April 16, 1955 --April 3, 2010
Thomas Alan Clark, born April 16, 1955, to Norbert and Bonnie Clark in Walla Walla, died at his home April 3, 2010 from complications associated with his struggle with pulmonary fibrosis. He has been home on hospice care since December 2009 surrounded by his family and friends and simply living each day to its fullest as if it were his last.
Tom and Sue Clark married in Walla Walla on May 26, 1989. When they married Sue had a daughter, Heather Marsh, who to this date was the hook that caught the fish. Tom loved Heather as if she was his own. On May 5, 1991 the family became complete when daughter, Morgan Clark was born. Although he often joked that Sue could not give him a boy, he loved all his girls with all his heart and was honored when Ciara Rucker, his only grandchild, "Papa's Girl", was born on November 23, 2005.
Tom spent his career in many different capacities in the Facilities Department at Walla Walla Community College. Some of his greatest friendships were made with students and colleagues. The greatest days of his career were the past years he was assigned to the Dietrich Dome. Although not an athlete himself he enjoyed watching the college sporting events. He was proud to be a Walla Walla Community College Booster Member.
It was during those days that Tom met a very special young woman that stole his heart and became like a daughter to him. Joyce Baumann played volleyball and worked for Tom as a student worker. It was not until he got ill that Joyce was introduced to the rest of the family who totally understood the connection. During Tom's illness it was not uncommon to find Joyce at Tom's bedside and caring for him with such respect and love.
Tom served the college as an employee and a volunteer in many of the college activities. He was well known at the amphitheatre concession as "Macho Nacho Man." Tom was also honored by the college with the outpour of love and support during his illness. His fellow employees shared leave with him, brought dinners to his house, did yard work, visited with him and simply cared when he needed care the most.
When Tom entered hospice care we did so with some anxiety. However, when all of us peered out the window at the two women (nurse, Brenda , and social worker, Kathy) coming up our walk we felt totally at ease. These two women made a bad situation a better one. They became family. Our family will be forever grateful to them and all the hospice workers.
Tom was always known for his humor no matter where it was. He never let an opportunity for a laugh slip him by. Remember Tom with a smile on his face. He would not want us to cry, but to laugh out loud even if it was at him.
At the request of Tom there will be no public service.
Survivors include his spouse, Sue Clark, at the home; daughter and son-in-law Heather and Will Rucker, and their daughter Ciara, of Surprise, Arizona; daughter Morgan Clark of Walla Walla; mother Bonnie Clark of Walla Walla; mother-in-law Maria LaLumiere of Sun City, Arizona; sister and brother-in-law Sharyl and Mike Dill of Walla Walla; brother- and sister-in-law Michael and Gail LaLumiere, also of Sun City; and nieces, nephews, aunts and cousins. Tom is also survived by special friends Susan Palmer and Kurt Othberg; Jim, Jill and Jena Peitersen; Nanqi You; Tim Toon; Joyce Baumann; and colleagues of Walla Walla Community College.
He was preceded in death by many family members, but most importantly his father, Norbert Clark, and father-in-law, Francis "Lou" LaLumiere.
Memorial contributions (monetary or volunteer) can be made to the Walla Walla Community College Athletic Booster Club, Walla Walla Community Hospice, or to a charity of choice, all through Mountain View-Colonial DeWitt, 1551 Dalles Military Rd, Walla Walla, WA 99362.
Friends may write memories and sign the guestbook at www. mountainview-colonialdewitt.com