Jimmie Lee Clark, age 88, of Troy, Alabama, passed away Sunday, May 9, 2021, at home surrounded by loved ones. A graveside service will be held, Thursday, May 13, 2021, at 3 p.m. in Green Hills Memorial Cemetery with brother Johnny Witherington officiating.
Jimmie hailed from the quaint farming community just outside of Dothan, Alabama, beloved by locals as Malvern. He was a tireless right-hand alongside his brother, Buddy, working for his father at the local cotton gin. As an aspiring collegiate at the University of Alabama, he would hitch a ride in the back of the gin trucks all the way to Birmingham and then thumb his final stretch to the notorious tide town. Not long into his first year in Tuscaloosa, Jimmie was drafted to active service in the United States Army during the Korean Conflict and often reminisced that the best part of his call-to-duty was his year-long tour across the European continent.
Upon his return home, he proposed to his hometown sweetheart, Betty Sue Martin, convinced her to marry him, and moved his new bride back to Tuscaloosa where he continued his studies and obtained his bachelor’s degree in business administration. In the blossoming technology era, Jimmie found his niche in computer systems and programming and launched his career in Daytona Beach, FL. In 1965, when the opportunity presented itself to return closer to home, he gladly accepted the role as the first Director of Data Processing with Troy State University. There, for 30 years, he was an invaluable resource for a multitude of operating systems and a coveted professor of Intro to Data Processing, Systems Analysis, and Programming.
At home with his girls and their friends, Jimmie was the “neighborhood dad” always willing to take the kids on bike riding trips to the college pool and down to Spivey’s grocery store for candies and treats. You were lucky if he ever greeted you as “shug,” because that meant you had the opportunity to know him. Jimmie never missed the opportunity to attend a Bama football game or any Troy sporting event alongside his wife, Betty. Jimmie lived and led through faith. He was a longtime and esteemed member of Southside Baptist Church, serving in various positions, some to include Sunday school teacher, deacon, RA leader, church treasurer, and the friendly transport driver. Jimmie was a dutiful and nurturing husband to his wife of 53 years, caring for her for more than 10 years through her declining health. He was, throughout, what we learn of men in Ephesians 5:25, “For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her.”
In retirement, Jimmie enjoyed simple pleasures like good coffee and the daily edition of the Dothan Eagle in the mornings or an afternoon on the front porch rocking in his rocking chair indulging into a Grisham mystery, a classic western, or a Bear Bryant memoir on his Kindle reader. Jimmie loved to fish and took pride in teaching his grandchildren the sport wherever they could find a spot to drop a hook. He appreciated adventure too, mostly that of being a Granddaddy, traveling to Panama City Beach enjoying amusement parks, goofy golf, arcades, and having fun in the sand and ocean. From the fishing pond to recital stages, ballfields, school functions and award programs, he never missed a moment to watch his grandchildren shine.
The admiration for Jimmie will long be cherished because of the love he showed to his family, his friends, his neighbors, his coworkers, and his students.
Jimmie is survived by his daughters, Tina Clark Rose and Christy Clark Pittman (Julius); grandchildren, Peyton Rose, Slade Rose, and Carys Pittman; and sister-in-law, Nora Clark. He was preceded in death by his wife of 53 years, Betty Sue Martin Clark; parents, Homer Morris and Tilda Martin Clark; brother, Gary “Buddy” Morris Clark; and infant grandchildren Clarkson Lee Pittman and Anna Carys Pittman.
The family wishes to extend heartfelt gratitude to the staff of Hospice Compassus of Troy for their compassionate support, Ms. Carolyn Knight for her loyal and faithful care, and Ms. Ceal Shipman for her many years of care of his home. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in his honor to The Kelsey Starling Memorial Scholarship fund held at Troy Bank & Trust. Friends and family can sign the guestbook online at www.greenhillsfuneralhome.net. The staff of Green Hills Funeral Home is honored to serve the Clark family.
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