When the Neosho City Council met in regular session on Tuesday, Mayor Jon Stephens began the meeting with a moment to remember local resident and longtime businessman Fred Clark.

Clark passed away on Sunday at the age of 82.

His name is well-known in Neosho and the surrounding area. His obituary appears on page 3 of today's edition and lists his numerous civic roles, recognitions and community involvements.

To say that Fred Clark was familiar only because of the family business, one of the oldest in Neosho, Clark Funeral Home would be an understatement. He leaves behind a legacy of servant leadership, friendship and community service, always undertaken with a smile and a humble spirit.

Neosho resident Steve Douglas summed up what Fred Clark meant to him:

"To say Fred Clark was a Neosho icon is to sell Fred Clark short. He was and will be so much more to so many people. For many years, I served as a police officer in Neosho. There were times we were short money for needed training or even money for drug buys. Fred was always there to support us. He wanted Neosho to be safe for all of us. To me, Fred was an extension of the police department. He always took time to say hello to the officer leading the funerals prior to pulling away. He brightened my day."

Clark was a founder of Crowder College. Among the many who remembered him this week, James Tatum, long time Crowder Board of Trustees member and Crowder supporter spoke about his friend and colleague.

"Fred was, as always in all community endeavors, one of the first to support the idea of having a junior college," Tatum recalled. "I was chairman of the group who went to Jefferson City to make a presentation to the State Board of Education to put the measure to create the college on the ballot. Fred was one of those on the bus as a supporter. From that day on, he was one of the best, if not the best advocate for Crowder College. He gave his time, money and all for the college over the year. It is with great sadness I learned of the passing of a friend and supporter."

Crowder College Board of Trustees current president, Andy Wood of Neosho, also remembered Clark.

"Fred was the best friend Crowder College has ever had. Fred was always someone that if Crowder needed something, he was always there to help us. Part of the Farber Building, the Fred and Sue Clark Commons, is named in his and his late wife's honor. We are going to miss Fred."

Clark supported education, not only Crowder College.

" Fred Clark was “Mr. Education”. His support of the Neosho School District and Crowder College was unbelievable. He was a tremendous supporter of both institutions and worked hard to make sure any child or person could chase their dreams. He did all he could to ensure the tools provided here, in Neosho, would suffice anywhere in the world," Douglas said.

Neosho Daily News reporter and former KBTN Radio news broadcaster Dave Horvath, a relative newcomer to the community, also shared his thoughts on Clark.

"I'm jealous of you who have lived a lifetime in Neosho, getting an opportunity to know Fred Clark. I arrived in 2000 and count my blessings because I was able to forge a friendship with Fred. Whenever there was a cause in Neosho, Fred was asked to front it and I was always there to cover it. Fred gave his valuable time for schools, the library and the effort that eventually led to Faithful Friends Animal Advocates. Fred was loved by all, including our four-legged family members."

Douglas revealed a more personal side of the man known throughout Southwest Missouri.

"Several times I needed information or support with very short notice and Fred was the first person I would call. He never let me down. Fred loved Neosho and Newton County, but for much of his life he adopted McDonald County, too. He appreciated the natural beauty of the County and the friendliness of our neighbors to the south. Fred and his family has a small little cabin along the banks of Elk River, in a little development known as “Piney Point”. Fred’s cabin was next door to one my family owned for more than 40 years. I fondly remember float trips, cook outs, and a couple of near death experiences on Elk River with The Clark’s. Fred was always gracious to allow church groups or families looking to get away for a weekend to use his cabin. He did not ask for anything in return, besides cleaning the cabin before you left. Fred will leave a legacy of service and love."

Although Clark came to Neosho at an early age with his parents, he loved the city and the area. He was also a graduate of Neosho High School.

"He was always a Wildcat," Douglas said. "I am sure he is shaking hands with Jesus telling him all about Neosho. I will miss him deeply."

The community will miss Fred Clark and many residents have their own stories about the man.

Fred Clark will live on in Neosho, remembered as the fine man he was, respected and known by all, for his works and his deeds but most of all for who he was, how he lived his life and for the legacy he leaves behind.

When the Neosho City Council met in regular session on Tuesday, Mayor Jon Stephens began the meeting with a moment to remember local resident and longtime businessman Fred Clark.

Clark passed away on Sunday at the age of 82.

His name is well-known in Neosho and the surrounding area. His obituary appears on page 3 of today's edition and lists his numerous memberships, recognitions and community involvements.

To say that Fred Clark was familiar only because of the family business, one of the oldest in Neosho, Clark Funeral Home would be an understatement. He leaves behind a legacy of servant leadership, friendship and community service, always undertaken with a smile and a humble spirit.

Neosho resident Steve Douglas summed up what Fred Clark meant to him:

"To say Fred Clark was a Neosho icon is to sell Fred Clark short. He was and will be so much more to so many people. For many years, I served as a police officer in Neosho. There were times we were short money for needed training or even money for drug buys. Fred was always there to support us. He wanted Neosho to be safe for all of us. To me, Fred was an extension of the police department. He always took time to say hello to the officer leading the funerals prior to pulling away. He brightened my day."

Clark was a founder of Crowder College. Among the many who remembered him this week, James Tatum, long time Crowder Board of Trustees member and Crowder supporter spoke about his friend and colleague.

"Fred was, as always in all community endeavors, one of the first to support the idea of having a junior college," Tatum recalled. "I was chairman of the group who went to Jefferson City to make a presentation to the State Board of Education to put the measure to create the college on the ballot. Fred was one of those on the bus as a supporter. From that day on, he was one of the best, if not the best advocate for Crowder College. He gave his time, money and all for the college over the year. It is with great sadness I learned of the passing of a friend and supporter."

Crowder College Board of Trustees current president, Andy Wood of Neosho, also remembered Clark.

"Fred was the best friend Crowder College has ever had. Fred was always someone that if Crowder needed something, he was always there to help us. Part of the Farber Building, the Fred and Sue Clark Commons, is named in his and his late wife's honor. We are going to miss Fred."

Clark supported education, not only Crowder College.

" Fred Clark was “Mr. Education”. His support of the Neosho School District and Crowder College was unbelievable. He was a tremendous supporter of both institutions and worked hard to make sure any child or person could chase their dreams. He did all he could to ensure the tools provided here, in Neosho, would suffice anywhere in the world," Douglas said.

Neosho Daily News reporter and former KBTN Radio news broadcaster Dave Horvath, a relative newcomer to the community, also shared his thoughts on Clark.

"I'm jealous of you who have lived a lifetime in Neosho, getting an opportunity to know Fred Clark. I arrived in 2000 and count my blessings because I was able to forge a friendship with Fred. Whenever there was a cause in Neosho, Fred was asked to front it and I was always there to cover it. Fred gave his valuable time for schools, the library and the effort that eventually led to Faithful Friends Animal Advocates. Fred was loved by all, including our four-legged family members."

Douglas revealed a more personal side of the man known throughout Southwest Missouri.

"Several times I needed information or support with very short notice and Fred was the first person I would call. He never let me down. Fred loved Neosho and Newton County, but for much of his life he adopted McDonald County, too. He appreciated the natural beauty of the County and the friendliness of our neighbors to the south. Fred and his family has a small little cabin along the banks of Elk River, in a little development known as “Piney Point”. Fred’s cabin was next door to one my family owned for more than 40 years. I fondly remember float trips, cook outs, and a couple of near death experiences on Elk River with The Clark’s. Fred was always gracious to allow church groups or families looking to get away for a weekend to use his cabin. He did not ask for anything in return, besides cleaning the cabin before you left. Fred will leave a legacy of service and love."

Although Clark came to Neosho at an early age with his parents, he loved the city and the area. He was also a graduate of Neosho High School.

"He was always a Wildcat," Douglas said. "I am sure he is shaking hands with Jesus telling him all about Neosho. I will miss him deeply."

The community will miss Fred Clark and many residents have their own stories about the man.

Fred Clark will live on in Neosho as the fine man he was, respected and known by all, for his works and his deeds but most of all for who he was and how he lived his life.