Mr. James Martin Clark, age 83 of Winnsboro, passed away on Wednesday, January 6, 2021 at his home in Winnsboro after a battle with heart failure and lung disease. He was born on August 3, 1937 in Dallas to the late W.J. and Maudene Martin Clark. He graduated Crozier Technical High School in Dallas in 1955, where he was a member of the ROTC.
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He married Rita Kennemer on August 31, 1956, and they welcomed their only son, Jim Jr., in 1960. James and Rita lived in the Dallas area and enjoyed a 43-year marriage until her passing in 1999. After reuniting with longtime friend Kathryn Stowe Grimes, James and Kathryn married on January 6, 2001. They enjoyed their retirement years together in Winnsboro until Kathryn’s passing in June 2019. James was a devoted caregiver to both of the great women in his life.
A lifelong patriot, James proudly served in the U.S. Army as a Staff Sergeant, honorably discharged in 1963. He then served a six-year commitment in the Army Reserves.
James took his technical skills and love of tinkering to work in radio and TV repair at Inman’s Radio and TV, and later Collins Radio. He moved into the grocery business at A&P Supermarket, serving in all roles from stocker to store manager, before building a successful sales career at Dr. Pepper, Nortex Beverage Supply and Coca-Cola. He retired from Coca-Cola in 1999 and was an active member of the Coca-Cola Classics Group of former employees.
James, Rita and Jim were members of the Lunker Bass Club of Dallas/Irving, where monthly tournaments allowed the family to build many friendships and spend significant time with a sport James loved—not to mention the chance to show off his skills in reeling in significant catches to win many couples, youth and big bass events. James and friend John Taylor always did all cooking for the Saturday night fish fries, much like he would later donate his cooking skills to many meals and pots of stew for First United Methodist Church of Winnsboro.
A longtime member of the church, James could often be found lending a hand with repairs, serving on various committees, and supporting the Scouts and youth. He also supported the church crafters with his woodworking talents.
An honored Army sharpshooter, James was a proud member of the National Rifle Association, the Texas State Rifle Association and the Hawks Gun Club of East Texas. He loved to promote shooting sports and safety, especially with local youth, and passed on his passion for responsible self-defense to his son and grandsons.
He enjoyed watching sports, especially the early years of the Dallas Cowboys, and in later years was an avid Dallas Mavericks fan. As a devoted father and grandfather, James shared many passions with Jim and his sons, including woodworking, hunting, shooting, fishing, sports and a general love of the Clark and Kennemer family legacies.
He is survived by his son, Jim and Shana Clark, of Richardson; brother, David and Cheryl Clark, of Garland; and three grandchildren, Ronald James Clark and Megan Greb, of Garland; and James Edward Clark and William Geoffrey Clark, both of Bedford; stepchildren, Liz Dorough, Suzanne Grimes, and Bill and Debbie Grimes, and their children, Madison and Megan Dorough, Brittany and Daniel Nelson, and Michael Grimes; great-grandson Cayden Nelson; and his trusted companion, “The Little Black Dog” Charlie.
Graveside services will be 2 p.m. on Thursday, January 14, 2021 at Maple Springs Cemetery, HWY 11 E. Newsome, TX, with Bro. Henry Suche and Pastor Debbie Lyons officiating.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Hawks Gun Club of East Texas "Friends of the Hawks" youth/college scholarship fund, which supports youth safety education, first responder and law enforcement support, and volunteers in police services.