WKU Public Radio News Staff
Tue June 28, 2005
Historian Clark Dead At 101
Lexington, KY – Kentucky's Historian laureate for life Dr. Thomas Clark died Tuesday morning in Lexington. He would have been 102 on July 14th.
The Louisville, MS native died early Tuesday at Mayfair Manor Nursing Home in Lexington.
Clark's son, Bennett, says his father wanted everything to be simple and had no desire to lie in state. He said "My father wanted everything to be very simple. He was very democratic. Hospice was called in because what I wanted was for Daddy to die in comfort and dignity. That's what he would want and that's what I want."
Bennett Clark's sister, Elizabeth Stone, and Dr. Clark's wife, Loretta Gilliam Clark, were with the renowned historian at the time of his death. Elizabeth said " A mighty oak has fallen." Bennett Clark added "and he had a tap root that went to the heart of this state."
Bennett Clark said the family will be working on arrangements Tuesday afternoon and will ask the Army to allow Dr. Clark's grandson, Thomas B. Clark, Jr., to be permitted to leave Fort Bragg, North Carolina and attend the funeral.
The Kentucky Hisptory Center in Frankfort will get a new name on July 9th. It will become the Thomas D. Clark center For Kentucky History. The death of Clark will not change plans for the name change.
Executive Director Kent Whitworth of the Kentucky Historical Society says Clark told him from his nursing home bed that he absolutely wanted the event to be held.