AIKEN, SC - Colonel William Edward Clark, 87, of Aiken, passed away at his residence on Friday, November 26, 2021.
Born in Prestonburg, KY, on November 15, 1934, he was the son of Emery E. Clark and Mae Davis Hill Clark.
In 1956 he graduated with a BA Degree in Music, and in 1959, he received his Master of Arts Degree in Music Education. In 2002, he received his DMA (Doctorate of Musical Arts) in Conducting.
COL Clark enlisted in the US Army in 1963 and served in many military organizations. After receiving his commission, he became Executive Officer and Associate Conductor of the United States Military Academy Band, West Point, NY from 1972-1976. From 1976-1979, he became the Commandant of the US Army Element, Armed Forces School of Music in Norfolk, VA.
From June 1979 until his retirement in June 1991, he was the Commander and Conductor of the internationally famous United States Army Field Band and Soldiers’ Chorus, with the responsibility of supporting Army community relations worldwide. During his 12 years with the Army Field Band, Col Clark conducted concerts in all 50 states and 12 foreign countries and gave 8510 performances.
Under his command, the Field Band performed at two Presidential Inaugural Parades, escorting President Reagan in Normandy to the 40th Anniversary of D-Day, the rededication of the Statue of Liberty, the 50th Anniversary of World War II. During his tenure with the Field Band, the band received two Army Community Relations Awards and two Superior Unit Awards. He was presented with the United States Army Distinguished Service Medal upon his retirement.
Upon relocating to Aiken, he became the Director of Bands at the University of South Carolina-Aiken and the Conductor of the 80-member Aiken Community Band.
Survivors include his wife of almost 48 years, Judith Rae Clark, son, Mark Clark (Crystal), FL, stepdaughter, Cheryl Howell (Danny), VA, granddaughters, Lauren, Bonnie, Emily, Sydney and grandson, Corbett, and great grandson, Mason.
In addition to his parents, COL Clark was predeceased by a sister, Ethyl Lemming and daughter, Barbara Sue Britt.
Bill and Judy never lost their love of adventure. Their travels took them to all 50 states, seven continents and over 100 foreign countries. Bill was an avid reader, especially westerns and loved western movies and TV shows.
A Celebration of COL Clark’s Life will be Wednesday morning, December 1st at 11 o’clock at St. John’s United Methodist Church with The Rev. Dr. W. Timothy McClendon officiating. Interment will be in Arlington National Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be directed to Aiken Equine Rescue (aikenequinerescue.org) or to St. John’s United Methodist Church (stjaiken.org) .
SHELLHOUSE FUNERAL HOME, 924 HAYNE AVE., AIKEN, SCTo order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of COL William Edward Clark, please visit our flower store.