The accolades and remarks of appreciation in behalf of Joe Clarke will come from many directions and from varied personages. They will affirm his character, his ethics, and his involvement in the activities of life. For the most part, they will be accurate and give evidence that his life was meaningful.
There is, however, an aspect of his life that may be overlooked in the shock of his departure. I knew Joe from the beginning of pre-school to graduation. Our paths led to differing vocations and activities and in time, we each moved back to Danville to replant the roots of our heritage.
For a period of 20 years, I talked with Joe on Sunday afternoons as he vacuumed his car. Our conversations dealt with anecdotal childhood memories and with the deeper aspects of life and death. He was a devout Catholic and his devotion to the church was deeply rooted.