This past weekend one of the most important supporters, advisers, and friends of President Ronald Reagan died. In his honor, we are reprinting the obituary prepared by his family:
William Patrick “Bill” Clark,Jr., 81, passed away on Saturday, August 10, 2013 of advanced Parkinson’s Disease, at the home ranch in Shandon, assured of his family’s love, affection and gratitude.
Bill was born in Oxnard, California to an Irish Catholic family of cattlemen, teamsters, and lawmen. From birth, he learned to love and respect family, his Catholic faith, horses, and the land. He passed this love and respect on to his children, grandchildren and great-grandson.
Bill possessed a quiet but passionate love of both country and the philosophical underpinnings of our nation. He was dedicated to the rights of the individual, from the unborn tothe incarcerated, to the sick and the dying, to the under-represented. This love and dedication guided his many years in government, compelling him to serve his country.
Bill’s greatest solace in life was his faith in God,his wife Joan, his children, grandchildren, great-grandson, and the family ranch in Shandon. Whether he was working in Sacramento, Los Angeles, San Francisco, or Washington, D.C., he always returned home to the ranch where he was happiest, content, and relaxed. Nothing brought more satisfaction to him than working on the ranch, developing his springs, growing his olive trees, driving his horses, flying his L-19 “Bird Dog”. Bill felt great love for the community that came to Chapel Hill, the Chapel on the family ranch that he and Joan designed and built. At the Chapel, Bill and Joan made countless friends who Bill greatly missed in his final months when he was unable to attend Mass on Sundays.
Bill was preceded in death by his wife, Joan. He is survived by his five children: Monica (Lee), Pete (Elena), Nina (Mark), Colin (Linda), and Paul (Gigi). Dad is also survived by eight grandchildren, one great-grandson, and his dog, Pancho. A Mass of Christian burial will be held at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, August 14, 2013 at Chapel Hill, McMillan Canyon Road in Shandon. The interment at Shandon Cemetery will be private.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a contribution to the William P. and Joan Clark Legacy Scholarship Endowment at Saint Rose Catholic Grammar School in Paso Robles or Mission College Preparatory Catholic High School in San Luis Obispo.
Reagan biographer Prof. Paul Kengor writes:
If you were to list the Americans most critical in facilitating the collapse of the Soviet Union, the name of Bill Clark, or "Judge Clark," might not be on your list -- but it should be. Many of us know that no president was as crucial to that collapse as Ronald Reagan, but few know that no adviser was as crucial to Reagan in that endeavor as Bill Clark. I know this well. I was blessed to become Clark's biographer, and for about 12 years, dating back to when we first met in August 2001, I spent many hours and days and phone calls with this truly great man. This great man and exceptionally kind and decent person died at his California ranch on Saturday at the age of 81.