CARTHAGE, NY — After a life lived in service to others, Paul Howard Clarke, Sr. passed away peacefully in his sleep on Sunday, Jan. 19, 2020, under the care of Hospice of Jefferson County.
Born July 8, 1947, in Chicago, Illinois, a son of T. Howard and Thelma Clarke, Paul made his way to the US Army where he served honorably for 21 years, traveling the world, making extraordinary and lifelong friends, and living life to the fullest.
During his tenure, Paul flew border patrol missions between West Germany and the former Soviet Union, was part of the UN Peacekeeping Force in Somalia, and was a respected instructor pilot. The Army became one of his cornerstones and the pilot lifestyle was something that never left him. Even after retirement he’d smile and say, “It’s a beautiful day to fly.”
Paul also loved to be of service to others, to share what he knew and see others succeed and grow. After retiring from the Army, and settling in Carthage, he stayed on at Fort Drum as a civilian, assisting soldiers with financial matters. He was the Chaplain of Basset Baxter American Legion Post 789, a Chaplain of the Carthage Elks Lodge 1762, and a Chaplain of the Dionne Rumble VFW Post 7227. He was also a founding member of the Carthage Community Veterans Committee for the Honor Flight. Paul was also a man of deep faith, serving God at Grace Episcopal Church as a Warden and on the Vestry.
Paul is survived by his wife of 42 years, Elaine (Duby) Clarke; his son Paul (Deb) Clarke, Jr. and daughter Miriam (Steve) Tessmer; grandchildren, Quinn and Josie Clarke, Elroy Phillips, and Jake and Eli Grant; his brothers, John (Bonnie) Clarke, Gilbert (Julia) Clarke, and Robert (Laurel) Clarke; along with many cousins, nieces, and nephews.
Funeral services will be held 10:30 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 23, at Grace Episcopal Church in Carthage. Burial will be in Arlington National Cemetery later this year.
Calling hours will be held 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 22, at the Bezanilla-McGraw Funeral Home with memorial services by the VFW at 5:30 p.m., American Legion at 6:00 p.m. and the Elks at 6:30 p.m.
Memorials in his memory may be made to Elks National Foundation, 2750 N. Lakeview Ave., Chicago, IL 60614-2256 or to a favorite charity.
To leave an online condolence, go to www.bezanillafh.com.