Puerto Vallarta Celebrates the Life and Mourns the Passing of Bill Clark

Vallarta Navy League
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April 23, 2013

Celebrating the Life of William (Bill) Robert Clark.

The American Legion, Vallarta Navy League and the entire Puerto Vallarta community have lost a dedicated and inspiring individual. Bill Clark, President of the Puerto Vallarta Navy League, passed away on 26 March 2013.

Born March 6, 1940, in San Francisco, California, Bill Clark passed away on March 26, 2013, in Seattle, Washington, after a brief illness.

His last few weeks were spent with his loving Family: daughter Vivian; sons Joey, Rodney (Trinese); his loving companion (Norma); Sisters (Sharon, Bertha, Melissa); Brothers (Tommy, Richard, Albert, Randy, Ron); his Aunt Betty-Mae as well as members of his extended Family which include many grandchildren, nieces, nephews, great-nieces, and great nephews.

Bill was the first born to William Doss Clark (predeceased) and Adelene Ellen Alexander Clark (predeceased). He was the eldest of 11 children born in the Clark Family and, despite a childhood disrupted by numerous bouts of sickness (asthma) rose to the position of 'leadership' in our Family.

Moving from San Francisco to Vancouver, British Columbia after graduating from high school provided Bill with the opportunity to pursue his interest in technical training. Bill started his professional career at IBM, where he worked for more than 42 years. Throughout his time with IBM he held several management and executive positions in the state of California and Washington.

Bill took great pride in his 'professional' accomplishments which were equally matched by his contributions to Family. Through research and personal conversations with extended Family members, Bill traced his maternal roots from Clayton County (Liberty, Missouri), to California, Washington, and Salt Spring Island / Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. He was a descendant of the first Black Settlers to British Columbia (Salt Spring Island) in 1966. Bill held the position of President of the Alexander Black Pioneer Society, Victoria, B. C., for a number of years prior to his passing.

Throughout his life he was viewed as a "Big Brother" by all members of his Family. Not just because he was the eldest, but because he provided assistance to others through advice, mentor-ship  and setting an example that inspired all who followed in his path.

In the early 1980's Bill, and his wife Laverne (predeceased), began to visit Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and were in awe of its beauty and the kindness of the people who lived in and visited the city. Together they adopted PV as their home.

Upon retirement, Bill decided to live full time in PV. He wanted to give back to the community and did so through efforts like Toys for Tots and in his Role as President of the Navy League.

He had a passion for fishing, and was always after the "big catch." He especially enjoyed fishing for Big Tuna, Dorado and Sailfish in Banderas Bay.

Bill was equally passionate about cooking. There was nothing that he could not cook to perfection over a set of coals. He was best known for his ribs, and famous for "Papa's Beans" which he enjoyed preparing for his grandchildren.

Vallarta offered the perfect place for him to host and entertain the throngs of visitors coming down for vacation or those passing by.

A loving Father, an outstanding "Big Brother" and truly a person who cared about others! He will be missed by those who loved him and by those who knew him.

Team Angels sends our sincere condolences to Bill's family. We were lucky enough to enjoy Bill's friendship and to be invited to his home to feast on his wonderful cooking. What a great guy and we miss you Bill!

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