7/22/17–Willis Leroy Clark

Willis Leroy Clark, a longtime resident of Manchester passed peacefully to the other side of life on July 16 at the Alvin C York VA Medical Center in Murfreesboro Tennessee. He was 84 years old. Willis was Vanderbilt University Hospital’s 50th heart transplant patient and celebrated the 28th anniversary of his transplant on July 14. Born Aug. 3, 1932 in Three Sands, Okla., he graduated high school in Braman, Okla. and went on to serve in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War on Kwajalein Island in the South Pacific. Upon completion of his military service, he attended and received a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Oklahoma in Norman, Oklahoma. From 1963 through 1965 he worked for NASA in Houston where he was selected for, and successfully completed, NASA’s Astronaut Training Program. Though never selected for service in that capacity, he fondly remembered it as one of his proudest accomplishments. The remainder of his career was spent at the Arnold Engineering Development Complex which helped develop most of the U.S. government’s aerospace systems including the Space Shuttle, Space Station, Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo projects. He was preceded in death by his wife Dorothy L Clark and is survived by his sons, Douglas L (Becky) Clark, Gregory A (Marie) Clark, Bradford L (Chellie) Clark; his daughter, Terri L Smith; his friend and caregiver, Zetta Blay, six grandchildren, Sean A (Carrie) Clark, Douglas A Clark, Kristin L (Chad) Clark, William P (Allison) Lancaster, Leigh E (Frank) Terrell, Joshua W Lancaster; 10 great-grandchildren, Kristen Clark, Andrew Clark, Emma Clark, Claire Clark, Faith Clark, William T Lancaster, Genevieve M Lancaster, Frank G Terrell, IV, Conrad M Lancaster, Murray M Terrell, his brother Wesley Clark; his sisters Juanita Moreland, Janice Musselman, Roberta Carpenter; his brother-in-law Robert Bumgardner, his sisters-in-law, Susie (Ken) Shodde, Clarice March; 29 nephews and nieces; uncountable friends. Services will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, July 22 at the First United Methodist Church, with Rev. Randy Brown presiding. Visitation will be from 1 p.m. until time of service at the church. In leu of flowers the family requests that donations be made in his name to the Fisher House at Alvin C. York Veterans Facility in Murfreesboro. Online donations may be made at http://www.tennesseefisherhouse.org/donate.