fine lawyers and staff who became lifelong friends and mentees. For Jim Clark, his word was his bond and a handshake enough to bind. He was a true gentleman in every respect and a consummate professional. He was elected as a Distinguished Fellow of the Indianapolis Bar Foundation in 1985.

He lived a life of public service and giving back to his community. He served in the Indiana House of Representatives from 1962-1964, but failed to survive the disastrous GOP Goldwater election in 1964. This was the subsequent election after the General Assembly enacted a sales tax for the first time in Indiana. The passage of a sales tax created problems for incumbents, particularly Republicans. He always claimed he voted against the sales tax but in this regard, it was at times affectionately suggested that he suffered from a foggy memory. As a lifelong Republican, he was however active and instrumental in political and judicial campaigns his entire adult life including Alex’s mayoral campaigns, Murray’s campaigns, and those of many others who he genuinely favored. He was a member of the Marion County Republican Veterans and received the high honor of the Sagamore of the Wabash from Governors Harold Handley, Matthew Welsh and Mitch Daniels.

He was a lifelong supporter of Indianapolis law enforcement and was a past president and member of the Hundred Club and a board member of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department Motorcycle Drill Team. He was a past post commander and a life member of American Legion Post 34. He was a past board member of Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School and the St. Vincent’s Hospital Foundation. He was a past president and member of the Columbia Club, a member of the American Business Club, the Antelope Club, the Indianapolis Oldtimers and the 702 Club. He was a member of the Scottish Rite and was conferred with the 33rd Degree Mason.

He and Claire have been members of Meridian Hills Country Club for many decades. He was an accomplished card player once finishing third in the now defunct but once well-attended 500 Festival Gin Rummy tournament, and was known to engage now and then in a gin game at another club on the northeast side. He was also a skilled poker and bridge player but known to struggle from time to time in family euchre games. And he was an avid fisherman engaging in decades of fishing trips in the wilds of Canada with friends, sons Matt and Cam, and eventually his grandson Bobby.

All that being said, family was everything to Jim Clark. While not a “helicopter” parent in today’s vernacular, he (along with Claire) was intimately involved in the activities of his children and grandchildren. He taught them honor, honesty, loyalty, respect and the virtue of a strong work ethic. He taught mostly by his actions and impacted the many friends and teammates of his children that he “adopted”, mentored and brought into his orbit. He loved nothing more than to attend the athletic events of his children and grandchildren, particularly perhaps Heather’s tennis matches, and fortunately for all of them, ended his formal coaching career at Orchard Little League in 1972.

The family would like to thank the compassionate and caring staff at Asera Care Hospice and Live Long Well Care at the Stratford.

Family will gather at the Northminster Presbytarian Church, where Jim was a lifelong member, for funeral services at 1:00pm on Saturday, February 20th. Friends are invited to join virtually at the following direct link in the services section below or you may access the live stream by going to Northminster’s website at: www.northminster-indy.org. A celebration of Jim’s life will be held at a later date so all can safely remember him. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Brebeuf Jesuit, 2801 W. 86th Street, Indianapolis, Indiana 46268, the National Junior Tennis League (NJTL) of Indianapolis, 1310 E. 96th Street, Suite 100, Indianapolis, Indiana 46240, or a charity or organization of your choosing serving those in need in the Indianapolis community in these challenging times.

Services

  • Private Family Funeral Service with Public Livestream

    Saturday, February 20, 2021

    VIEW VIDEO

Memories

James C. Clark

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Preston Breunig

February 22, 2021

Jim was a great attorney and I enjoyed practicing with him over the years.

Betsy Moses

February 22, 2021

Dear Clark Family,

I really enjoyed seeing the whole family on my computer on Saturday. It was a lovely service and Murray's eulogy was wonderful, as it should be, because it honored such a wonderful man.
I have always felt that your family and ours are connected in many ways. I know that Jim and my Dad were always kindred spirits and alike in many ways. The words that come to mind,
"amazing charisma".
I loved Jim and I love your family and I know that there are some really cool reunions happening in heaven right now.

Love to All,
Betsy

Dave Byers

February 21, 2021

I met Jim Clark in 1979 while working in the Marion County Court system. He was a true professional and a very kind man. In reading about his many accomplishments in life, I realize what an honor it was to know him. My deepest sympathy to the Clark family and firm.

John Moses

February 21, 2021

I, like so many others considered Jamesy as a second father. It was truly an Honor to have had the opportunity to have known Jim, Alex and the entire Clark family.

Steve Allen

February 20, 2021

What a true gentleman! As a young lawyer, he always held out a helping hand to me. One of my best friends was Kemper Westfall, jr. One of his best friends was his father Dr. Kemper Westfall who was a real character and the acorn didn’t fall far from the tree. I am certain many of you were familiar with that relationship. I always had such respect for him. RIP.


,

Richard Carlen

February 20, 2021

Claire, Linda (Godchild) notified me. Am in Florida. Always considered Jim one of the nicest and classiest people I have had the pleasure of knowing & spending some time with. Know you will miss him greatly. We will break bread when I return. Dick Carlen

Linda Carlen

February 20, 2021

Dear Claire,
My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Jim and Mom can now catch up. When Dad returns from Florida maybe we can get together for dinner.
I think fondly of you each Christmas when I get out my beautiful Santa Claus collection.
Love, Linda

Anne Oswald

February 20, 2021

We were sorry to learn of Jim,’s passing. He was a true gentleman. We have fond memories of our sailing with Jim at Spring mill Lakes and enjoying our dinners together. We send our love and prayers to Claire and her children.
Blessings, Anne and Bob Oswald

Tom Steinmetz

February 20, 2021

To the whole Clark family;

What a fabulous life Jim led in every respect. Although I was not always a good influence on Murray, Jim provided unfaltering support, strong when appropriate, but respectful and based on a foundation of true caring.

I was fortunate and am appreciative to have been able to share time with Jim and the whole Clark family.

All my best to Claire, Murray, Matt, Heather and the extended family.

Love and thanks,
Tom Steinmetz

Jim Blackwell

February 19, 2021

Murray,
My deepest sympathies to you and your family. I remember him as always being friendly and engaging whenever I ran into him.
This is truly part of the passing of "a great generation" who made our lives and the many around them better.
Best,
Jim Blackwell

FROM THE FAMILY

Biography

INDIANAPOLIS – James Coull Clark passed away peacefully on February 14, 2021 at the age of 91. Born in Indianapolis on April 13, 1929 to Alexander and Ida Clark, who both pre-deceased him, he called Indianapolis his home for his entire life. As a son of Scottish immigrants, he was extremely proud of his Scottish heritage. He is survived by his wife Claire McKinney Clark, with whom he enjoyed 64 years of adventure, happiness and love, and their four children Murray (Janet), Matt (Beth), Cameron (Jill), Heather Iffert (Pete), ten grandchildren (Jimmy, Holly, Bobby, Kate, Megan, Lilly, Adam, Annie, Luke and Collin) and one great-grandson (Teddy), and nieces Claudia Engstrom, Sandi Clark and Alexis Pariano, and nephew Bill Clark. His beloved brothers Alex and Fred also predeceased him.

He grew up on the north side of Indianapolis attending PS70 and Shortridge High School. In the Boy Scouts he achieved the rank of Eagle Scout, and loved to recount tales from his days as a counselor at Scout Camp Chank-Tan-Un-Gi (now Camp Belzer). The accuracy of these stories was often a topic of entertaining debate. After graduating from Wabash College in 1951 where he was a member of Phi Gamma Delta, he joined the United States Marine Corps and served with honor and distinction in the Korean War in an amphibious tank division. A lifelong proud Marine, he taught his children at a very young age the meaning of Semper Fi and the words to the Marine Corps hymn. After his discharge from the Marines, having achieved the rank of Lieutenant, he continued to serve his country as a Captain in the Marine Corps Reserve.

He received his law degree from Indiana University Law School in Bloomington in 1957 and then began a distinguished 60-year law career in the law firm then known as Quinn, Howard and Clark (now known as Clark, Quinn, Moses, Scott & Grahn). He practiced law with his brother Alex for 34 years, and practiced at times over his career with his three sons, and many other fine lawyers and staff who became lifelong friends and mentees. For Jim Clark, his word was his bond and a handshake enough to bind. He was a true gentleman in every respect and a consummate professional. He was elected as a Distinguished Fellow of the Indianapolis Bar Foundation in 1985.

He lived a life of public service and giving back to his community. He served in the Indiana House of Representatives from 1962-1964, but failed to survive the disastrous GOP Goldwater election in 1964. This was the subsequent election after the General Assembly enacted a sales tax for the first time in Indiana. The passage of a sales tax created problems for incumbents, particularly Republicans. He always claimed he voted against the sales tax but in this regard, it was at times affectionately suggested that he suffered from a foggy memory. As a lifelong Republican, he was however active and instrumental in political and judicial campaigns his entire adult life including Alex’s mayoral campaigns, Murray’s campaigns, and those of many others who he genuinely favored. He was a member of the Marion County Republican Veterans and received the high honor of the Sagamore of the Wabash from Governors Harold Handley, Matthew Welsh and Mitch Daniels.

He was a lifelong supporter of Indianapolis law enforcement and was a past president and member of the Hundred Club and a board member of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department Motorcycle Drill Team. He was a past post commander and a life member of American Legion Post 34. He was a past board member of Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School and the St. Vincent’s Hospital Foundation. He was a past president and member of the Columbia Club, a member of the American Business Club, the Antelope Club, the Indianapolis Oldtimers and the 702 Club. He was a member of the Scottish Rite and was conferred with the 33rd Degree Mason.

He and Claire have been members of Meridian Hills Country Club for many decades. He was an accomplished card player once finishing third in the now defunct but once well-attended 500 Festival Gin Rummy tournament, and was known to engage now and then in a gin game at another club on the northeast side. He was also a skilled poker and bridge player but known to struggle from time to time in family euchre games. And he was an avid fisherman engaging in decades of fishing trips in the wilds of Canada with friends, sons Matt and Cam, and eventually his grandson Bobby.

All that being said, family was everything to Jim Clark. While not a “helicopter” parent in today’s vernacular, he (along with Claire) was intimately involved in the activities of his children and grandchildren. He taught them honor, honesty, loyalty, respect and the virtue of a strong work ethic. He taught mostly by his actions and impacted the many friends and teammates of his children that he “adopted”, mentored and brought into his orbit. He loved nothing more than to attend the athletic events of his children and grandchildren, particularly perhaps Heather’s tennis matches, and fortunately for all of them, ended his formal coaching career at Orchard Little League in 1972.

The family would like to thank the compassionate and caring staff at Asera Care Hospice and Live Long Well Care at the Stratford.

Family will gather at the Northminster Presbytarian Church, where Jim was a lifelong member, for funeral services at 1:00pm on Saturday, February 20th. Friends are invited to join virtually at the following direct link in the services section below or you may access the live stream by going to Northminster’s website at: www.northminster-indy.org. A celebration of Jim’s life will be held at a later date so all can safely remember him. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Brebeuf Jesuit, 2801 W. 86th Street, Indianapolis, Indiana 46268, the National Junior Tennis League (NJTL) of Indianapolis, 1310 E. 96th Street, Suite 100, Indianapolis, Indiana 46240, or a charity or organization of your choosing serving those in need in the Indianapolis community in these challenging times.