The following obituary was released by the Clark family today, August 10.
The obituary does not mention that Clark was Ronald Reagan’s closest friend, was appointed by Governor Reagan as California supreme court justice, then became President Reagan’s national security advisor and his secretary of interior. Clark was largely responsible for pushing the Strategic Defense Initiative, which many credit for the collapse of the Soviet Union. Reagan’s support for the unborn as president came from Clark’s influence, a poignant fact given Reagan’s signing of the 1967 Therapeutic Abortion Act in California
Clark quietly gave crucial help to Thomas Aquinas College in Santa Paula and the International Theological Institute in Austria. Clark signed the Yes ballot arguments for parental notification initiatives in 2005, 2006, and 2008.
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 to the 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.