Life Story / Obituary
Bill was born in Buffalo, NY to a lovely couple, Stanley and Louise Clark. And later a brother, Kenneth was born. They moved to Detroit when the children were very young.
Bill had many friends and grew up a very happy boy. Later at age 18 he rented a small store near Vogue Theatre and sold candy, pop, popcorn and nuts. He excelled in being a sales person selling items and talking with people.
He graduated from Bently High School and began work at Hudson Motor Co. where he worked for 1 yr.
He enlisted in the Army Air Force in 1943. He did not realize being 6’4 he was too tall to be a tail gunner so they put him in doing precision work for the service. He finally got to the station where they were sending his group overseas, but they pulled the group out and sent them elsewhere. Bill never got overseas. He was discharged in CA
While in service he married Fay Dryden in March 1945 while home on leave. She joined him in CA where they settled and went to college. Fay took a job at UCLA and they lived there for nearly 1 yr when Fay became very homesick for MI and they moved back to Livonia, MI and started a family.
Bill, being a born salesman, wanted a job in sales. He found his wish with the Chaffee Company and worked there for 28 yrs. He became active in the city’s problems and worked on voting committees and also worked to elect a new city mayor.
During the children’s growing up, the family bought a cottage in Canada and owned it for 22 yrs. Everyone came and spent time with Bill and Fay at the cottage. They always held out the welcome mat for both friends and family. Bill and Fay’s children had a wonderful life at the cottage and as a result were very close to their grandparents, and cousins.
Bill alsways treated everyone with kindness and integrity and embraced the love he was shown. He hated to leave the love his family gave to him. Bill and Fay were blessed with 2 wonderful daughters-in-law which he adored and a son-in-law that Bill thought was great, for he worked hard and never complained.
In 1974, Bill and Fay bought a discount store in Whitehall, MI named Clark’s Discount. The store had no pharmacy. Bill was in his glory reliving his days at the store when he was 18. Bill worked hard – from 8 AM to 10 PM. He came home tired but always happy. The store was a great success with “Bill the Boss” and Fay took care of the office. Customers were satisfied. Bill and Fay had great hired help and the store ran smoothly. Bill and Fay’s daughter, Linda, also worked at the store. Linda and Fay would share duties taking care of the grandchildren while each worked.
During this time, Bill and Fay sold their Canadian cottage and purchased a place on Lake Michigan in Whitehall. This too was a gathering place for family and friends.
Bill and Fay sold the store and moved to St. Johns, MI to be near their son, Bill, and his wife Jean and their family. Bill and Fay soon became business owners again as they purchased their son’s business, the St. Johns Theater. They changed the theater into office space and owned it for 23 years until Bill’s health took a toll.
Bill is gone now, but had such beautiful memories, he often stated, of being in WWII and having a lovely wife standing by his side during all the decision he made (good and bad), his beautiful children and their loved ones, his wonderful grandchildren and great grandchildren whom he so loved. He also loved his extended family, nieces , nephews, and watched them grow up to great parents. He will be dearly missed by many.
Wilfred S. “Bill” Clark
Wilfred S. Clark died at the age of 92. Born March 5, 1921 in Buffalo, NY, Bill was the son of Stanley and Louise Clark. Bill joined a sister, Betty, and later another son, Ken, was born. The family moved to Detroit and there grew up with many friends.
Bill joined the Air Force in 1943 in the Army Air Force and, while in service, he met and married his wife, Fay. He was discharged in California then came home to Michigan where he raised his family; two sons, Bill and Larry, and daughter, Linda.
He worked at Chaffee & Company for 28 years and became Sales Manager. Bill left in 1974 to buy his own Discount Store in Whitehall, MI. He sold the store in 1990 and moved to St. Johns, MI to be near his son and lovely family.
Bill bought his son’s theater in St. Johns and converted it to business offices, which he owned for 23 years. Bill was a member of the American Legion Post # 153 in St. Johns.
He is survived by his wife, Fay; sons and daughters-in-law, Bill and Jean Clark and Larry and Holly Clark; daughter and son-in-law, Linda and Robert; 9 grandchildren; 11 great grandchildren; sister, Betty; and many wonderful nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Bill was preceded in death by his parents, sister-in-law, brother, and granddaughter.
Funeral services will be held at 11:00 AM Wednesday, September 11, 2013 at Osgood Funeral Home in St. Johns with the Rev. Matthew Olson officiating. Burial will follow at Mt. Rest Cemetery. The family will receive friends from 9:00-11:00 AM at the funeral home prior to the service.
To learn more about Bill and view his Life Story film, visit his personal webpage at www.lifestorynet.com/memories/93838.