Mass of Christian Burial for Frank Edward Clarke, 84, Lawrence will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Monday, March 3, 2014 at Corpus Christi Catholic Church in Lawrence. Burial will follow at Mt. Calvary Cemetery. He died Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at Bridgehaven Memory Care in Lawrence.
Frank was born June 9, 1929 in Jerome, AZ and moved to southern California at the age of three. In 1945, at the age of 16 he and his neighborhood buddies joined the Merchant Marines and sailed the seas for two years. Upon his return to California at 19, he met his future wife, Lorna May Hays, 17, at a dance for GIs. They eloped shortly after meeting and were married for 51 years until her death in 1999. They lived in La Mirada, CA until 1990, raising 7 children there. In 1990 they moved to Lawrence, KS to be near their grandkids.
Frank began a career in construction in the early 1950s which stretched over 50 years. He joined Carpenters Local Union 1506 at its inception and helped set up a program for apprentices which he taught for over a year. He was well known for the quality of his work and was proud to say he had literally helped build every high-rise building in Los Angeles, CA. In 2001 he was awarded Honorary Lifetime Membership in the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America for over 50 continuous years as a member. He was also a member of the Holy Name Society at St. Paul of the Cross Catholic Church in La Mirada, CA, which he attended for over 40 years.
Frank was preceded in death by his wife, Lorna, his parents and his sister, Louise.
Frank is survived by 7 children: Michael (Donna) Clarke, Puyallup, WA, Gregory (Jan) Clarke, Woodinville, WA, Gail (Phil) Gaus, Lawrence, KS, Terry (Randy) Norvell, Albuquerque, NM, Lorna Clarke and Vanessa Johnson, Lawrence, KS, Jonathan (Romy) Clarke, Yorba Linda, CA, Joseph (Annie) Clarke, Encinitas, CA, 20 grandchildren; 18 great grandchildren.
Frank was a member of Corpus Christi Catholic Church since 1991. The family suggests memorials in his name to Corpus Christi Catholic Church or Corpus Christi Catholic School and may be sent in care of the mortuary.
A rosary will be held at 4:00 p.m. and viewing is planned until 6:00 p.m., Sunday, March 2nd at Warren-McElwain Mortuary in Lawrence.