YOUNGSTOWN, OHIO – On Thursday morning, Sept. 13, 2012, God sent his angels to gently escort his servant, Deacon Joseph Clark Sr. to his heavenly home as his loving family surrounded him.
Mr. Clark was born Oct. 24, 1919, in Sylvester, Georgia, a son of Alonzo and Lucy Ann Gardner Clark, and had been a resident of Youngstown, Ohio for over 75 years.
He was a 1938 East High graduate and attended Howard University.
Mr. Clark was formerly employed as a craneman in the Open Hearth Department of the Briar Hill Plant, Youngstown Sheet and Tube Company for 24 years.
A member of Local Union 1462, United Steelworkers of America, A.F.L. – C.I.O., where he served for three elected terms as Financial Secretary; elected representative in the Open Hearth Department for 11 years, delegate to the Great Youngstown A.F.L. – C.I.O. Council, member of the Local Union Legislative and Civil Rights Committees, and elected nine years as Executive Secretary of the Open Hearth Benefit Association.
Mr. Clark, being a dedicated Trade Unionist, was appointed to the position of Staff Representative on Jan. 1, 1965, by James P. Griffin, former District 26 Director.
Previously representing the employees of Youngstown Sheet and Tube Company, he also served as District 26 C.O.P.E. Chairman and Education Coordinator.
He was appointed to the position of Director of the Youngstown Sub-District Office, effective April 1, 1973, by Frank Leseganich, former Director of Dist. 26, United Steelworkers of America.
In recognition of his long and dedicated services to the Union and its membership, Local Union 2163 dedicated and renamed its hall “The Joseph Clark Hall” in a ceremony held on Oct. 20, 1985, at 17 W. Liberty Street, Struthers, Ohio.
He was a faithful and active 76 year member of the Mt. Zion Baptist Church, where he served as an ordained deacon (ordained June 15, 1952) for many years.
He also served as financial secretary, chairman and vice chairman of the Deacon Ministry, Supervising Officer of the Senior Choir, Nurses Guild and No. II Usher Ministries.
Joseph was past Worshipful Master of Masonic Lodge Spirit of Ohio No. 311, A.F.A.M., PAST Chancellor for the State of Ohio, Secretary of the House of Perfections, Lodge No. 1, Cleveland, a member of the N.A.A.C.P., McGuffey Center of Human Services of Development Committee, Youngstown Urban League, A. Philip Randolph Institute, Associate member of Donald Lockett V.F.W. Post 6488, member of the Youngstown Community Corporation, United Appeal, 1976 to 1977, Co-Chairman and Chairman, and the 1977 to 1978 General Chairman of the United Appeal Fund Drives, former treasurer of the Northeast Model Cities Council, former member of the Board of Directors of the Youngstown Humane Society, former member of the Mahoning County Welfare Advisory Committee on Social Services, former member of the Youngstown Community Action Council Board of Directors and Executive Committee, Chairman of the Special Committee on Grievance Arbitration, Youngstown Human Resources Center, Youngstown Area Cluster Ohio Interfaith Poverty Coalition, former Board Member of the Western Reserve Economic Development Agency and the Board of Trades, Vice Chairman to the Executive Committee for Youngstown Private Industry Council and Chairman of the United Way Nominating Committee.
He was one of the originators and chaplain of the Hazelton Oldtimers.
In 1977, he was appointed to the Fair Employment Practice Commission by Mayor J. Phillips Richey, serving as Chairman for four terms.
He was a member of the Community Relations Committee of North High School, an honorary life member of Buckeye Lodge No. 73, I.B.P.O.E. for outstanding service to the community; coordinator of the District 27 Retirees Program, District 27 Civil Rights Coordinator, District 27 Consumer Protection Coordinator, former member of the Ecumenical Coalition Committee of “100,” member of the Mahoning County and Youngstown Private Industry Council Executive Board, member of Youngstown Revitalization Foundation Board of Trustees, and other political and community organizations.
Mr. Clark was also selected to serve on the Board of Directors for Gateway to Better Living Inc. in February of 1993, serving on the Personnel Committee. Elected Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors February 1995 to 1998, when he was elected Chairman of the Board of Directors for Gateway to Better Living Inc.
He leaves to mourn his passing, but to rejoice in his eternal peace, his daughter, Stephanie Lynn Benson of Youngstown; son, Joseph Jr. (Debra A.) Clark of Columbus, Ohio; five grandchildren, Tamara L. (Timothy) Sanford, Dawn (Chanell) Benson Jr., Joseph Clark III, Jade Joann Clark, and Ronald T. Smith; six great-grandchildren, Rayvion Sanford, Timothy Sanford II, Talaya Sanford, Alexis Benson, Zaria Benson, and Zander Benson; sister-in-law, Gloria Jean Armour; and a host of loving nieces nephews, other family, church family and friends.
Friends may call Saturday from 10 to 11 a.m. at the Mt. Zion Baptist Church, 827 Wilson Ave.
Funeral services will follow immediately at 11 a.m.
Arrangements have been entrusted to the L.E. Black, Phillips & Holden Funeral Home