Kirk Clark Obituary, Death : McAllen, Illinois businessman and car dealer, Kirk Clark, has passed away on Friday at the age of 76. It is with our sincerest condolences that we inform you that on the afternoon of Friday, March 11th, 2022 Kirk Allen Clark went to his heavenly home to be with his Father Charles and his Mother Dorothy.
Kirk was born in McAllen, TX and spent his entire life in the RGV except for his time studying Art at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. He entered the family business at Clark Chevrolet in 1969 and was promoted by his Father Charles to Dealer in 1974. In the nearly 89 years Clark Chevrolet has been in business, Kirk was your local Chevy dealer for 48.
In 1992 he partnered with another intergenerational RGV automotive family, the Knapps, to open Clark Knapp Honda. In his professional life he helped many other local business people get their starts or to get back on their feet after challenging times. He was a long-term supporter of many local charities and institutions, especially the International Museum of Art and Science, the Valley Symphony Orchestra and Trinity Episcopal Church in Pharr (Where he served as acolyte and then Eucharist Lay Minister for many years).
He personally funded and led the efforts to secure several of the beautiful Sebastián sculptures you see outside the McAllen Convention Center, “Blue Binomial,” and the McAllen-Miller International Airport, “Celosia Borunda,” as well as many more donated art objects in the RGV and beyond.
A wide variety of Kirk’s art has been displayed in numerous countries and states. He believed in the RGV and its people and always wanted to ask what more he could do to help. As a businessman, philanthropist, artist and friend, Kirk’s legacy is secured by the warm memories held by the many lives he touched here, in the Southwest, Mexico and beyond. More importantly than that; his family, friends, team-members, collaborators and community have lost not only a Valley original, we have lost a great-souled man.
In a world that rewards ceaseless self-promotion, Kirk was happy to work one on one, with the powerful and the needy in like-kind, behind the scenes, out of the camera’s light. We believed we had seen it all with Dad’s ceaseless personal generosity and accessibility he granted to every person imaginable. But in the long months of his bewildering and cruel illness, we have been inundated with amazing, beautiful stories of his openness and generosity, whether he was writing a personal check or lending his ear or counsel to anyone who had the desire.
Kirk was a man who did more than was reasonable. He was a man with genuine love for people, all people. He understood at a core level the reciprocal responsibility that the success our community has granted us must be returned to it; that we must be partners with the community, not just “business people.” Kirk struggled with his illness, a rare neurological condition, for nearly ten months until his passing. With shocking rapidity, he went from laughing and conducting business as usual, to being robbed first of his words, and then of his mobility and then of his awareness, in a matter of weeks.
We hardly know how to express our endless gratitude to the amazing people who did everything they could for him in his time of greatest need. In a world where doing the bare minimum is too common, many people stepped up and did an amazing job for him and his family. The handful of Doctors, Nurses and other healthcare professionals who went the extra mile for us will always be in our hearts.
His employees and especially his partner, Roger Solis, who not only succeed in business, but do it Dad’s way, the right way, every day, are the people who make everything possible for our family. The numerous relatives, friends and collaborators who reached out to check on Dad, offered their support, visited him in his last days and checked on his family will always be remembered.
Especially, we want to recognize the ceaseless efforts of his wife, Jeri. In the first part of this illness (and thereafter), which occurred amidst the disruptions to the medical community and world caused by Covid-19, she was the one who was there the most, did the most and bore the most. In the first few months of his terrifying, rapid deterioration we took our turns; our 12-hour, no break, 1 visitor shifts with Dad during the day, while Mom would sleep on the various hospital-room bench couches and wooden chairs to make sure he wasn’t alone at night.
This continued after we finally received a diagnosis and learned that the bright, gregarious mind we all loved would not be returning to us. After that the mission became one of returning him to the home he loved, so that he could pass with peace and dignity, surrounded by home healthcare professionals and his family. Kirk was not just blessed in business and camaraderie; he was blessed with his wife Jeri who did everything that could be done for him in the direst of circumstances.
Additionally; his loving daughter Anne, his devoted sons Alex and Daniel, their wives, his wonderful daughters-in-law Amanda and Handrel, his warm grandchildren Ryan and Ev and his indispensable sister-in-law Jocelyn all stepped up in amazing, often very challenging ways to support Jeri and Kirk not only in the most challenging of times towards the end of his life, but in the many good years that came before.
Kirk is also survived by his younger sister Robin and his eldest son Charlie as well as family and friends too numerous to sufficiently acknowledge. Many people have asked about funeral arrangements. In this continuing time of Covid, and given the impossibility of hosting all those who loved and respected Kirk, his funeral service will be a private, invitation only service.
However, his funeral will be recorded and published publicly afterwards. There will also be a public celebration of Kirk’s life that all friends of Kirk’s will be welcome to attend, with a public announcement forthcoming. Additionally, family and friends are working on several commemorative events in the coming months to honor his memory and benefit the charities and groups he loved.
Kirk was a man who believed in love, friendship, forgiveness and peace. The operation of his businesses and his commitments to his community are now in the hands of his sons Alex and Daniel. There is so much that can be said and so many people who deserve to be thanked, but so little space to say it.
If you knew Kirk, you likely have been blessed either with his humor, kindness, curiosity or generosity; if you didn’t get to meet him, rest assured, those of us who loved him and were there for him, will do everything we can to learn from and spread his spirit wherever we can, not only to attempt to live up to his legacy, but because each act of kindness reminds us of him. Spirit Engaged, – the Clark Family.