Chamber of Commerce
USC football fan
Boy scout troop master
How can anybody possibly live such a full life? How can you explain
a seventy six year old going to Antarctica twice? The only answer
I can think of is that one would have to have the energy and vigor of my
grandfather, James Robert Clarke... Gramps.
I feel truly
blessed that for the last twenty-eight years, I have had four wonderful
grandparents that have been a part of my life. We have celebrated
holidays, and weddings; graduations, births, and anniversaries.
traveled in California, the United States, and Europe.
the most special trips were the ones when my grandfather and I would volunteer
at the Great Circus Parade. I think he counted the days until we
would head to Milwaukee. Once there, we would ride the circus train,
work long days, and eat salads with “shakum-up” dressing
and pizzas late at night. To see Gramps at the circus was like watching
him shed seventy years as he joyfully worked with throngs of wide-eyed
adults and children. Often, I could not tell who was more excited,
Grandpa or the kids.
there were several years when school prevented me from accompanying Gramps
to the parade. This year though I was determined to take my wife
and son to experience the magic and excitement, and when I asked him for
three extra tickets to Milwaukee I think he was truly thrilled. And
in July, he was proud to share this circus experience with another generation
of his family.
of the qualities, occupations, and interests I spoke of in the beginning,
I did not mention that he was also a "leader." For
not only was Gramps a member of these clubs and organizations, but he was
also the president of many of them. I think that his leading by example
was his way to show all of us how much fun life could be. I hope
that someday I can have 1/10 of the effect on people that Gramps had on
everyone he met and with everything he worked.
there is not enough time today for me to tell you about all of the fond
memories. Everyone in my family is so proud of Gramps, and is honored
to have been a part of his life and legacy. I know that I have no
regrets, and I am sure he did not have any, and that is the way he would
as you well know, my grandfather had a great room at his house where he
displayed everything that made him happy. And as we looked through
some of his things, we found a prayer tucked behind his typewriter.
I would like to share that prayer with you. It is titled: "A
prayer for you."
I said a
prayer for you today and know God must have heard. I felt the answer
in my heart, although He spoke no word. I didn't ask for wealth or
fame -- I knew you wouldn't mind. I asked Him to send treasures of
a far more lasting kind. I asked that He'd be near you at the start
of each new day, to grant you health & blessings and friends to share
for happiness for you in all things great and small, but it was for His
loving care I prayed for most of all.
On behalf of our family, I thank
you all for coming to remember Jimmy in this special way.