Cover photo for John A. Clark's Obituary
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John A. Clark

d. June 7, 2023

John A. Clark, age 73, passed away in Lancaster PA on June 7th, 2023 in the home he purchased for his retirement. The service will be held at the Black Hills Military Cemetery 2090 Pleasant Valley Dr. Sturgis SD 57785 on July 6, 2023 at 1 pm. with military honors.

John, known as “Andy” in his younger years, was born in Garden City, Kansas in 1949. he was the second child of Elson and Frances Clark. He was preceded in death by his parents, and a sister Julie.

John attended Alta Brown grade school starting in 1952. He was a shy child, very smart and an outstanding student. He was widely known for his often-hilarious sense of humor as well as his academic ability.

The Clark family was a very musical family. It was never an issue whether you would play an instrument, only which instrument you would play. John played the clarinet well and did so to the end of high school.

In 1962, due to Elson and Frances splitting up, John moved , along with his mother , brother Bruce and sister Julie, to Weston County, Wyoming. The family moved first to Newcastle and then, when Frances was hired to teach music in Osage, to Osage.

John attended Jr High in the old school building and then high school graduating in 1967. He attended the University of Wyoming for the 67-68 school year. His major was pharmacy probably to some degree influenced by the chemistry class taught by Fassbender who influenced many to fields such as pharmacy and medicine. The influence of Dr. Virgil Thorpe was probably manifest as well.

At the end of that year John enlisted in the army. As the war in Vietnam was in full swing at this time, John did a year long tour of duty in Vietnam as part of a construction division. While John did see combat, it was not the intense combat that infantry soldiers experienced.

After Vietnam, John returned to Laramie to continue his education, now paid for by the GI Bill, in pharmacy. In 1973 John learned to play electric bass in a rock band. The band and John went on tour playing USO concerts overseas.

In the spring of 1974 John left Laramie 1 credit shy of graduating on his way to medical school in Denver CO at the University of Colorado Medical School. Graduating in 1978 he went on to his internship in Kansas City. After his internship, his residency was in Salt Lake City in internal medicine and preventive medicine. During this time he also picked up the 1 credit remaining for his degree in pharmacy. This made him one of the rare people who get their bachelor’s degree after their doctorate rather than before. He also got married though the marriage was ill fated.

After completing his residency, John took a job with the FDA working on clinical trials. This allowed him to put his pharmacy background to work as well as his medical degree. During this time John learned the ins and outs of clinical trials for new drugs and established the foundation for a career with a variety of pharmaceutical companies. In particular, John worked out methods for statistically profiling adverse reactions during a clinical trial.

In 1981 John became a proud father of a baby girl, Julie. Julie was named after his sister Julie who passed in 1991, well before what should have been her time, from melanoma.

John founded a consulting company that helped pharmaceutical companies manage adverse reactions and risk as well as the proper reporting protocols for the FDA. John continued with this consulting company until this year.

John will be buried in Black Hills National Cemetery in Sturgis SD. on July 6, 2023 at 1 pm with honors. John always loved, as well as all of our family did, the Black Hills and chose that for his final resting place.
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