Dr. Howard D. Clark was born to Leonard McKinley Clark and Dicie Culpepper Clark on January 22, 1927, in Perry County, Mississippi. He passed away on February 10, 2020 at the age of 93 at his residence in Morton, Mississippi. Dr. Clark grew up in Perry County, Mississippi and graduated from Richton High School. Four days after his graduation, he enlisted in the Army Reserves. While in the Army, Dr. Clark volunteered for the medical corp and, after 18 days of medical training, his medical career began with his deployment in the South Pacific. After being honorably discharged, Dr. Clark earned his undergraduate degree from Mississippi State University, his medical certificate from the University of Mississippi and then his M.D. at Tulane University before completing a one-year rotating internship at the newly opened University of Mississippi Medical Center in 1955. He was the physician on duty the night UMC opened it’s emergency room for the first time.
In 1956, Dr. Clark opened Clark Clinic in Morton, Mississippi where he practiced medicine for the next 62 years. During that time, he also helped secure funding for, build and open Scott Regional Hospital and MS Care Center of Morton. He delivered more than 4,500 babies, made countless house calls, and served as team doctor for all Morton High School athletic teams. Dr. Clark was also an avid supporter of Mississippi State University academics and athletics, serving for several years on the Board of Directors of the Bulldog Club. Through his association with MSU, Dr. Clark befriended countless students, athletes, coaches, administrator, medical professionals and even several University Presidents. In 2001, at the age of 73, and while he was still actively providing care for patients at the hospital, his clinic, the nursing home and also making house calls, Dr. Clark was named Country Doctor of the Year by Staff Care, a national temporary physician staffing firm. In 2004, Dr. Clark was bestowed the Caring Award by The Caring Institute, an international nonprofit organization inspired by Mother Teresa and dedicated to the principles of caring, integrity, and public service. In 2007, Dr. Clark was recognized by his peers with the John B. Howell Memorial Award which is bestowed annually by the Mississippi Academy of Family Physicians to the physician contributing the most to the development of Family Medicine in Mississippi.
Dr. Clark was a 32nd Degree Mason and, at the age of 90, was the oldest living Sunday School teacher at First Baptist Church of Morton, where he became the teacher of the Adult V Co-Ed Sunday School Class following the death of Ralph Simmons. Dr. Clark is preceded in death by his parents, Leonard and Dicie Culpepper Clark, his wife, Mildred Gardner Clark, a daughter, Eunice Clark Fairchild Williams, a son, Christopher Allen Howard Clark, and a granddaughter, Cassandra Ann Fairchild. He is survived by his sister, Virginia Clark Thornton, his brothers, McKinley Ray Clark (Jane) and Charles Everett Clark (Ann), his wife of 51 years, Jackie Newsom Clark, daughters, Neva Clark Jefcoat (Jere), Janie Clark Westberry, Patricia Clark Westberry and Bettie Ann Clark Anderson, son Howard David Clark, II, 14 grandchildren, 36 great grandchildren, and 9 great-great grandchildren.
Visitation for Dr. Clark will be 4:30 p.m. until 8:00 p.m., Thursday, February 13, 2020, at Ott & Lee Funeral Home, Morton, Mississippi, and 9:00 a.m. until 10:30 a.m., Friday, February 14, 2020, at First Baptist Church, Morton, Mississippi, with the Funeral Services to follow at 11:00 a.m.
In Lieu of flowers, or should friends desire, contributions may be sent to the Howard Clark Medical Scholarship fund in care of Ken Gordon, Bank of Morton, Morton, Mississippi.
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