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William Clark

Obituary of William Clark

William "Herd" Clark, 74 of Grand Lake, CO passed away in his home on August 8, 2012 after battling prostate and bladder cancer for more than six years. He was born July 23, 1938 to Dorothy and William Clark of Pittsburgh, PA. Herd graduated from Shady Side Academy, Pittsburgh: Dickinson College (BS), Carlisle, PA: and American University (MBA), Washington, DC.

His career was spent in program management and evaluation with the US Food and Drug Administration and the US Department of Transportation.

Upon retiring from the government service, he became the owner and manager of 50 year old Beacon Printing in Denver.

Herd is survived by his loving wife, Yvonne, niece, Julie, and two nephews, Tom and Mike all of Pittsburgh. Also survived by stepchildren and step grandchildren, Renee, David, Hannah and Caleb, Adam, Shelly, Benjamin, and Nate. He was preceded in death by his parents and his sister, Barbara.

Herd and Yvonne met on a Colorado Mountain Club cross country ski trip to Steamboat Springs (on Valentines Day of course) and fell madly in love! After his second retirement, their love for the mountains, skiing, hiking, and snowshoeing, took them to Grad Lake part time and then full time.

A Memorial Service will be held at The Church of the Eternal Hills on Saturday August 18th, at 10AM.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Heart of the Mountains Hospice, PO Box 140, Hot Sulphur Springs, CO 80451.

Service Details

Saturday, August 18th, 2012 10:00am, Church of the Eternal Hills

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Herd was my best friend and the best man at my wedding. I first met him at a meeting in North Dakota of highway safety officials and staff working on a federal grant to reduce highway fatalities. "Herd the fed" was top of the heap there and that's who the ND governor chatted with at a gathering over bratwurst and beer. A year later, much to our delight, Herd was granted a "staff exchange" request to spend a year with us in Colorado. Seeing things from our perspective, he would send reports and recommendations back to his home office in DC, and I remember his fellow staffers commenting that he was having an even greater impact on national policies and programs from his perch in our beloved Rockies. Truth be known, Herd was more interested in skiing and a change in environment than he was in learning all about how we did things out here. When his year was up he requested an extension or transfer to the Federal Center here. There just wasn't anything available at his level. But he was determined to stay, and bought a nice bungalow in Washington Park which he immediately started to remodel. With his job searches coming up empty, I remember him telling me "I'm so depressed - this just isn't working out the way I wanted." I tried to assure him that of course he was feeling down - having tried so hard to find a position without success. He responded "No, it's this kitchen counter I'm trying to put in - I can't seem to make it fit." Herd was way past worrying about finding a job here - he was committed to Colorado and on to more important things. Well, he did get that counter to fit and his place looked great. After a false start selling "key man" life insurance, where he found he preferred to have someone on the other end of the phone who welcomed his call, he opened a U-Frame-It franchise. More working with his hands stuff, and he was good at it. He also knew what to look for in staff. Part of my dating routine became taking new recruits to Herd's place to frame a picture or poster. When Herd's lieutenant told me that each new young woman I took there seemed nicer than the last, I knew I was on the right track. I ended up marrying the last one, and Brooke, yes, he thought you were by far the nicest. Having created his own gainful employment, Herd's next goal was to find himself a suitable Colorado Mountain Woman. What better place to look than the Colorado Mountain Club, where he met and married an attractive landscape architect with two teenage boys. The absence of a father in their lives had taken a toll, and Herd took on the younger of the two as his next project. He made a big positive impact on his life. Herd sold his U-Frame-It franchise at a nice profit and bought a printing business - Beacon Printing - that is still a successful business today. But businesses usually don't get to be successful without some trying times along the way, and Herd's wife turned out to be the "fair weather" type. She set him adrift. Herd's business recovered more quickly than his psyche. A few years later I convinced him to sign up for a Cross Country Ski Clinic at Steamboat that I had attended for several years. There he met a woman with whom he clicked immediately, and his psyche seemed to be cured overnight. Herd's and Yvonne's relationship was a storybook affair. They made a house back in Washington Park into their home and eventually bought a funky little place in Grand Lake that they turned into "mountain house beautiful" over several years of major improvements. Herd and Yvonne loved dreaming and working on projects, and they both loved walks, hikes, wildlife, the outdoors in general and road trips in their trailer around the country. How would he ever know that his perfect Colorado Mountain Woman would come by way of California and Michigan! Well, there are children's stories and then there are books of life, and that's where Herd and Yvonne really showed us something, especially about people being there for each other. Herd did not particularly like doctors' or dentists' offices, but his attitude over the past couple of years has been nothing short of heroic. With Yvonne by his side they faced every adversity head on. Yvonne shared with me a story about Herd's last full day of life. Two of Yvonne's grandchildren were up in Grand Lake with them, and Herd woke up declaring that they would have a Celebration of Life that morning, because he knew he was going, but that it would not be THAT day. What a way to go out, and Herd and Yvonne - what a love story! Herd may have left us, but the relationship lives on. With the Deepest Love for Both of You, Eric

Anonymous Sep 3 2012 12:00 AM

Bob and I are so sorry of hearing of Herd's untimely death. I know he was determined to make it to Thanksgiving. Hopefully all your memories were shared in time and that you are able to take on the challenge of living without him. You are in our prayers and hearts.

Melinda McKinney Aug 10 2012 12:00 AM