Benjamin Frank Clark was born in Jefferson City, Missouri, March 27, 1933 to Lucille and Truman Clark. He attended Washington Elementary School and Lincoln Laboratory High School. He was baptized at an early age at Second Baptist Church in Jefferson City. He joined the United States Air Force and served for three years during the Korean War. After which, he returned to Jefferson City and enrolled in Lincoln University where he majored in Industrial Arts. It was there that he met Gerlena Reed and they were married December 25, 1955. To this union one daughter was born.
Ben and his family moved to Los Angeles, California in August of 1958 where they joined Bethany Missionary Baptist Church, Rev. W.H. Wofford, Pastor. While at Bethany he served as a trustee, a deacon, sang in the Men’s Chorus and was a member of the Men’s Bible Study Class.
Ben worked for the Los Angeles County Office of Administration for twenty-seven years. It was during this time that he acquired an interest in collecting African and African American artifacts, coins, and stamps. After retiring from the County of Los Angeles, he and his wife returned to Jefferson City and reunited with Second Baptist M.B. Church, Rev. Cornell Sudduth, Pastor. He served as a trustee and sang in the Men’s Chorus. During this time, he began displaying his collections at churches and schools.
Later he and his wife moved to Fort Wayne, Indiana at the request of their daughter. He joined St. John Missionary Baptist Church, Rev. F.A. Sleet, Pastor. He was a member of the Men’s Ministry and sang in the Male Chorus. Ben also shared his many artifacts with churches, schools, and museums.
Ben was a man of many talents. He loved playing table tennis, taking photographs and writing poetry.
He leaves to mourn his loss, his wife of sixty-four years; Gerlena Clark, one daughter; Sheryl Ferguson, son-in-law; Phil Ferguson, two granddaughters; Rachel Kimble and Vanessa Ferguson, grandson-in-law; James Kimble, one great-grandson; James Phillip Kimble, and a host of relatives, loved ones and friends.
“We thank God for how He allowed Ben to help shape the lives of those he came in contact with.”
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