James Merrick Clark, Jr. | Passages

James M. Clark Jr. was born in Savanna, IL October 27, 1938. After graduating High School in Germany, Jim enlisted in the United States Air Force, and enrolled in Mandarin language training at Yale University. During his service, Jim was utilized as a translator for the Air Force’s intelligence efforts.

Jim wed Kay Griswold in July 1959. They opened their hearts to foster children and adopted their beloved daughter, Nellie Jean. After 19 years of marriage and service to foster children in Christ’s name; Sarah Jean was born to them. While fostering Quang Doan, a lifelong, father and son relationship was forged.

After Jim retired from the U.S. Postal Service in Clinton, IA, and relocated to Eastsound, WA; Jim blossomed in every aspect of his life while on Orcas Island and cherished the community greatly. Jim was a docent for the Orcas Island Museum, active in the local Senior Center and Orcas Island Community Church.

Jim was passionate about aviation; when 74, he joined the Bellingham Civil Air Patrol, with his grandson, Isaac. Jim treasured his squadron and the opportunities brought great meaning to his life. Jim was also a docent for the Heritage Flight Museum, delighting in the camaraderie and sharing his encyclopedic knowledge of Aerospace with the public.

After the passing of Kay, his beloved wife of over 55 years, Jim found love again, marrying JoAnn Reuter in Lynden, WA on Valentine’s Day, 2016. They were committed to one another through the eve of Jim’s passing on January 3, 2018.

Jim’s stories, humor, knowledge and strong sense of duty will be missed. Jim lived a varied, full life and humbly chose God to lead him through it all.