MONTICELLO — Sam Clark died peacefully surrounded by family in his Monticello home on Tuesday (June 13, 2017) at the age of 79.
Sam is survived by his daughters, Cindy McNeilly (Chris) of Crossville, Tenn., and Angie Romine (Todd) of Tuscola; his sister, Sonya Gans (Jack) of Monticello; his grandchildren, Carey McNeilly, Kelsey McNeilly, Molly Romine and Dalton Romine; as well as several nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Selby and Lotha Clark of Bement, and by Carey “Peg” Clark of Monticello.
Samuel James Clark was born on June 13, 1938, in Decatur to Selby and Lotha. He graduated from Bement High School in 1956 and graduated from Eastern Illinois University in 1960 with degrees in physical education and zoology.
He married Peggy Westray, his high school sweetheart, and then went on to receive his master’s degree from the University of Illinois.
Sam taught and coached for 22 years in the Hammond and Monticello school districts. He then went on to work for Regal Crown Corporation and Petroleum Transport of Illinois until his retirement.
He was a member of the Piatt County HistoricalSociety, the Bement Masonic Lodge, National Education Association and the Monticello Hardees Geezers. His hobbies included gardening, researching family history
and model trains.
We are a family proud to say that we have come from Sam, the historian, the teacher, the gardener, the collector. He diligently and lovingly tended our family’s story — framing it on walls, binding it in notebooks for us to keep and know, sharing it with us at all holiday and family gatherings.
Knowing him as a father and grandfather, being in his home and presence, was to find solidity. It was to know that we have come from something long-lasting and greater than just ourselves. We remember him as a man who loved us through his actions; a man who made decisions with his family in mind; a man who worked hard so that we might joyfully benefit.
Visitation is scheduled for Saturday, June 17, from 9 to 11 a.m. at Mackey- Wright Funeral Home in Monticello. A funeral service will immediately follow the visitation. There will be a short committal graveside service at Bement Township Cemetery following the funeral service.
Memorials may be made to Piatt County Historical Society.
Condolences may be sent to