William J. Clark
NEWTON FALLS — William J. “Bill” Clark, who served 38 years in various roles as an educator, passed away Friday, Nov. 17, 2023, at his residence.
He was born Aug. 5, 1926, in Warren, and graduated from Braceville High School in 1944. While in the third grade, he met his beloved wife, Glenda Colton, and shortly thereafter started a lifelong partnership filled with love.
Bill entered active duty in the United States Navy on July 1, 1944, the same day in which Glenda started as a worker on the B-29 bomber. Dr. Clark’s service included duty aboard a minesweeper, the USS Vigilance AM 324 and was awarded the American Campaign, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign and World War II Victory medals.
Bill and Glenda were married during the war on Oct. 29,1944. They have 17 descendants, including two children, Cheryl Clark of Sheffield Lake and Jim (Rita) Clark of Brecksville; four grandchildren, Kirk (Lisa) Risseler of Bay Village, Cari (Kirk) Maggio of Glen Arm, Maryland, Tracy Clark Mora (deceased) and Kim (Ted) Wypasek of Strongsville; 10 great-grandchildren, Mia, Lexi, Julia and Nick Mora of Parma, Dom and Danielle Maggio of Glen Arm, Maryland, and Kayla, Sean, Justin and Brayden Wypasek of Strongsville; and their first great-great-grandchild, Leo Ricci of Parma.
Bill was preceded in death by his parents, Harry and Lulu Clark; a sister, Doris DeForest and husband, Bob; and a brother, Bob, and wife, Isamae.
After honorable discharge from the Navy, Dr. Clark returned to Baldwin-Wallace College, Berea, to complete his degree, graduating in 1948. His educational career began at Clearview High School, Lorain, and included service at six northern Ohio high schools and two colleges as a coach, teacher and administrator. He was rewarded as a teacher with a National Science Foundation Fellowship; as a coach with baseball titles at Clearview and Painesville Riverside H.S. and basketball championships at Bay Village H.S., Mansfield (Pa.) State College, and Baldwin-Wallace; and as a principal with a state-awarded Certificate of Educational Excellence at Ashtabula Harbor H.S. His 1963-64 Mansfield State basketball team was chosen as the institution’s Team of the Twentieth Century in 2000.
Bill’s leadership has been recognized in diverse organizations, having served as president of the Cuyahoga County Basketball Coaches Association, the Ohio Athletic Conference Basketball Coaches, and the Pagosa (CO) Fire Protection District Board; as vice-president of the Ashtabula Area Middle Management Association and the Archuleta (CO) Water Company Board; and as a member of the UPI Small College Basketball Rating Board, consultant to the Ohio Department of Education, and as a member of the State Athletic Committee of the Ohio High School Athletic Association. Clark was appointed as trustee and sergeant -at-arms of the Naval Mine warfare Association (NMA) and in 2014 was named editor of The Silent Defenders, the periodical published by that group. He served the NMA as national president, chaplain, and convention coordinator before its member death rate forced its closure.
Bill has been honored by election to the LaBrae High School and Mansfield (Pa.) University Athletic Halls of Fame; receiving the Golden Deeds Award from the Greater Cleveland Basketball Coaches Association; and being named the 2004 Distinguished Board Member by the Colorado Special District Association. In 2021, the life-long contributions of the Clarks to their various communities were honored by Bill’s induction into the Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame, becoming one of only six selected from Lorain County in history.
The partnership of the Clarks has been demonstrated publicly in many ways: Glenda was Bill’s game photographer throughout his college coaching career and magazine photographer for the NMA; they were both officers of the Echo Fire Protection Committee which brought fire protection to their Colorado neighborhood; they were co-presidents of the Community United Methodist Church’s Supper Fellowship, which converted native blue spruce into Christmas wreaths, a project whose net profit help support many organizations in Pagosa Springs, Colorado; and with their WWII backgrounds were happy to serve as co-chairpersons of Archuleta County’s very successful drive to help fund the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. Not only did they graduate together at Braceville HS, but again in 1973 at Ohio State University as Glenda earned her M.A. and Bill his Ph.D.
Bill Clark served as elder in the Westlake Christian Church, the First Christian Church in Ashtabula, and the Washington Avenue Christian Church, Elyria.
Funeral services will be at noon on Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2023, at the James Funeral Home in Newton Falls with Rev. Dr. William L. McFadden officiating. Calling hours will be from 10:30 am. to noon.
Bill will be laid to rest beside his wife Glenda at Braceville Cemetery in Braceville.
The family has requested that all donations please be made to the Stockton Maritime Museum, 4290 Cherokee Rd., Stockton, CA 95215 in an effort to restore the USS Lucid.
Arrangements have been entrusted to the James Funeral Home, 8 East Broad St., Newton Falls, OH 44444 (330)872-5440.
Family and friends may view his obituary online or to send condolences, please visit us at www.jamesfuneralhomeinc.com.