Charles Roger Clark: 1936-2013
Charles Roger Clark, 76, was called home to Heaven suddenly while working on the ranch that he loved on October 12, 2013. While his family is heartbroken, they feel blessed that Charlie was spared a long decline in health and he died peacefully.
Charlie was born November 18, 1936, in Lemmon, S.D., to Avery and Genevieve (Schmidt) Clark. His father homestead the Clark Ranch in 1911 and Charlie was the youngest of their six children. The young family also suffered the loss of Avery when Charlie was only 8 years old, so his brothers, sisters and mother were a huge part of his life, remaining close to the end. He was raised on the Clark homestead south of the Grand River and attended White Deer School, where his mother taught, until 7th grade. The family went to Sturgis for a year and he attended 8th grade there. Then the family returned to the Lemmon area where he attended high school.
On June 1, 1954, Charlie married his high school sweetheart, Peggy Cazer at Spencer Memorial Church in Lemmon. They lived their first few years on the homestead and then purchased their own ranch from Tom Lyman along the Grand River where they proudly raised cattle and a family. Charles and Peggy celebrated 59 years of marriage together this year.
Charlie was a cowboy and a rancher to the core. He loved the land and the animals under his care. An avid cowboy poet and storyteller, he enjoyed sharing memories of the good ol’ days with family and friends.
Some years were lean and he worked off the ranch to keep things afloat. He hauled beets in North Dakota, manure in Nebraska, and was a partner with Gordie Ulmer, Roger Rossow and Len Hofer in Lemmon Livestock beginning in 1992. He and Peggy also managed a hotel in Custer in 1999.
Throughout his lifetime he was an active member of his community. Charles also served as clerk of session for Hope Presbyterian Church and in later years he and Peggy were members of The Reformed Presbyterian Church. He served on the Lemmon School Board from 1974-1978, Grand Valley Township Board, volunteer fire department, FSA Board for nine years until 2008, and had been serving on the Moreau Grand Electric Board for several years at the time of his death. He was a great supporter of the 4-H program acting as a 4-H leader, serving on the Corson County Fair Board and was honored with the Clyde Huber Volunteerism Award in 2012. He was an original member of the Black Horse Saddle Club and in the early 1970s, while chairman of the 4-H Leader’s Association, he was instrumental in formation of the South Dakota State 4-H Rodeo Finals that have been held in Ft. Pierre since 1971.
For over 20 years, he and Peggy raised registered Gelbvieh cattle and had the first registered Gelbvieh production bull sale in the state. Charlie served on the national board of directors of the American Gelbvieh Association for six years and as President in 1981. His knowledge was sought as a judge for national shows at the Denver Stock Show, Iowa State Fair, Agribition in Regina, Saskatchewan and Kansas City.
Keeping him in their fondest memories are his wife, Peggy; his children and their spouses, Scot (Kathleen) Clark, Sacramento, Calif.; Clint (Narcel) Clark, Morristown, S.D.; Amy (Dean) Hauck, Belle Fourche, S.D.; his grandchildren, Amber Clark, Taos, N.M.; Avery (Felice) Clark, Sacramento, Calif.; Ashley Clark, Sacramento, Calif.; Courtney (Chance) Uhrig, Bismarck, N.D.; Garrett Clark and Paige Clark, Morristown, S.D.; great-grandchildren, Adriel and Emmett Hanf, Taos, N.M.; Riley and Hanna Clark, Sacramento, Calif.; his two brothers and sisters-in-law, Jim (Mavis) Clark, Keldron, S.D.; Jack (Louis) Clark, Aberdeen, S.D.; and two sisters and brother-in-law, Avis (John) Portney, De Ruyter, N.Y.; and Jean Guhin, Aberdeen, S.D.; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Charlie was preceded in death by his parents, Avery and Geneveive; and a sister, Mary Lee Hinegardner.
The funeral service for Charlie Clark, age 76, life-long Keldron (S.D.) rancher, was held on Oct. 18, 2013 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Lemmon, S.D., with Pastor John Irwin from the Reformed Presbyterian Church, officiating. Per Charlie’s wishes, his ashes will be scattered on his beloved ranch along the Grand River. Special music was provided by Carolyn Petik, pianist, Wes Hotchkiss, and Paul Schultes. Serving as casket bearers were Jim Petik, Stuart Schmidt, Pat Clark, Paul Schultes, Mike Gillin and Clifford Engelhorn. All of Charlie’s friends and neighbors are considered honorary bearers. In lieu of flowers a memorial has been established.