August 29, 2013

James ‘Jimmy’ LaFayette Clark Sr.

Surrounded by his loving wife, children and granddaughter, James “Jimmy” LaFayette Clark Sr., passed away on Wednesday afternoon, Aug. 28, 2013, at Hamilton Medical Center.

Jimmy was born on June 19, 1926, in Dalton.

He is preceded in death by his parents, Henry Clifton and Willie Johnson Clark; his sister and brother-in-law, Romye and Caldwell Walraven, and his brother, Dallas Clark.

Jimmy graduated from Dalton High School and Emory University where he was a member of the Sigma Pi fraternity. He was also a veteran having served his country in the United States Navy. For 10 years, he worked for WBLJ radio station in Dalton. Prior to his retirement Jimmy was the founder and president of Clark, Davies and Easley Insurance Co.

Jimmy will always be remembered by those who knew him for his selfless and sacrificial love for and dedication to his family. Jimmy’s loving wife, Elizabeth Ann (Betty Ann) Callaway Clark, survives him. Jimmy and Betty Ann were married in Crawford and celebrated their 57th wedding anniversary on June 10. Jimmy is also survived by his daughter and son-in-law, Beth and Jon Rackley; his son, James L. Clark Jr. (all of Dalton), and his grandchildren, Lauren Clark (Denver, Colo.), Molly Clark (Athens), Meral Henton (Athens) and Colby Henton (Dalton). His grandchildren will hold in their hearts lasting memories of the acts of love, sacrifice and service that their grandfather shared with them. His sister-in-law, Mrs. Dallas Clark, and other nieces and nephews also survive.

In addition to his love for his family, Jimmy lived a life of service and dedication to his church, the First Baptist Church of Dalton. For more than 25 years he served as the church organist. His love and support for the music ministry of the church continued and grew even after his leaving that position. He was also an ordained deacon and served as the church clerk at First Baptist. Jimmy was instrumental in the creation of The First Foundation Inc., a nonprofit organization created by the church to provide funding and ministry to a variety of missions, education and church facility needs. Jimmy served as the first chairman of the board of trustees for the foundation and was recently named as a trustee emeritus of the foundation. He and Betty Ann were also active members of their Sunday school class. He also served in other capacities at any time that he was called upon by the church.

Jimmy’s love for his community also showed itself in many acts of service and volunteerism. He was active in the Elks Lodge and a member of the Sons of the American Revolution. He also served on the Dalton Downtown Development Authority. An active member of the Civitan Club for more than 50 years, Jimmy served as the governor of the Georgia District North for Civitan.

The funeral for Jimmy Clark is today at 3 p.m. in the sanctuary of First Baptist Church. The Rev. Dr. Bill Ireland, the Rev. Dr. Billy Nimmons and the Rev. Phillip Cannon will officiate the service.

The family will receive friends in the atrium of First Baptist Church of Dalton, 311 N. Thornton Ave., from 1 p.m. until the time of the funeral.

Burial will be in West Hill Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to The First Foundation Inc. of First Baptist Church of Dalton, P.O. Box 827, Dalton, GA 30722. Words of comfort may be sent to the family at

Love Funeral Home, 1402 N. Thornton Ave., Dalton, (across from Hamilton Medical Center), is in charge of arrangements.

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