Raymond Clark Obituary (2008) – San Francisco, CA

Raymond Francis Clark 1940 – 2008 Beloved father, devoted family member, and good friend to many, passed away unexpectedly on March 4, 2008. We miss him very much. We hope that all who cared about Ray will celebrate his life, big smile, laughter, and generous spirit, by attending his Memorial Mass on Friday, March 28th, 4pm at St. Ignatius Church, 650 Parker Ave., San Francisco. Dad was a native of San Francisco and spent all but a brief period of his life living in the City. He was the first in his family to graduate from college, receiving a bachelor of arts in Latin and English with a minor in math from the University of San Francisco in 1962. Dad put himself through USF by working as a playground director for the City of San Francisco and as a sexton at the Church of the Nativity. Dad had fond memories from both activities and he credited the experience as a playground director as the first step in his eventual career as a teacher. During this same period, he served in the US Marine Corps Reserves. Dad was fond of relating of how he moved both up and down the rank structure before receiving his honorable discharge with the “noteworthy” rank of private, first class. After USF, Dad served in the San Francisco Police Department as a patrolman for four years. He worked primarily at Central Station which was responsible for some of the more “colorful” areas of the City. He left the police department with some very good friends and more than a few great stories. After the police department, he enjoyed a satisfying career as a math teacher for the San Francisco Unified School District. He spent the bulk of his time teaching at Francisco Junior High School and Mission High School. He loved the Mission district and its wide variety of people and was well liked by his many students. In particular, Dad enjoyed teaching math by teaching building maintenance. Dad was uniquely qualified to provide this type of instruction since he was a gifted general contractor and talented plumber. He enjoyed fixing and maintaining a wide variety of items from pipes to cars. He took great pride in his work and was always willing to lend a hand to those who needed it. He remained active in general contracting until his death. Recently, his friends at the Plumbing Heating and Cooling Contractors Association of San Francisco kindly donated their time and talents to refurbish a large portion of his home for which Dad was deeply grateful. Dad possessed a love of learning and travel that enriched his life. His interests and knowledge bordered on the encyclopedic. He augmented this through a life time of travel to places ranging from Mexico to Russia, Australia to China, and many of the countries in Europe and most of the 50 states. In each new place, no matter how different the culture or the people, he truly had a gift for making friends. In 2002, Dad summed up his life well when he provided a short update to his classmates at USF: “I am currently retired after spending 20 years with the City & County of SF in the fields of education and law enforcement. I then spent an additional 20+ years in the building trades primarily as a state licensed plumbing contractor. I am divorced, but am in close contact with my two sons: Matthew and Stephen. Matthew has just completed an MBA at Harvard and is working in Irvine, CA. He is married and has an adopted daughter from China. Stephen, after graduating from Cornell, is a manager for the Fairmont. I have a home in Crested Butte, CO, which I enjoy with my family. Warmest regards, Ray Clark.” Dad is greatly missed by his sons: Matt and Steve and their families; Ann, who was his best friend throughout his life and his relatives and many friends. In his honor and in lieu of flower, the family suggests remembrances to the Ray Clark High School Scholarship Fund, c/o St. Ignatius College Preparatory, 2001 37th Ave., SF, CA 94116; or the Ray Clark College Scholarship Fund, c/o Plumbing, Heating, and Cooling Contractors of SF, P.O. Box 28137, SF, CA 94128-1378.

Published by San Francisco Chronicle on Mar. 23, 2008.


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