The funeral service for Charlie Clark, age 76, lifelong Keldron rancher, was held Friday, October 18, 2013 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Lemmon with Pastor John Irwin from the Reformed Presbyterian Church, officiating. Per Charlie’s wishes, his ashes will be scattered on his beloved ranch along the Grand River.
Special music was provided by Carolyn Petik, pianist, Wes Hotchkiss, and Paul Schultes.
Serving as casketbearers were Jim Petik, Stuart Schmidt, Pat Clark, Paul Schultes, Mike Gillin, and Clifford Engelhorn. All of Charlie’s friends and neighbors are considered honorary bearers.
Charles Roger Clark was called home to Heaven suddenly while working on the ranch that he loved on October 12, 2013. While his family is heartbroken, they feel blessed that Charlie was spared a long decline in health and he died peacefully.
Charlie was born November 18, 1936, in Lemmon to Avery and Genevieve (Schmidt) Clark. He was the youngest of their six children. The young family also suffered the loss of Avery when Charlie was only 9 years old so his brothers, sisters and mother were a huge part of his life, remaining close to the end. He was raised on the Clark homestead south of the Grand River and attended White Deer School where his mother taught until 7th grade. 8th grade took the family to Sturgis for a year and then they returned to the Lemmon area where he attended high school.
On June 1, 1954, Charlie married his high school sweetheart, Peggy Cazer at Spencer Memorial Church in Lemmon. They lived their first few years on the homestead and then purchased their own ranch from Tom Lyman along the Grand River where they proudly raised cattle and a family. Charles and Peggy celebrated 59 years of marriage together this year.
Charlie was a cowboy and a rancher to the core. He loved the land and the animals under his care. An avid cowboy poet and storyteller, he enjoyed sharing memories of the good ole days with family and friends.
Some years were lean and he worked off the ranch to keep things afloat. He hauled beets in North Dakota, manure in Nebraska, and was a partner with Gordie Ulmer, Roger Rossow and Len Hofer in Lemmon Livestock from 1991-1995. He and Peggy also managed a hotel in Custer in 1999.
Throughout his lifetime he was an active member of his community. He served on the Lemmon School Board from 1974-1978, Grand Valley Township Board, volunteer fire department, FSA Board for nine years until 2008, and had been serving on the Moreau Grand Electric Board for several years at the time of his death. He was a great supporter of the 4-H program acting as a 4-H leader, serving on the Corson County Fair Board and was honored with the Clyde Huber Volunteerism Award in 2012. He was an original member of the Black Horse Saddle Club and in the early 1970’s, while chairman of the 4-H Leader’s Association, he was an instrumental part of a small group of people who organized the first South Dakota State 4-H Rodeo finals.
Throughout the 70’s and 80’s, he and Peggy raised Registered Gelbvieh Cattle and Charlie served on the national board of directors of the American Gelbvieh Assocation for six years and as President in 1983. His knowledge was sought as a judge for national shows at Nile, Kansas City and Manitoba.
Keeping him in their fondest memories are his wife, Peggy; his children and their spouses, Scot and Kathleen Clark, Sacramento, CA, Clint and Narcel Clark, Morristown, SD, Amy and Dean Hauck, Belle Fourche, SD; his grandchildren, Amber Clark, Taos, NM, Avery (Felice) Clark, Sacramento, CAm Ashley Clark, Sacramento, CAm Courtney (Chance) Uhrig, Bismarck, ND, Garrett Clark and Paige Clark, Morristown, SD; Great Grandchildren, Adriel and Emmett Hanf, Taos, NM, Riley and Hanna Clark, Sacramento, CA; his 2 brothers and 2 sisters-in-law, Jim and Mavis Clark, Keldron, SD, Jack and Louis Clark, Aberdeen, SD; and 2 sisters and 1 brother-in-law, Avis and John Portney, De Ruyter, NY, and Jean Guhin, Aberdeen, SD; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Charlie was preceded in death by his parents, Avery and Geneveive; and a sister, Mary Lee Hinegardner.
In lieu of flowers a memorial has been established.
Condolences may be sent to the family at www.evansonjensenfuneralhome.com.