Obituary for Ronald Edward "Ronnie" Clark
Ronald E. “Ronnie” Clark, 80, of Palatka, passed from this life on Thursday, November 30, 2017 at the Doris Satterwhite Campus for Caring at Haven Hospice in Palatka. Born in Baltimore, Maryland, Ronnie moved to Palatka in 1949 from Washington, D.C. He was a 1956 graduate of Palatka Senior High School and received a scholarship to play football at Florida State University. After receiving his bachelor’s degree from Florida State University in 1960, he attended the University of Florida where he received his law degree in 1964. Following graduation, Ronnie began a 52 year career practicing law with local attorney, Jack Bryan. In 1965, Ronnie opened his own firm and even through failing health, was still practicing. A member of the Florida Bar Association, Ronnie served as the attorney for Putnam County from the early 1990’s until 2004. He was of the Catholic faith. A fierce competitor and athlete, Ronnie was the recipient of the Hancock Trophy given to the high school male athlete of the year. In later years, he was honored to become the sponsor and presenter of the Hancock Trophy. During his years spent at FSU, Ronnie was an outstanding student and leader. Some of his accomplishments were serving in the Student Government Senate in 1959, as President of the Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity in 1960 and also in 1960 as Men’s Vice President at FSU. He was also a member of the Delta Theta Phi Law Fraternity.
Ronnie was an accomplished golfer and was inducted into the Hall of Fame at the Palatka Men’s Golf Association in 1972. Not only was he an outstanding player, Ronnie used his enthusiasm for golf to raise funds for the Cancer Society through his sponsorship and organization of a tournament which involved the whole community and raised hundreds of thousands of dollars over a thirty-plus year period that the tournament ran. Another Pro-Am tournament that was organized and continued for many years that benefited young golfers was fittingly named the Ronald E. Clark Open. Ronnie also was a sponsor of and played in Pro-Am tournaments held at the TPC in Jacksonville. Ronnie also had been active in the community through his membership in the Palatka Jaycees and Elks Lodge BPOE #1232 in Palatka. He had also served as an auctioneer with Ducks Unlimited and was a strong supporter of the Republican Party. Even though Ronnie attended and supported both FSU and UF, there was never any doubt that his heart was as an avid fan and generous supporter of the Seminoles and their athletic programs. He was recognized numerous times over the years for his continued support through the Alumni Association.
As successful as Ronnie’s law career was, he never forgot those who had supported and encouraged him in his younger years and throughout his career. He had a very giving spirit and quietly gave of his time, advice and earnings in helping others. Few things in life pleased Ronnie any more than being able to share a kind deed or gesture with a total stranger and especially when it benefited a young person. Ronnie loved cooking and entertaining his many friends and also enjoyed his time spent fishing with Bill Jernigan.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Howard J. Clark and Hattie Clark Cole, a sister, Betty Karraker and 2 brothers, Earl Clark and Howard J. Clark, Jr.
Ronnie is survived by his daughter, Krystee Clark of Tujunga, CA, a step-son, Brandon McMurray of Palatka, a sister, Edith Etts (Steve) of Steinhatchee and 2 brothers, Andy Clark (Barbara) of San Mateo and Bobby Clark (Mary) of Jacksonville.
A celebration of life service will be at 2:00 P.M. on Monday, December 4, 2017 at Johnson-Overturf Chapel in Palatka with Father Ron Camarda as officiant. Interment will follow at Oak Hill East Cemetery. The family will receive friends on Monday from 1:00 P.M. until the time of services at 2:00.
Flowers are gratefully accepted or memorial donations may be sent to Haven Hospice Roberts Care Center, 6400 St. Johns Ave., Palatka, FL 32177.
Memories and condolences may be expressed to the family at Ronnie’s Book of Memories page at www.JohnsonOverturffunerals.com.
Arrangements are entrusted to Johnson-Overturf Funeral Home in Palatka.