William Ray (Bill) Clark was born ‘at home’ at 0730, May 4, 1933, to Lona Ray and Louella Mabel (Sloan) Clark, second oldest in a family of six, on Ranch 5 which his dad and uncle worked and managed. Ranch 5 was located southeast of Tarkio, Missouri, in Atchison County, and owned by the Northwestern Insurance Company, which his father later purchased. Bill attended Tarkio High School, Longview Community College and many USAF Technical Training Schools.
On June 2, 1949, at approximately a quarter till 8 just after sundown, a tornado hit and completely destroyed the family home and all farm buildings. Three days later, his younger sister died from injuries sustained in the tornado. In March 1952, Bill enlisted in the United States Air Force. He was stationed for five weeks of boot camp at Lackland Air Force Base (AFB), in San Antonio, Texas. On May 30, 1952, while on leave, Bill was united in marriage to Anna Davis at the Rock Port Baptist Church, Rock Port, Missouri. They became the parents of three children, William Ray, Jr., Stuart Alan, and Robin Roxanne. Following his graduation from boot camp, he was assigned to Headquarters 8AF, Carswell AFB, in Fort Worth, Texas. His next assignments were the 42nd Bomb Wing, Limestone AFB, in Maine, followed by Army Engineer School, Fort Belvoir, Virginia, and the 27th Aviation Squadron, Bergstrom AFB, Austin, Texas. Within 10 days at Bergstrom, the squadron received orders to Korea where he served for 14 months. Following the Korean assignment, he was assigned to the 414 Fighter (FTR) Wing, Oxnard, AFB, California, and Richards-Gebaur AFB (formerly Grandview AFB, Missouri). He served in three capacities at RGAFB: active duty, civil service, and Department of Defense contracting, totaling 42 years.
During this time, Bill attended Longview Community College, York Institute of Refrigeration and Air Conditioning, Trane Technical School, Army Engineer School, Fort Belvoir, and many Air Force training classes. He belonged to the Refrigeration Service Engineer’s Society (RSES) for 37 years and enjoyed serving many years as a judge for the Skills America competition in Kansas City, Missouri. Before his retirement, he was considered as one of the best HVAC men in the Kansas City area. Bill passed away Saturday, May 18, 2019, at his home in Belton, Missouri, at the age of 86.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by sisters, Margaret Alice Clark and Shirley Louella Carlisle; and brothers, Philip Roger Clark, Kent Marshall Clark, and Kim Douglas Clark. Survivors include his wife, Anna (Davis) Clark, Belton; sons, William Ray Clark, Jr., Harrisonville, Missouri, and Stuart Alan Clark and wife, Leea, Peculiar, Missouri, and their son, William Ryan Clark and wife, Stephanie (grandson), and their daughter, Hadley Ryan Clark (great-granddaughter), Sigonella Naval Station, Sicily, and their daughter, Kory Lillie and husband, David (granddaughter), and their children, David Lillie III (great-grandson) and his son, David Lillie IV (great-great-grandson), and Danny Lillie (great-grandson), all of Tucson, Arizona; daughter, Robin Roxanne Woodburn and husband, Leslie, Cleveland, Missouri, and their children, Justin Paul Woodburn, Cleveland, and Nathan Shawn Woodburn, Austin, Texas (grandsons), and Victoria Kay Woodburn, Cleveland (granddaughter); sisters-in-law, Roberta, Karen, and Judy Clark and brother-in-law, Howard Andrew Carlisle, all of Tarkio; and many nieces and nephews.
Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m., Wednesday, May 22, 2019, at Raymore Christian Church, Raymore, Missouri. The family will receive friends from 9:30 -10:30 a.m., Wednesday, prior to the service at the church. Interment will be at 4:00 p.m., Wednesday, at Home Cemetery, Tarkio. Memorials may be directed to Raymore Christian Church or a charity of the donor’s choice. Online condolences may be left at www.minterfuneralchapels.com. Services are under the direction of Davis Funeral Home, Tarkio.