He was a native of Abingdon, VA who had lived in Johnson City since 1987. He was a son of the late James and Bessie Maiden Clark.
In June 1951, he married the love of his life, June Hale Clark of Morristown, TN. They have been married 68 years.
Mr. Clark was a graduate of William King High School, Abingdon, and Carson Newman College. He was a member of the Philomathean Literary Society at CNC. James and June graduated in the CNC Class of 1949. He received his master’s degree from E.T.S.U. in 1967.
He was a World War II veteran and served in the 6th Marine Division in the Pacific theater-including three months in Okinawa.
In 1953, James and his wife, June, were appointed as missionary teachers to the Belgian Congo. They served 34 years being educational missionaries in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). They served at several mission stations, Sona Bata, Vanga, Kinshasa, Nsona Mpangu and at Sona Bata from 1977-1987. They retired as missionaries in 1988. James always said he was a teacher, not a preacher. Jeanie and Sylvia, the two youngest daughters, were born in Congo. James and June taught in French in DRC.
Mr. Clark has been a member of Central Baptist Church since the 1960s. He was a deacon, helped in planting more churches in the area, and June and James were volunteers with the CBC homeless program. After retirement, James also volunteered with Meals on Wheels and was a substitute teacher at Science Hill High School. James and June thought of Johnson City as their hometown, spending furloughs here.
James was an avid reader. As a missionary, he taught a full load but was always the mission station librarian trying to encourage the students to check out books and read in the DRC. At Nsona Mpangu, the Clarks paid for a separate library building to be built. James would spend hours in the library which was open all afternoon. He was a History teacher all his life. He liked American History and knew all 45 US presidents by heart. He also felt like everyone should know the 50 US capitals and encouraged others to learn them. He liked to tell jokes. He loved Jesus.
In addition to his parents, Mr. Clark was preceded in death by his daughter, Betty Sue Clark and his son-in-law, Monty Peters of Medford, MA, one brother, Rev. Ernest D. Clark, two sisters, Anna Margaret Wimmer and Dorothy Duncan
Survivors include: his wife, June Hale Clark of 68 years; two daughters, Jeanie (Chip)Trout of Houston, TX and Sylvia (Terry) Taylor of Tucson, AZ; one brother and sister-in-law Ina John L. Clark and Ina Clark of Kingsport, TN, a sister-in-law Sara Pat Hale Brown of Morristown, TN, six grandchildren, Charlotte Herink, James Peters, Tim Peters, Sara Peters, Rachel Hill and Jenny Trout and 4 great grandchildren Nora, Anderson, Noah and Thomas. He had many loving nieces and nephews.
The family of James Buchanan Clark Jr. will receive friends Friday, March 13, 2020, from 10:00 am to 11:00 am at Central Baptist Church. The funeral service will follow at 11:00 am Friday with Rev. Gene Elliott officiating.
Family and friends will reconvene at 3 pm Friday at Mountain View Baptist Church Cemetery, Meadowview, VA for committal services. 26697 Old Saltworks Rd. Meadowview, VA
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Haven of Mercy, The Gideons International, Cooperative Baptist Fellowship (CBF) or International Ministries (American Baptist) 1003 W. 9th Ave. Suite A, King of Prussia, PA 19406
Memories and condolences may be shared with the Clark family via www.morrisbaker.com.
Morris-Baker Funeral Home and Cremation Services, 2001 E. Oakland Ave., Johnson City, is serving the Clark family. (423) 282-1521