Virginia Clarke Profile Photo
1921 Virginia 2021

Virginia Clarke

February 28, 1921 — June 21, 2021

Virginia Ruth Clarke, 100, of Ingram, passed away Monday, June 21, 2021 in Kerrville. Memorial services will be held at 2 PM, Wednesday, June 30, 2021 at First United Methodist Church in Kerrville, officiated by Rev. Donna Magee. Born in Conroe, Texas, on February 28, 1921, Virginia Ruth was the daughter of J. Walker Simpson and Olive Pearl (Bowman) Simpson. After graduating from Conroe High School in 1937, Virginia Ruth attended Sam Houston State College and later studied art and real estate. She married another Conroe native, Jack Dudley Clarke, Jr. on November 29, 1939. As a young Navy family during World War II, they lived in Corpus Christi, Norfolk, VA and Athens, GA. Returning to Montgomery County in 1942, the couple started a beverage bottling company. Jack, Jr. and their son, Jack D. Clarke, III, operated the business until they sold it in 1979. The couple bought their first Hill Country ranch by Johnson Creek in Mountain Home in 1974. They subsequently added other ranches for their cattle and exotic game operation. When their home burned down in 1984, Virginia Ruth and Jack demonstrated how to be grateful for the gift of life and how to summon the courage and faith to start over. They rebuilt their ranch home in the same location. Both of their granddaughters were married at the Clarke Ranch. Christmas Week "Tamale Parties" became a Clarke family tradition for their friends. In addition to her parents, Virginia Ruth was predeceased by her husband of 68 years, Jack D. Clarke, Jr., who passed away in 2007. Others who predeceased her include her brother, J.W. Simpson and his wife, Doris; her nephew, Dr. Joseph Simpson; and her twin daughters, who died at birth. Her son, Jack D. Clarke, III, and her daughter-in-law, Carolyn, and her granddaughters and their families survive her. Granddaughters, Nicole Clarke Bilbao and her husband, Ray, are the parents of Jack and Cole, and Carey Clarke Bond and her spouse, Coburn, are the parents of Carolyn and Coryn. Her nephew, Joseph Simpson's daughters, Julie Quinta and Molly Simpson also survive. The family of Virginia Ruth wish to thank Robin Roland for her devotion, love, and loyalty. Virginia Ruth believed fervently in the power of volunteerism and the opportunities all citizens have to improve and enrich their communities. As early as 1955, she served as the first president of the Conroe Volunteer Service League, and by 1977, was named the first female Outstanding Citizen of the Year. Virginia Ruth helped establish Montgomery County's first daycare facility and chaired the successful Crighton Theater Restoration Campaign in downtown Conroe. When she relocated to the Hill Country, Virginia Ruth participated in almost every organization that strengthens cultural, civic or educational life. She served on the Schreiner College/University Board of Trustees beginning in 1987 and continued as an advisory trustee for many years. She and her husband were members of the Schreiner Oaks Society and hosted many University events. Virginia Ruth participated actively in the Methodist Church her entire life and provided decades of volunteer leadership for the American Cancer Society beginning in 1947. She enjoyed membership in the Daughters of the Republic of Texas and Daughters of the American Revolution. Encouraging libraries and the arts wherever she lived, Virginia Ruth helped start the West Kerr County Arts Trail and served on the Kerrville Performing Arts Society (KPAS) both as a board and a guild member. She participated on the Advisory Board of Kerr Arts and Cultural Center. She was also in the charter class of Leadership Kerr County. An avid antiques dealer and collector, Virginia Ruth owned "The Apple Tree" in Ingram. As wife and sister, mother and grandmother, neighbor and friend, Virginia Ruth Clarke leaves a powerful legacy of devotion to family and service to church and community. Mrs. Clarke will be cremated and her ashes will be interred at a private graveside service. Memorials may be made to the Hill Country College Fund at Schreiner University (Attn.: Advancement, 2100 Memorial Blvd., Kerrville, TX 78028) or to the Music Ministry Fund of First United Methodist Church (321 Thompson Dr., Kerrville, TX 78028) or to the charity of one's choice.
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