BEMENT – Ralph F. Clark, 92 of Bement passed away at 3:25 a.m. Friday (March 27, 2015) at Kirby Medical Center, Monticello.
Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Tuesday, March 31, at the Bement United Methodist Church, Bement. Visitation will be from 9:30 to 10:45 a.m., with Masonic services from 10:45 a.m. until time of services on Tuesday at the church. The Pastor Jeremy Lafary will officiate. Burial with military honors by the Albert Parker Amercian Legion Post 620 will be in Bement Township Cemetery.
Memorial contributions can be made to the Bement United Methodist Church or the Bement Masonic Lodge 365 A.F. & A.M.
Ralph was born on Jan. 31, 1923, a son of George and Ora Haynes Clark. He married Virginia Anderson on Aug. 8, 1948, in Decatur, and she survives of Bement.
Also surviving are two daughters, Cheryl (Bob) Frank of Quincy and Debbie (Randy) Niles of Decatur; seven grandchildren, Sheri (Josh) Campbell, Troy (Brandi) Shott, Wendi (Jared) Fritz, Kristi (Mat Cox) Niles, Justin (Jen) Niles, Brian (Carrissa) Clark and Julie Niles; as well as 11 great-grandchildren.
Also surviving is a brother, Robert (Virginia) Clark of Bement.
He was preceded in death by his parents; a son, Roger Clark; and a brother, Duane Clark.
Ralph graduated in 1942 from high school, where he played football and ran track. After graduating, he worked in Chicago at the Twist Dill Latrobe Co. He loved going to shows and movies while there and enjoyed being young and free.
He was then drafted into the Army in 1943 and served in the 101st Airborne Division and the 82nd Airborne Division. He was promoted to staff sergeant and was entrusted with protecting his superiors from harm. He served in England, France, Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany.
When the war ended, he traveled home to the U.S. on the Queen Mary and came back to Bement to pursue his love of farming and to marry the love of his life, Virginia Anderson.
One of his loves was flying and he became a private pilot at the age of 50. He was very proud of this achievement.
He was a member of the Bement Masonic Lodge 365, serving as Past Master and Past District Deputy Grand Master, and was a 65-year member.
He was also a member of the Bement Chapter 65 and served as Past High Priest and was a 55-year member. He was also Past Thrice Illustrious Master-Sullivan Council 91 R&SM, Past Commander - Gil W. Barnard No. 74 Commandry K.T., Valley of Danville AASR, Saxa Rubra Conclave Red Cross Constantine - Past Puissant Sovereign, Lilly of the Valley XL VI Holy Royal Arch Knight Templar Priest - Past Preceptor, member of East Central York Rite College No. 81, awarded Order of the Purple Cross, member of the Illinois Prior No. 11 Knight Templar Cross of Honor. On several Easters, he and Virginia attended services at Arlington National Cemetery.
In addition to his love of farming, Ralph enjoyed working in the yard, spending time with his family and friends, and going to the Brown Bag with Virginia. He especially loved when his grandchildren and great-grandchildren came to visit.
For many years he and Virginia enjoyed ballroom dancing and now he is dancing with the stars.
Roux-Hinds Funeral Home, Bement, is proud to serve and honor the family of Ralph F. Clark.