Richard "Mike" Clark, 70, of Ontario passed away January 5th 2024, peacefully at the farm that he and his wife Maria shared.
Mike was born in Ontario, Oregon August 27,1953 and graduated from Ontario High School in the infamous year of 1971. He was the youngest of 5 children born to Chet and Rosemary Clark.
He met his wife Maria Martinez in Ontario and they were married in 1986. Mike had four children who were raised in Ontario, Clari Mark Richard and Julian. They lived in town for over 32 years before moving to the farm that his father built and developed in 1977.
Mike was raised on two small farms in the Ontario heights area and had fond memories of growing up in the country. He worked different jobs in the area before going to work for the Oregon State Police in 1975 and moved to Klamath Falls. He moved back to Ontario in 1978 and went to work for Hoff building center in Ontario. He enjoyed the hard work and busy pace of the lumber yard for 12 1/2 years. In 1989 he went to work for the Malheur County Sheriff's Dept. until 1991 when he was hired at Snake River Correctional Institution as one of the original correctional officers, where he was part of the SRCI tactical team. He remained with SRCI until his retirement in 2019 after 25 years of dedicated service.
Mike was very proud of being a firefighter with the Ontario Volunteer Fire Dept. for over 18 years and enjoyed the camaraderie between his fellow firefighters. He was on duty the night of the historic Moore Hotel fire. Mike served in the Idaho Air National Guard for 27 years as a mechanic on the A-10 Aircraft. He loved his time in the Air Guard and stayed in until his retirement at age 60, reaching the rank of Master Sgt. He felt fortunate to have gone to Kuwait in 2003 when the war started again with Iraq and also Afghanistan in 2008. In addition, other deployments included; Hawaii, Florida, Alaska, Nevada, Washington, New Mexico, Idaho and Arizona.
Mike's favorite passions and hobbies were taking care of his mom and dads farm where he grew alfalfa and raised beef cattle in the summer. He always kept 3 or 4 horses around to take them hunting and riding in the mountains. Mike enjoyed deer and elk hunting for many years with his son Mark. He was especially fond of the years Clari showed horses in 4-H with the Cactus Riders of Ontario. He served on the Malheur County Fair Board for over 18 years and enjoyed taking care of the arena for the 4-H kids and the rodeo.
In his retirement years he remained busy traveling with his wife and showing his grandkids what the farm life was all about, tractor and horse rides, trapping gophers and many other farm activities. Mike and Maria greatly enjoyed attending all of their grandkids sporting events. He was a member of the Rods of Idaho and Oregon Car Club which allowed him to show off one of his prized possessions, his 1972 Chevy Nova. He drove school buses for OSD as a sub.,which he enjoyed very much.
Mike was an active member in the Catholic Church, He was a greeter, Eucharistic minister, Lector, served on the finance committee, and helped with the maintenance of the Church and St. Peters School. He was a Knight of Columbus for over 45 years helping with the annual fish fry among other duties.
Mike was preceded in death by his father, Chester F Clark, his mother, Rosemary Clark, and his sister Patty Ellison. He is survived by his wife Maria, four children Richard, Julian, Clari and Mark, 15 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren, his siblings and their spouses: Alicen Clark, Chester and Natalie Clark and Sharon and Ralph Peterson as well as numerous nieces and nephews.
Services will be held at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in Ontario, OR on Tuesday January 16, 2024. Viewing will be at 10:30am followed by mass at 11am and burial at sunset cemetery. Please join us for a dinner reception celebrating Mike's life at the Blessed Sacrament Parish hall following the burial. In lieu of flowers, please send a donation to the Malheur County Fair and Rodeo.