HAMPTON, Va. (Dec. 16, 2017) -- Hampton University said farewell to one of its icons, Laron J. Clark, Jr., Saturday at Memorial Chapel.
The memorial service was a celebration of Clark’s 40 years of service to Hampton University as its vice president of development. The words spoken, however, were the memories of a gentleman whose kindness, peppered with tenacity of purpose, defined a life of service to others while helping Hampton University grow financially.
Testimony after testimony spoke to the love he had for his family, his friends and his co-workers, but his passion was to ensure the success of Hampton University.
Hampton University Chaplain Rev. Dr. Debra Haggins read scripture that captured Clark’s life: a passage from the Bible explaining that faith without works is dead.
President Dr. William R. Harvey, Clark’s companion on countless fundraising trips for Hampton University, said he was a kind-hearted man with tremendous focus; tenacious but always looking out for his staff. He told of trips around the nation, hotel rooms shared, bread broken and plans made. And, Dr. Harvey pointed out that Clark always dressed the part.
“I will miss seeing him in those sharp suits and ties,” Dr. Harvey said, drawing laughter from the crowd.
After painting a picture of Clark’s life well-lived, Dr. Harvey tasked the crowd to celebrate, not mourn.
“We can share tears that he is gone, or we can share smiles because he lived,” Dr. Harvey said. “We can cry and close our mind, be empty and turn our back, or we could do what he would want: smile, open our eyes, love, forget the sad voices and go on.”
A former co-worker in Clark’s Development Office, Joy Jefferson, shared what it was like to work with Clark.
“He was a master development professional, and we all learned from him,” Jefferson said. “We always knew that Mr. Clark had our best interests at heart.”
Dr. Haggings summed the memorial, and Clark’s life, up best.
“When a life is well lived, there is not much more to be said. He let his life do the singing.”