Arthur Otis Clark


Arthur Otis Clark, 97, passed away the evening of Jan. 23, 2021. He was born Feb. 4, 1923, in the small mining town of Kemmerer, Wyo., to Frank and Catherine Clark. He grew up surrounded by his seven siblings, raised most often by his four older sisters.

Arthur enlisted in the United States Army in 1940, and was sent to Fort Lewis as part of what would become the 320th Bomb GP 442, Bomb 32. This was his first time in Washington State, and like most of the servicemen at the time, he would visit many of the small cities and towns of the surrounding areal while on leave. Arthur fell in love with the area and the friendly people. It was on one of these trips that he fell in love with Centralia. It was also during this time that he met and fell in love with Marion Althauser, whom he would marry in 1942.

During his time in the Army, Arthur served in multiple campaigns, from Africa through much of Europe, during World War II. He left the Army in 1945, and worked in various private sector jobs for the next three years. In 1948, he enlisted in the United States Air Force and served as a clerk of the 325th Motor Vehicle Squad as a recruiter, he served over seas in England and Okinawa, and then served in the 44th Missile Maintenance Squad, at Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota, as part of the SAC. Arthur served in the military for 21 years before retiring in 1964. He and Marion then returned home to Centralia.

Later that year, he was hired by the Centralia School District as a transportation supervisor, and later transferred to head supervisor of the maintenance department. In 1973, his wife, Marion, passed away. A year later, he fell in love with Leona Denman, whom he married in mid 1974. Arthur worked for the school district for 25 years, until he retired in 1990.

Throughout his life, Arthur was a member of the Elk’s Lodge. He enjoyed bowling and playing golf, and later poker with his close friends. Golf and baseball were his favorite pass-times to watch. His greatest passion however, was woodworking. When not watching various programs on the subject, he would spend many days making projects for family and friends.

Nov. 1, 2020, his wife, Leona, passed away. They had shared 46 years together.

Arthur is survived by his stepchildren; grandchildren; and great-grandchildren; as well as nieces and nephews; and their children and grandchildren.