Durward Eugene Clarke passed from this world to a better one on Saturday, September 12. He had been in declining health for several years but lived life fully until the end. He was born and raised i

Durward Eugene Clarke passed from this world to a better one on Saturday, September 12. He had been in declining health for several years but lived life fully until the end. He was born and raised in the Chesterfield community. He was a son of the late J.J. and Elizabeth Arney Clarke. He graduated from Morganton High School in 1945 and from Clevenger’s Business College. During World War II he served in the U.S. Marine Corps and was stationed with the Marine Headquarters in Washington, D.C.After leaving the Marine Corps he was a manager at the Morganton Hosiery Mill for several months before joining the First National Bank which later merged with Wachovia Bank. He began as a teller, then became manager of the time payment department, and ended his career as an assistant vice president and loan lending officer. He retired in June 1992 after 45 years of service to the bank.He lived by the philosophy, "To those whom much is given, much is expected". He spent his life giving back to the community that he loved. He was a life member of the Morganton Jaycees which he served as president in 1964. He received the state Jaycee award as the most outstanding local president. In 1964 he became the state treasurer for the North Carolina Jaycees. One position that he held dear was being business manager for Janice Barron, who represented Morganton and became "Miss North Carolina" in 1963.He was a past member of the executive committee and longtime treasurer of the Burke County Republican Party. Last year he was inducted into the North Carolina Republican Party’s Hall of Fame. He was also a life member of the Morganton Moose Lodge and held the Pilgrim degree, the highest honor in the Moose fraternity. Always the banker, he served on the board of directors and was a past treasurer of the Burke County unit of the American Heart Association, the Morganton Community Concert, the Western North Carolina Ministry to the Deaf, and the Western Piedmont Home Builders Association. He also had served as the county finance chairman for the Piedmont Boy Scout Council, president and director of the Morganton Merchants Association and treasurer of the Burke County United Way and the Grace Hospital Baby Monitor Fund.Until his death, he continued to serve on the Board of Directors of the Burke County Fair Association and handled ticket sales for over 30 years. He was a third generation member of Mt. Pleasant United Methodist Church in Chesterfield where he served for many years as chairman of the administrative board and taught the Adult Sunday school class.Mr. Clarke was an active member of the American Legion Post 21 for at least 45 years, and served as the Athletic Director of the Post for 6 to 8 years. He was in charge of ticket sales at the baseball games for approximately 10 years. Additionally, Mr. Clarke was in charge of ticket sales for the old professional Morganton Aggies Team for approximately 5 years.He is survived by his wife, the former Rebecca Hilliard of the home, his daughter, Valerie Clarke Kuentzel and her husband, Dr. Walt Kuentzel of South Burlington, V.T., and his step-daughters Martha Moore and her husband, Sven Borgersen of Rocky Hill, N.J. ; Mary Moore Cantrell and her husband, Terry Cantrell of Greenville, S.C.; Sheree Moore Winslow and her husband, Scott Winslow of Belvedere, N.C. and his 5 grandchildren: Ben and Elizabeth Kuentzel, Zachary and Conley Winslow and Hillari Cantrell.He also is survived by his brother, Donald Clarke and his wife, Elizabeth, of Morganton, his nieces and his grand nieces and nephews. He will be greatly missed not only by his family, but by the hundreds of friends that filled his life with happiness.Many heartfelt thanks are extended to his care providers, Sandy Tallent, Tammy Wilson and Sheryl Hoyle. The family also wishes to thank Carolina Rehabilitation Center, Autumn Care and Burke County Hospice and Palliative Care for the contributions they made to his physical care and his sense of dignity.The funeral will be held at 11:00 a.m., Wednesday, September 16, 2009 at Mt. Pleasant United Methodist Church with Reverends George Williams and Larry Fletcher officiating. Burial will follow in the church cemetery with military honors provided by the Marine Corps League Table Rock Detachment #1197. The family will receive friends Tuesday evening from 6:00 until 8:00 p.m. at Sossoman Funeral Home where the body will remain until placed in the church thirty minutes prior to the funeral hour.Memorial contributions can be made to the Mount Pleasant United Methodist Church Cemetery Fund, 2626 Pax Hill Road, Morganton, NC 28655.

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