Fred Clark, 82, Neosho, passed away at Medicalodges Neosho March 30, 2019.
Fred was born October 10, 1936 in Poplar Bluff, Missouri and moved to Neosho with his family in 1947 at the age of 10. His parents purchased Bigham Mortuary on the Square and then later moved to Wood Street where the Clark Funeral Home is today. Fred and his family lived above the funeral home for several years until they got their business off the ground.
Fred attended high school at Neosho High School (NHS) where he was very active in sports and various clubs. He played and excelled in football, basketball and tennis. He attended Missouri State University (MSU) in Springfield before going to the Dallas Institute of Mortuary Science where he graduated in 1957. He returned to Neosho to join his mother and father in the business. Fred’s father died suddenly in 1965 and Fred assumed a bigger role in running the funeral home with his mother. His wife Sue, two sons and grandson later joined him in the business.
Fred loved his community and worked tirelessly to promote its prosperity. Fred and his parents were long time members of the First Baptist Church in Neosho. Fred remained dedicated to the church throughout his life, including serving as a deacon for many years and more recently provided his time and treasure to ensure the new sanctuary would be completed.
Fred was one of the founders of Crowder College and served for over 50 years on its Foundation Board. He also served the community as a board member of Community Bank & Trust; a member and past president of the local Rotary Club; and was actively involved in the Neosho Chamber of Commerce, American Cancer Society, and the Neosho R-5 Charitable Foundation.
Fred received many community honors including the Neosho Chamber of Commerce Lifetime Community Award, the Neosho R-5 Charitable Foundation Distinguished Alumni Award, the Exchange Club Book of Golden Deeds Award, the American Cancer Society Lifetime Achievement Award, in both the Citizen of the Year Award and Citizen of the Century Award from the Neosho Chamber of Commerce in 2004. Fred loved animals and rescued dozens of dogs over the years. He was a devoted supporter of Faithful Friends Animal Advocates, Inc in Neosho. For several years his name was voted “most recognized” in Newton County which always surprised him. Under Fred’s leadership, the funeral home hosted several annual events, including The Pastors and Cemetarians Banquet, the Widow-to-Widow dinners and outings, and his brainchild, the Tree of Memories.
Fred was preceded in death by his parents, Paul and Bernice Clark, and his wife Sue in 2011. He is survived by his children Dan Hierholzer (Tina) of Neosho; Tamara Franks (Clay) of Lee’s Summit, MO; Suzanne Pfefferkorn (Mark) of Lee’s Summit, MO; and Paul Clark of Neosho; six grandchildren Ryan Franks (Tristan) of Ekron, KY; Ben Franks (Lauren) of Raymore, MO; Taylor Boman of Chicago, IL; Tanner Boman of Overland Park, KS; Sarah Daspit (Matt) of Springdale, AR; and Blake Hierholzer of Neosho. Fred has seven great grandchildren: Jensen, Sawyer, Beckett, Ryder, Lance, Grayson and Jackson.
Visitation will be Wednesday, April 3, 2019 from 12:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Clark Funeral Home Chapel of Memories in Neosho. The funeral service will be held at the First Baptist Church, 12325 MO-86, Neosho on Thursday, April 4, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. Interment will follow in the Neosho IOOF Cemetery.
Memorial donations in memory of Fred may be made to Crowder College Foundation or First Baptist Church – Neosho, c/o Clark Funeral Home, PO Box 66; Neosho, MO 64850. Online condolences may be posted at www.clarkfuneralhomes.com. Services under the direction of Clark Funeral Home, Neosho.