az Charles Jesse (Coach) Clark
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Highland Cemetery

Durant, Bryan County, Oklahoma

© Durant Democrat
Posted Thursday, September 8, 2022
Submitted by: Terry Dudley

Charles Jesse (Coach) Clark


December 23, 1936 ~ September 4, 2022

After a life dedicated to the love of God, family, coaching and education, Charles Jesse (Coach) Clark of Sherman, entered into heaven on September 4, 2022, where he was undoubtedly greeted with a kiss by the love of his life, Kathy Clark, his wife of 65 years, who predeceased him in October of 2021.

Funeral arrangements will be under the direction of Waldo Funeral Home in Sherman. Family visitation will be on Saturday, September 10 from 5-7 p.m. at Waldo Funeral Home. Funeral services will be Sunday, September 11, at 2 p.m. at the Durant Church of Christ, Durant, Oklahoma, with interment at Highland Cemetery following the services.

Charles, or Coach, as many of his former players and friends called him, was born December 23, 1936, in Boggy Depot, Oklahoma, the son of William Harley Clark and Jessie (Goforth) Clark. He was reared with brothers and sisters Joe Clark, William Harley Clark, Jr., Vinita Thomas and Noweta Culbreath, all of whom predeceased him, and survived by his beloved sister, Joy Culbreath of Durant, Oklahoma. He is also survived by daughters Charla Sterling and Sandra Smith, both of Durant, OK, and Kelly Ashmore and husband, Kerye, of Sherman, TX; grandchildren, Capt. Shayne Smith (USAF) of Garden Valley, California and fiance Rachel Brody, Clark Byrum and wife, Amanda, Breanne Luelf and husband Chad, and Andrea Lockler, all of Sherman, and Kyle Byrum of Rowlett, TX; and 5 great grandchildren and many nieces and nephews all of whom he dearly loved.

After graduating from Lubbock High School in 1955 where he excelled in football, Charles continued his education at Paris Junior College and Southeastern State University on football scholarships and graduated with a B.S. in Education from Southeastern in 1961. He would later earn his Master of Education Degree from Southeastern in 1973. Charles always saw football, and the scholarships it provided him, as a means to obtain an education which he believed was the best way for a young man to obtain opportunities for a rewarding career and better financial future for his family. In addition to scholarships, he worked hard, physically demanding jobs at night to pay for his education, once even telling the Southeastern coach he couldn't attend there even on a scholarship unless he could find a job that paid at least 50 cents an hour.

Charles loved his wife, Kathy and his daughters and worked tirelessly to provide for them. He loved to attend every event in which his daughters were involved and that continued with his grandchildren and great grandchildren. He was always supportive of any activities and endeavors of his family. His biggest gift, however, to his family was his love of God and seeing to it they were in church every Sunday and Wednesday to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He was a faithful follower of Christ until the end.

Charles loved young people and coached football and taught at Pecos, Whitesboro and Gainesville in a career covering almost 20 years before he became involved in administration in schools in Gainesville and Union, Texas and Boswell, Oklahoma where he served as superintendent. Even after "retiring", he stayed active for years working in the Choctaw Nation's GED program.

Charles loved his birthday cards and would read each one slowly and out loud. He loved his daughters to look beautiful and would spend hours perfectly tying their bows before church. As adults, he would remind them to be sure they had their "lips" and perfume on. He treasured time with his siblings, particularly playing 42 with his brother "Junior" and his sister Joy and her husband, Muggs, who Charles loved like a brother.

Charles was a generous man and proud to be of Choctaw heritage. He loved life and was a master storyteller able to remember almost every play in football games played decades ago. He was an Elvis fan, once seeing Elvis in the early years in Lubbock, but even a bigger Buddy Holly fan.

The legacy Charles leaves is reflected in the lives of the many people he touched through his Christian faith, devotion to family, coaching and teaching.

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