Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Utah Funeral

Kristin Purles - Reading of Eulogy. It will be hard to feel his absence in our home. We were blessed to have Clark living with us. We learned so much from him, his spirit, his character. I will cherish those memories like going into his room to find Willow sitting on his bed reading him stories and singing him songs. I hope his spirit will always remain in our home and we can continue to live by his example.

Eric Bischke - It's an honor and a privilege to pay respects to one of my dearest friends. Clark is one of those people who everyone wants to be around, is always happy, never has an ill word to say about anybody, always smiling, joking, and treating others with great respect. I am confident that Clark will continue to play a role in our lives. He will warn us of dangers ahead, prompt us to serve those in need, or simply testify truth to us.

I have know Clark since he was 12 years old and have developed a great love and appreciation for him. Clark's email in high school was something along the lines of superclark@hotmail.com. I didn't know how fitting this nickname would become. Shortly after meeting Clark his father passed away suddenly and unexpectedly. Jim's passing left Clark to help raise the family and he became a father figure. Clark and I held several jobs together. William's Carpet - flexible schedule made it hard to get to work. We had a routine that we stuck to very closely. First to McDonald's for a Big Mac value meal, then to my home for NFL2K on Sega Dream Cast. On days where more work was in store, we fit two or three games in. Despite this, our employers said we were the best tandem they had ever employed.

After high school we moved to Utah and he joined the tower crew. Clark was thrown into the fire but flourished at his job and became crew chief. He always gave his best effort, and never asked others to do a task he wasn't willing to do himself. I never dreaded a day when I knew I'd be working alongside Clark.

Admiral qualities. Have never seen anyone drive him to anger. Kindhearted and all you could hope for in a friend plus much, much more. When working, we picked up a roll of carpet and out scurried a tiny little mouse. I picked up a ten foot cardboard tube, swung at the mouse and somehow I hit it. Clark picked up the mouse and with a tear in his eye uttered the words, "Oh Templeton." The pride I had felt turned to disappointment. I had a better understanding of how tenderhearted Clark was.

When I went to visit Clark in the hospital, I would ask him how he was doing His response never changed as he said everything would be alright. How could he say that? He was battling pain and agony, surgeries and blood transfusions, not to mention the mounds of medications that faced him everyday. He had hope and trusted that God would take care of him. Well, I believe that God has made everything OK. Clark and everyone that loves him did everything humanly possible to keep him here with us, but it was not to be. I know he will never have to take another pill, suffer another surgery, or spend another night alone in his hospital bed. He is now in a perfect form.

Clark has lived a life with faith in our Father in Heaven. He will be resurrected and live with our Father in Heaven again through the atonement of our Savior. Clark we love you and miss you. I know your father Jim was waiting for you on the other side of the veil with open arms in anticipation of finally seeing you again. Super Clark, through your kindness, honesty, humility and love, you have laid a path for us all to follow. Clark, I am grateful for the opportunity to bid you farewell until we meet again.

Bishop Sampson - I didn't want to follow Johny. He came early to practice and I had to go to the other room and cry. On July 28, 2009, my life would start a journey that would last almost a year and change my life forever. I got a call from the Relief Society Pres informing me that Clark was in the hospital. When we got to the hospital, Clark was as yellow as that sheet. I'm just a mechanic and I don't know what that means. I asked Clark if he needed anything and his response was, "No, I'm good to go" and I'm thinking, "Didn't you look in a mirror before you came here?" But that was his response every time until the very last moment.

A lot of spiritual things happened in that hospital. I met Clark's mother for the first time down in the lunch room. I walked in and I'm a young bishop that was way out of his league. Clark needed a liver now or he would pass. The doctor came in and gave us the news that they had a liver. The next day we were in the waiting room. Friday I visited that waiting room and all the memories came back. I see Huxley sleeping on the floor. I see family members coming and going as we waited while they did the surgery. It was a pretty big room and we were in the very back. A lady walked in and looked around, making her way right to the back of the room. She asked, "You wouldn't happen to be LDS would you? Is there anyone here who could give my husband a blessing?" I was volunteered very quickly by the family. As I helped give a blessing to this young man I knew about the power of the priesthood. I left that room knowing that that man would be fine.

As we waited they would call and give updates on Clark's surgery. It went on and on until the wee hours of the morning. Sis Kimble got a call and we hear her scream, a scream that will make the hairs on your head stand up. She told us that they couldn't hook up a main artery to the liver. I remember that I had said, "Don't worry. They will get it." Then I thought, "Why did I say that? They have been working on it for hours." I started to pray to my Father in Heaven that they would get it hooked up. A few minutes later the phone rang and she let out another scream, a happy scream because they got it hooked up. I know that my Father in Heaven hooked that liver up. The doctors came out and they were so impressed with themselves. I hate to tell them it wasn't them. It was our Father in Heaven who guided their hands. It was a wonderful testimony builder of how prayer works in our lives.

Clark had gone a few nights without sleep because he was in so much pain. I got a call asking me to come up to give him a blessing. I asked, "What would you like?" He said, "I would like to be able to sleep." I remember thinking before I gave the blessing, "Do I have the faith that I can give him a blessing that he will sleep through the night." I gave him that blessing and went home and got on my knees. He slept like a baby, I was up the whole night praying. When I called the nest morning they said he slept better then he had in a long time. The power of the priesthood.

A few weeks later, Rhonda put me in charge while they went to South Dakota. This was the most tender time I ever spent with Clark, that time that it was just me and him. They set up a camera so that Clark could see the party. Clark wasn't having a great day and didn't want to do it. I said, "I don't care. I'm afraid of your mom. I'm not afraid of you." Clark's voice was very weak. Clark was telling me what was going on in South Dakota, all the preparations, and about cooking a pig in the ground. When he said it I thought he said he wanted to pee on the ground. I said, "Just go ahead and pee. You've got a catheter." He starts to laugh. We get laughing so hard. Finally I leave the room because every time we look at each other we'd laugh.

We talked about a lot of gospel things. We talked about girls. We talked about cars. There were a couple things Clark wanted in his life. One, a beautiful car, which he had. Two, he wanted a family, which he will have. The other thing he wanted was to be sealed to his family. He talked about that a lot. I never met a young man who loves his family more than Clark did. He loves his sister who took care of him no matter what. He loves his brothers. Everyone of them. It was a wonderful time and I want to thank you for letting me have that opportunity.

One day while in the parking lot of the hospital, talking with his mother, she taught me something that I will never forget. This is how bad I am. Here's his bishop and I ask, "Why?" and it was Clark's mom that reminded me about the plan of salvation. She said, "Remember that we chose all this." Elder Nelson put it this way, "Life does not begin with birth, nor does it end with death. Prior to our birth, we dwelled as spirit children with our Father in Heaven. There we eagerly anticipated the possibility of coming to earth and obtaining a physical body. Knowingly we wanted the risks of mortality, which would allow the exercise of agency and accountability. This life was to become a probationary state; a time to prepare to meet God. But we regarded the returning home as the best part of that long-awaited trip, just as we do now. Before embarking on any journey, we like to have some assurance of a round-trip ticket. Returning from earth to life in our heavenly home requires passage through—and not around—the doors of death. We were born to die, and we die to live. As seedlings of God, we barely blossom on earth; we fully flower in heaven."

I invited him over for Easter. I said, "You might be bored but I guarantee you'll have some good food." It's the best I've ever seen him eat. We decided to play Chinese checkers. Clark shook a lot on all his very many medications. He would go to hit and he would win every game. I think he was cheating. Clark became part of our family. I told his mother the other day that he was my son. He truly was. I was truly honored to be his bishop.

A few days ago in the hospital, Clark went to reach for something and he couldn't get it. I said, "What do you need?" This is the only time I ever heard Clark complain. He said, "I need a new life." I told him it was coming. I know that Clark has a new life. I know he is not in pain anymore. I know that he is working today. When this all started I asked him what he wanted he said, "All I want is to go back to work." Clark is back to work. He is doing his Heavenly Father's work and he will be phenomenal.

To the Kimble family, may I thank you for the time you have allowed me to be part of your family. I know that I will see Clark again and what a glorious day that will be. It will be only a moment in time when I will be reunited with this great man who taught me so much. As a bishop I was told that my first duty was to teach. I don't think I've taught a thing, but I've learned a lot. Clark, thank you so very much.

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