On September 10, 2005, at the age of 87, Leonard William Clark, beloved husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather, uncle and friend, went to his eternal home. Funeral Services were held September 14 at Wellsprings Community Church. Internment followed in the Grandview Cemetery.
Leonard grew up in Mobridge, South Dakota, where he was born on July 27, 1918, the fourth of five children of Leonard and Lucy Clark. After graduation from Mobridge High School, Leonard learned the printing trade and began courting Celia Irene Christie. When Irene moved to live with her sister Doris in California, he was quick to follow.
They were married April 25, l942, and so began their life long love affair. Their first daughter, Diana Fae, was born a year later just before Leonard was drafted for military service in the Army. He saw combat in Europe and was wounded when a sniper’s bullet hit his belt buckle. His life was spared when it ricocheted into his leg. He was awarded the Purple Heart.
Upon discharge Leonard returned to working in the printing industry. Two more children, Linda Kay and Chris Leonard were born to complete their family. After residing in Long Beach, California, for many years, Leonard and Irene decided they wanted to return to small town living and Leonard advertised in a publisher’s paper for a printing position.
Leonard accepted a job as a linotype operator at the Bonners Ferry Herald newspaper. Bill Chubb, the owner of the paper, found them a house to rent overlooking the Kootenai River in District 2 at the end of a five-mile dirt road. In 1966, the family, without their married daughter, Diana, but including Grandma Christie (Irene’s mother), set off for North Idaho on a great adventure to a state they had never visited and a new life.
Leonard and Irene never regretted their move to the beautiful Selkirk Mountains and Bonners Ferry. He remained a valued employee, working for the Herald until his retirement in 1980. He was a skilled woodworker, making furniture, cabinets, and church furnishings. During all his years he loved to hunt and fish and enjoyed tying his own fishing flies. In recent years, Irene joined him and Tuesdays became “fishing day” at their favorite spot, Dawson Lake.
Leonard is preceded in death by his mother and father, brothers Kenneth and Gordon, and his grandson, Christopher Clark.
He is survived by his sister Nancy and his other brother Bob, both of Bismarck, North Dakota; his wife, Irene; daughters Diana West, Long Beach, California, and Linda Bassett, Post Falls; son Chris Clark, Bonners Ferry, son-in-law Bob Bassett, and daughter-in-law Larrie Clark (Hoglan). He has nine living grandchildren and six great grand children.
Leonard was devoted to his “sweetheart” wife Irene and their love for each other and the Lord grew stronger each of their 63 years of marriage. He loved his children, his grand and great grand children, his friends, and his country. His life bears that testimony. He was a servant. Gentle, quiet, and honorable, who lived a long full life and certainly heard upon his arrival Home, “Well done, good and faithful servant!”
Originally published on the website - Kootenai Valley Press - August 01, 2005