2018 Regular Session

To: Rules

By: Representatives Reynolds, Gipson

House Resolution 73

(As Adopted by House)


     WHEREAS, it is written in II Corinthians 4:17-18, "For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal," and as such, the immaculate author and finisher of our soul's destiny summoned the mortal presence of dearly beloved, Mr. Larry Edmond Clark, to rest eternally, as he has made life's final transition from earthly travailing to heavenly reward, rendering great sorrow and loss to his family and friends; and

     WHEREAS, the Smith County Community and the entire citizenry of the State of Mississippi lost a wonderful friend with the passing of esteemed barrister of the law, Mr. Clark, on Monday, July 10, 2017, a man of uncompromised faith, whose career as a well-versed attorney spanned some four decades and who was hailed as a trailblazer and iconic community pillar throughout Smith County, and who now enjoys the eternal peace described in Luke 2:29, "Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace, according to your word"; and

     WHEREAS, from the humble beginnings of his birth on October 4, 1947, the middle son of the Honorable John Smith Clark, Sr., and Mrs. Mamie Craft Clark in Mize, Mississippi, Mr. Clark and his two brothers, were reared by their parents on the principle tenets of education, valor and uncompromised work ethic, which were reinforced throughout his formal academic grooming from his time as an impressionable student at Taylorsville High School, the McCallie School in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and 1965 graduate of Ellisville High School to masterfully matriculate through the realms of collegiate and professional academia as a 1969 recipient of a bachelor of arts degree in political science from Millsaps College and a sharp-witted 1972 graduate of the University of Mississippi School of Law, where he was a member of the Moot Court; and

     WHEREAS, compelled to answer the call of defending the promises of freedom embodied in the statuesque body of Lady Liberty, Mr. Clark joined an elite fraternity of citizen soldiers when he joined the United States Army Reserve, and chose to take on the war of injustice in the battlefield of courtrooms in Smith County and throughout the State of Mississippi, where he returned after completing active duty training to begin what would become a storied career of legal jurisprudence, and a life of integrity, service and humor; and

     WHEREAS, the Smith County School Board retained Larry as attorney, setting him on a career-long path of interest and expertise in education and county government, resulting in several cases being argued before both Federal Courts and the Mississippi Supreme Court, including two groundbreaking decisions in:  Bassett v. Roberts, which challenged the malapportioned districts of the Smith County Board of Supervisors in violation of the constitutionally mandated one man, one vote requirement, to require the districts to be equally reapportioned, and Tally v. Smith County Board of Supervisors, which tackled the abuses of cronyism in the leasing of 16th Section School lands for mere pennies per acre, and was a landmark case that served as the precursor to the passage of important legislation by the Legislature in 1978, which sought to and continues to protect the 16th Section trust lands from many abuses; and

     WHEREAS, upon taking a position with the Office of the Attorney General as a special assistant attorney general to Mike Moore, Mr. Clark immersed himself, for more than 12 years, in manning the helm as Director of the Opinions Division, as well as representing the State Auditor, Department of Audit and the Mississippi Ethics Commission, before being tapped as Deputy Attorney General over civil matters, which chronicled his life and career as the embodiment of a public servant through his chairmanship of the Government Law Section of The Mississippi Bar Association, mentorship of countless young attorneys and impressing upon them the responsibility of their profession to be a "priest in the temple of justice"; and

     WHEREAS, after retiring from public service, Mr. Clark practiced with Watkins Ludlam and, subsequent thereto, Purdie and Metz Law Firm, where the course of his legal profession came full circle as he returned to his passion of public education, representing the Simpson County Board of Education; and

     WHEREAS, Mr. Clark's fate would lend itself to being built in accordance with the blueprint divinely designed for the pattern of his life by the Great Deity and grand architect of our lives' destiny, when his love, chivalry and affection pierced the heart of the former Miss Judith Polk, and the duo became bone of one another's bone and flesh of one another's flesh after exchanging the nuptials of holy matrimony in 1975, building a lifetime of memories with the addition of three daughters, Anne, Brynna and Laura, with each of whom they shared the abundant blessings of honor and humility; and

     WHEREAS, one who never met a stranger, Mr. Clark was the unifying tie that bound his family together, whether through a humorous tale at family gatherings or providing historical perspective of current events in Mississippi and the nation as a guest columnist for The Clarion-Ledger; and

     WHEREAS, a God-fearing Christian before all other roles he assumed, a devoted husband, protective and doting father next, Mr. Clark possessed an ambitious spirit akin to that of King David, he was a man after God's own heart, who demonstrated a great faith and commitment to Jesus Christ, his family and his church, Northminster Baptist Church, where he often taught Sunday School, a diligent service of abiding by the Golden Rule that confirms the recording of Roman 14:8, "If we live, we live for the Lord, and if we die, we die for the Lord. So whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord"; and

     WHEREAS, though he has traversed the river of life to reunite with those who answered God's summons to life eternal and now beckon his arrival to the celestial shores of Heaven's grandeur, the legacy of Mr. Clark's indelible imprint upon our lives will continue to refresh the hearts and fond memories of his beloved survivors:  his wife of 42 years, Judith Polk Clark; his three daughters, Anne Clark Crader (Chris), Brynna Clark (Johnny) and Lauren Clark Ziegler (Alex); two grandchildren, Benton and Abigail Crader; brothers, John Clark (Janet) and the Honorable Eric Clark (Karan); mother-in-law, Edith Polk; brother-in-law, Brinson Polk; sister-in-law, Sherrye Polk Brame; and a host of other relatives and friends; and

     WHEREAS, we encourage the family to find solace from the overwhelming sadness created by the earthly departure of their beloved family member and be renewed in their faith that Mr. Clark fulfilled the purpose of his appointed time in adherence to the commandment of II Timothy 4:7, by having "fought a good fight, finishing his course and keeping the faith until the hour of his departure was at hand"; and

     WHEREAS, it is the policy of the House of Representatives to commend the life and service of such a genuine and selfless individual as Mr. Clark, whose life honored both The Mississippi Bar and this great state by illuminating the path of hope for all he encountered along this earthly sojourn:

     NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, That we do hereby mourn the loss and commemorate the life and legacy of venerated public servant Mr. Larry Edmond Clark, and express sincere and deepest sympathy to his family and friends upon his passing.

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That copies of this resolution be furnished to the family of Mr. Larry Edmond Clark and to the members of the Capitol Press Corps.