Dr. Richard Harry Clark, Jr.
Dr. Clark was born in Hattiesburg in 1929 to Dr. Richard Harry Clark, a physician, and his wife, Helen Polk Clark. He graduated from Hattiesburg Public Schools in 1947, attended Vanderbilt University and then Tulane University School of Medicine graduating in 1950 and completed his General Surgery Residency Program at Charity Hospital in New Orleans.
After completing his surgical training, Dr. Clark served in the US Air Force and moved his family to the air force base at Minot, North Dakota.
In 1961, he moved with his wife and children to Hattiesburg where he worked as a general surgeon. In 1963, he and ten other physicians formed the Hattiesburg Clinic, which is now the state's largest multi-specialty clinic. He was instrumental in establishing the Southeast Mississippi Air Ambulance District in 1971. Forrest General’s helicopter features his initials in recognition of his contributions to the program. Dr. Clark served on the Trauma Committee and named to the Board of Governors for the American College of Surgeons . He served as president of the Hattiesburg Clinic from 1984 - 1998. He was inducted into the Forrest General's Doctors’ Hall of Fame for his contributions to the improvement of healthcare in Hattiesburg.
Dr. Clark was deeply committed to civic life in Hattiesburg. He was active in the Boy Scouts of America and earned the rank of Eagle Scout while in high school. He served the Boy Scouts in many other capacities including the District Committee, District Health and Safety Chairman, District SME Chairman, District Council President, and served on the Southern Region Executive Board for the Pine Burr Area Council. He has received many awards from the Boy Scouts, including the Silver Antelope and Silver Beaver awards.
Dr. Clark also served on the board of directors of the BancorpSouth Bank, USM Foundation and Crosby Arboretum and served as Zeus XXXVIII in 1977. He served on the Board of Trustees for Main Street United Methodist Church. Dr. Clark received the Hub Award from the city of Hattiesburg and was inducted into the Hattiesburg High School Hall of Fame.
Throughout his life he enjoyed hunting, fishing and working on his farm in Lamar County. He loved to share this passion for the outdoors with his many friends and family. He always said that the most important thing to him was raising children and grandchildren. He described his wife Jere as the “most wonderful wife that anyone could have” and declared that he has been blessed beyond all measure to have her as his wife.
He is survived by his wife Jere Johnson Clark; four children, Lisa Clark Bushardt (JP Culpepper), James Johnson Clark (Dawn), Samuel Moreton Clark (Burt), and Lara Clark Cooper (Patrick); twelve grandchildren, one great grandchild, and his sister, Carroll Clark Mayfield (Dan).
Visitation will be from 9am-11am on Friday, September 10, 2021 followed by a memorial service at 11am at Main Street United Methodist Church.
Memorials may be sent to Pine Burr Council of the Boy Scouts of America or the Aldersgate Mission of Main Street United Methodist Church.