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Parkway Funeral Home & Parkway Memorial Cemetery

1161 Highland Colony Pkwy, Ridgeland, MS

OBITUARY

Sharon DeFraites Clark

Passed away on November 18, 2019

Sharon DeFraites Clark was born on October 9, 1946 in New Orleans, Louisiana. She was the first child born to Emmanuel Gerrard DeFraites and Mary Rosa Prieto DeFraites, followed by brother, “Gerry”, sister, “Judy”, and brother “Robert”. Her father, “Frenchie”, was a well-known football player at Tulane University, having played in the Sugar Bowl and the Polo Grounds in New York City. Her mother was a medical doctor.

After elementary and junior high education, she attended St. Martin’s Episcopal High School where she revealed her academic commitment and athletic abilities. “Passion” marked every part of her young life! Passion to excel . . . to achieve!

However, a life changing experience occurred during the summer before her junior year. Through a friend she was invited to begin attending the youth group activities at Carrollton Presbyterian Church. This led to Sharon being part of a group attending Lake Forest Ranch in Macon, Mississippi. The faithful teaching of God’s Word by the camp speakers produced an understanding of the Gospel -- the “Good News” about God’s free gift of salvation through simple faith in Jesus Christ! She returned to New Orleans as a new “Believer” in Jesus Christ. This relationship became the foundation for the rest of her life. She had a new “passion”!

The choice of a college after graduation from St. Martin’s set a course for her future. She boldly requested that her mother allow her to go to a Christian College. She wanted a balance between good academic training and the development of personal faith! Wheaton College outside of Chicago was that balance! It offered academics good enough to get into top ranked medical schools, plus a foundation of Biblical faith. So, having never even seen the school, she and her mother boarded a train, travelled to Chicago, stopped to by a winter coat, and headed out to Wheaton . . . for four cold winters! “I didn’t get warm for four years!”

A life pattern had been set – a pattern of “simple obedience” to the will of God for life! North to Wheaton . . . then, back south to marry a “country preacher” . . . then, west to Dallas and five years of seminary training for Jerry . . . then, back to Mississippi, leaving a promising career as staff member and coach at S.M.U. – a pattern of “simple obedience” to the will of God for life!

Mississippi brought seven years of “retirement” from teaching and coaching to enable focus on building a family of four children: Brian, Stephanie, Stacie and Sarah. Then, as God often does, the invitation came to become part of the Jackson Academy family of teachers and coaches, leading to more than twenty-five years of “Harnessed Passion” – a focused vision – the privilege to invest in the lives of young people during their formative years!

How do you measure a life? Sharon’s life was defined by a “Harnessed Passion” for Truth and Excellence – a pattern of “simple obedience” to the will of God in all of life!

  • PALLBEARERS

  • Bill Luter
  • Dr. Bill Burrow
  • Chuck Minor
  • Tom McDonald
  • Jack Curry
  • Brad Ford
  • Dr. Yusufa Jinkiri
  • Harold Sprayberry

Services

  • Visitation Thursday, November 21, 2019
  • Funeral Service Thursday, November 21, 2019

Memories

Sharon DeFraites Clark

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Theressia McAlpin

November 22, 2019

This sweet soul had such an impact on my life at Lake Forest. God used her to comfort and guide me in my path with God.

Harriett Eppes

November 21, 2019

I was blessed to work with Sharon when she came to JA. She knew just how to reach each child and help them dig deep and reach for the sky. She lived her faith every minute of every day and shared the Love of Christ with all. I know there was an amazing homecoming in Heaven for Sharon, and I want to make her proud of the way I live my life.

Carissa (Cooper) Marler

November 21, 2019

When I think of Sharon, I hear “never surrender, never say die” and I hear her chuckle. She was built for big things, big influence...and I, for one, have been blessed beyond measure by her ability to speak truth and believe the best in people even while calling them to be better. She had a way of inviting others into the best version of themselves and life. Nothing was too big for her God, so nothing was too big for her. What an inspiration and reminder of such a profound truth. Thank you, Sharon. And thank you Clarks for sharing such a beautiful person.

Ray Lett

November 21, 2019

Jerry - A wealth of memories flooded my thoughts when I learned the sad news of Sharon's death. The years she and you served at Hillcrest have had a profound influence upon the course of my life that continues unto this day. It is an influence that flowed from her life in Christ Jesus. Kate and I thank God for Sharon's faithful example of whole hearted faith in and obedience to her Savior. In the midst of this great loss for you and your children, "The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make His face shine on you and be gracious to you; The LORD lift up His countenance on you and give you peace through His Son, the LORD Jesus Christ." With much love, Ray & Kate Lett

Sally Guyton

November 20, 2019

My daughters, Caroline and Mary Katherine both learned a great deal from Coach Clark, especially Mary Kay. Also, MK was one of the first members of Little Dribblers. I am not quite sure when coach Clark started the dribblers but they were a joy to watch. That may have fostered MK’s love of the game. Basketball was a great vehicle for sharing God’s love and grace. The Lord certainly shone brightly through “Coach” Clark. She was truly loved by many and she will be missed.

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY