Obituaries » Tom Clark
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December 13, 1945 - May 1, 2019
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Tom Clark (Thomas Edmund Clark), adored father, loving brother, kind hearted friend, loyal neighbor, equine whisperer, muzzle loading sharp shooter, chef, gardener, dedicated conservative and maker of many things succumbed to the “man” on May 1st 2019 after a dramatic roller coaster ride through the ICU to heal his ailing heart.
Tom was born on December 13, 1945 in Los Angeles to Edmund Gerald Clark from Marin and Gladys Lee Nathan from Sacramento. He graduated from Cupertino High School in ’63, attended Foothill College until he was drafted and served in the Vietnam War from ’66-’68 and eventually married his high school prom date, Colleen Jay Murphy from San Francisco. Tom is survived by his older brother Gary Clark, his two girls Kym DeWitt and Kristi Lassiter, three grandchildren; Gracie Lassiter, Emma DeWitt, and Nathan Lassiter, two doting son in laws; Shawd DeWitt and Steven Lassiter and his brother and sister in law, Jack and Dee Miller.
Tom worked as a plastics engineer and executive in Silicon Valley before moving to Sandpoint in 1988 to retire, but his political and entrepreneurial spirit couldn’t be quieted, and he soon found himself taking on new business ventures like Spin-A-Ribbon, Carousel Action Wear, and Skito Saddlepads. Ever the constitutionally conservative voice, he enjoyed hosting a radio show, ran for Commissioner, advocated for gun and property rights and tried to keep property taxes for all at bay.
When he wasn’t working hard, which was hardly ever, Tom was fixin’ shit and doin’ the dance. His dance included scuba diving and abalone diving in Anchor Bay, lotsa guns, ammo, shooting up the hillside, hunting from his front porch, growing peppers, talking skovils, shootin’ the shit, eating Gyozas, having “boiled water” for dinner, sipping fine wine and drinking good beer. He was known to love jumping out of airplanes, going on ATV rides, traveling with his bro, taking long walks with his dog, cross country skiing and making coffee as thick as mud.
Tom was an incredible cook. He was a biscuit and gravy master and I do mean master. His recipe, which was never the same, would absolutely ruin you for others and he made the best spaghetti and white clam sauce you’ll ever eat. He could wrangle a meal out of anything and put back plate sized gluttonous mouthfuls. He was famous for Papa’s Pepper, his homemade 5 pepper blend. He grew gardens full of vegetables, moving the garden from year to year to find the best soil and the longest sun. Then he dehydrated them or pickled ‘em. He pickled eggs, pickled peppers, pickled beans, and pickled his liver.
He logged nearly 400,000 miles in his truck and had a love for deer and they had a love for him. Most hunters prefer their deer in the woods, however he’d frequently meet up with them in the middle of the road for a brief liaison followed by an expensive trip to the repair shop. He talked a lot about his love of hunting, however more times than not he enjoyed watching all the critters snack under his apple trees.
We would be remiss if we didn’t mention Tom’s commitment, dedication and pride in building the best orthopedic saddle pads in the industry. Almost everyone heard him complain about working every day and he spoke about retiring so that he could hunt and fish more, but Skito Saddlepads, and the friendships and relationships that he had with leaders in the industry, his customers and employees defined him and kept his light bright. He truly enjoyed and was rewarded by the experience of helping others. He was so humble, but he truly was a genius.
While Tom offended some, he was adored by more. He worked harder and played less. He curmugeoned easily and loved sweetly. Tom will be remembered for his quick wit, colorful vernacular, and stubborn self-reliance. He wanted to leave us on his own terms and in his own way. Although there were a few corkscrews in the end, I think he’d say the final outcome was “close enough for government work”.
We hope you will join us for a Toast to Tom and a potluck lunch at the Idaho Pour Authority on Saturday, May 11, 2019 from 11am-2pm. Please bring pictures and stories to share. Let’s have a good laugh and a good cry and remember everything we loved about this wonderful man.
You were perfect to us and as Tom’s dad would often say, “perfect is good enough”.