It is with a heavy heart that we announce the sudden, unexpected passing of Sam Clark, 74, on Sunday, May 21, 2023. He was born at Matthews Hospital in Dallas, Georgia, on June 22, 1948. Sam's roots go deep in Paulding County, and he touched thousands of lives. He was so grateful to have been a graduate of Hiram High School, Class of 67, and often stated how blessed he was to have had such caring teachers. In his early years, he worked for Hubert Martin at Martin's Funeral Home in Dallas. After High School, he attended Mckenzie College in Chattanooga, TN.
Sam served for two years in the United States Army in a leadership role in Combat Support and Infantry Training. Sam returned to Paulding County in 1975 and worked for the railroad for 10 years. In 1985 he started Clark Ambulance Service and ran it for 30 years. In 1992, he was elected Coroner of Paulding County and served until 2016.
In 1997, he built Clark Funeral Home & Chapel, which turned out to be his calling. Serving people in the community was his heart's desire and his life's work. Hardly a day passed that someone didn't stop by to say hello because he saved their life or the life of a loved one. Joking was his way to bring laughter to those in mourning. He had such a light side, and a unique sense of humor, and he loved giving lollipops to the children who visited the funeral home; some even learned to look for him.
Sam is preceded in death by his parents, Fred and Mina Mae (Echols) Clark, a baby brother, Hal David Clark; sister, Sarah Dale Goray, and brothers-in-law, Sammy Hardy and Tom Sanders. He is survived by his wife, Leslie, who was the light of his life for 32 years; one son, Tim Clark; 3 step-children that he adored, Sam, Lauren, and Will; sisters, Jeanette Hardy and Elizabeth Sanders; brother, John (Julie) Clark, many nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Visitation will be held at Clark Funeral Home on Wednesday, May 24, from 4:00 - 9:00 p.m. His funeral will be held in the Chapel of Clark Funeral Home on Thursday, May 25, at 1:00 p.m. with Dr. Wayne Meadows and Rev. Lamar Rackley officiating. Sam's employees will be serving as pallbearers, and there will be a significant presence of his beloved Paulding County Fire Department and EMTs as well the Honor Guard. It is understood that there will be a large crowd, but his wishes are being honored as respectfully as we are able. His service will be streamed live on our Facebook page at the time of the service.
A private interment will follow at Poplar Springs Baptist Church Cemetery and will include military honors.
Flowers are appreciated, but in lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Sam's memory to Poplar Springs Baptist Church Cemetery Fund, Tunnel to Towers, or any charity that you feel appropriate. If you remember a personal kindness, Sam would have been proud if you would pay it forward, and be kind to one another. Your prayers for those he loved are coveted and appreciated.