Thomas Daniel Clark, age 81, a proud veteran of the Vietnam War, died March 8, 2023, at his home in Orange Park, Florida. “Tom” was born in Jacksonville, Florida on December 8, 1941, to Travis and Bernice Clark of Baldwin, Florida.
Tom graduated from Baldwin High School and, soon after, worked with CSX Railroad for a short time, before enlisting in the United States Marine Corps in 1961. His 21 years of service would see him attain the rank of Master Sergeant. Tom held great pride in being a Marine. His children knew the Marine Corps Hymn and would sing it for family and friends. His pride grew stronger when he would go on to see his only son and eldest grandson follow in his footsteps and become Marines. Following his retirement in 1982, Tom worked as an aircraft mechanic for NARF/NADEP. During his 24-year tenure, Tom was presented, in 2001, with a Career Service Award in grateful recognition and appreciation for 40 years of faithful service to the Navy and to the Government of the United States of America. He retired from NADEP in 2006.
In Tom’s younger years, he enjoyed hunting and bass fishing as a member of multiple clubs. He would often take his family on camping trips to out-of-town tournaments. Then, he discovered golf, a pastime he really enjoyed in later years. Tom always had a green thumb; a trait he passed down to his eldest and youngest daughters. He was raised on good southern food and continued that tradition by preparing “runny eggs with grits” every Sunday morning. Sunday dinners were also a big deal- seeing his kids and grandkids come home for SUPPER! In recent years, Tom spent more time at home. He loved to sit in his garage, his beloved Shih Tzu, Sophie, or “Sodie” as he playfully called her, sitting at his feet. He would listen to historical documentaries and political radio, while minding the “neighborhood watch” until his “Little Red” came home from work. They would enjoy having dinner and watching American Pickers and Heartland together. He and Debbie also enjoyed traveling until recent years. When he was no longer able to drive, Tom loved being picked up by one of his daughters or granddaughters for lunch, sometimes shopping, but ALWAYS a sweet treat before going home. Tom gave the BEST hugs! He had a big and generous heart that will live on in our hearts forever.
Tom was predeceased by his parents, Travis and Bernice Clark; his brother, Lamar Clark (Mary) and his eldest daughter, Stacey Clark; his grandson, Bradley Clark, and his niece, Karen Potter. Tom is survived by his sister, Noma Jeanne Crews (Gene); his wife, Deborah White Clark; his children, Michelle Clark Blair (Chuck); Barron Clark (Dena); Heather Reier (Travis); Suzanne Clark (Patrick); Megan Clark; Samantha George (Rodney); his former wife and children’s mother, Virginia Clark; his many grandchildren and great grandchildren; and many friends.
A visitation will be held Thursday, March 16th from 5pm-7pm at Hardage-Giddens Funeral Home 7242 Normandy Blvd Jacksonville, FL 32205. A Full Military Honors Service will be held Friday, March 17th at 10:00am at The Jacksonville National Cemetery 4083 Lannie Rd Jacksonville, FL 32218.
A fellowship with food will follow the service at Tom and Debbie’s home 2450 Camphorwood Ct, Orange Park, FL 32073.
Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at www.hgriversidefuneralhome.com for the Clark family.