David Eugene Clark passed away at age 80, peacefully on Feb. 1, 2020, from Alzheimer’s disease.
Surviving is his devoted wife, Diane Clark-Coutre of LaGrange, his cherished and talented daughter, Ruthanne (Andrew) Kolb of Batavia and his beloved granddaughters, Felicity and Caillin Kolb.
He is also survived by his caring stepdaughter, Jacquelyn Coutre, (Chicago); his well loved step-son Jeremy Coutre preceded him in death in 2018.
His brother, Douglas (Janice) Clark of Rockton, IL with his niece Kristie Clark, his sister Margaret Clark (Art Lussier) of Henderson NV , and his brother-in-law, Michael Farrell (Nanette) of Westchester also survive. David’s brother, Dennis, preceded him in death in 1946.
David was born to Eugene and Rutholive (Bobbie) Clark on July 28, 1939.
David was grateful to have been raised in his small home town of Brodhead, Wisconsin, and felt he received an excellent education, and made lifelong connections.
After graduating from North Central College with a degree in zoology, then University of Wisconsin at Madison and Superior, he began his teaching career in Superior, Wisconsin, and Peoria Illinois. He then taught physics and AP biology at Maine South High School in Park Ridge, Illinois for 25 years.
David began studying piano in grade school, then organ. Going to his first opera and classical concerts in Milwaukee with his mother and his friends began a lifelong love of classical music.
He also worked in the family business of Everson’s Funeral Home, as organist and ambulance driver during his high school years.
At age 15, he started his church musical career at the Evangelical United Brethren Church in Brodhead. Over the years he studied organ, harpsichord, voice, liturgy and choral conducting at North Central College, University of Wisconsin -Madison and Superior, Cincinnati Conservatory and Chicago Music Conservatory. He enthusiastically attended numerous Episcopal Music Conferences at Evergreen, CO and Monteagle/Sewanee, TN. Presbyterian, Lutheran, United Church of Christ, and Christ the Scientist were denominations where he held positions as music director or organist. An accomplished organist, he served as Music Director at Emmanuel Episcopal Church, LaGrange Il for 25 years. He enjoyed working with two choirs there and playing one of the finer organs in the Chicago area. He was always proud to play with his talented violinist daughter, Ruthanne.
After retiring from teaching in 1994, his life took another direction as he attended Kendall College Culinary School in Evanston and embarked on a long time dream to become a chef. He returned to living Brodhead for a period of time, after his father died, then he took up residence in La Grange in the late ’90’s.
David had boundless energy. He was an avid runner and cyclist, especially enjoying the trails of his native Wisconsin (especially the Elroy-Sparta). He had a vast knowledge of trains, a passion for train travel and driving the back roads of Wisconsin. Road trips to visit his brother Doug & wife Jan in Rockton and sister Maggie in Utah were important to him, along with cooking and hosting holiday dinners for his family. He was a very devoted dad and loved being a grandfather, especially encouraging reading and science, with lots of cookie & German pancake baking sessions in LaGrange. He and Diane also taught cooking classes together.
David was known for being an intelligent, professional, yet humble musician, and a gifted teacher. His spontaneity, great smile, passion for life, and a generous heart were his trademarks. He held strong beliefs. And he was also known for telling great stories beginning with ‘Ya know’…
Even as he was saddled with dementia, he had an indomitable spirit. He often transposed his newspaper readings to Anglican chant.
Diane, his wife and partner of 22 years, was grateful have made much of this journey by his side.
A memorial service was held at Emmanuel in LaGrange IL on Feb. 29.
Interment will be at a later date in the Brodhead Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Emmanuel Episcopal Church for the pipe organ restoration, which will include a new console dedicated in David’s memory. Donations can be made at http://emmanuel-lagrange.org/donate, following the David Clark portal.
Or sent to David Clark Memorial, Emmanuel Episcopal Church 203 S. Kensington, LaGrange IL 60525