Rev. James E. ClarkSeptember 2, 1942 ~ October 2, 2015 (age 73)
Troy - “A Priest Forever”, The Rev. James E. Clark, Pastor of Corpus Christi Roman Catholic Church in Round Lake, NY entered into eternal life on October 2, 2015 after a courageous battle with cancer.
Born in Niskayuna in 1942, Jim was the son of the late Wilmont H. Clark and Doris Elizabeth Proper Clark and was the husband of the late Sandra J. Polsinelli Clark for over 20 years. “Father Jim” was raised in Scotia, NY and graduated from Scotia-Glenville High School. He earned Bachelor of Science degrees in Business from Northrop University (BS), Inglewood, CA and Bentley University (BS), Waltham, MA before entering the U.S. Army, where he went on to earn a Master’s of Business Administration from Western New England University (MBA), Springfield, MA.
Fr. Jim completed a highly decorated career of active duty in the U.S. Army. He was deployed on multiple overseas service campaigns including several tours of duty as a helicopter pilot in Vietnam, where he flew and maintained various aircraft while also obtaining his Senior Army Aviation Badge, Master Army Aviation Badge as well as his Instructor Pilot Certification. His career was filled with many commendations, medals, citations, awards and promotions including 16 Air Medals with Valor, the Bronze Star, the Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm. He retired at the rank of Lt. Colonel and relocated to Sunrise, Florida with his family. Jim’s ambition and work ethic quickly put him back in the work force as a college professor at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in West Palm Beach, FL and Utica, NY as well as various military installations overseas.
Only a few years went by before Jim's wife Sandy passed away in 1985 after her own courageous battle with cancer. Jim continued teaching at Embry-Riddle, and later taught at Siena College in Loudonville, NY where he was a professor of business management, logistics, and process improvement.
At that time, he also began working for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany as an Administrator under the leadership of Bishop Emeritus Howard J. Hubbard after returning to the Capital District. He went on to earn additional graduate degrees including a Masters of Divinity from St. Bernard’s Institute of Theology and Ministry (M.Div.), Rochester, NY and a Masters of Theology from the Theological College at Catholic University of America (Th.M.), Washington, DC. He entered the seminary and was ordained a Roman Catholic Priest on June 15, 1996.
Fr. Clark served as pastor of parishes throughout the Diocese of Albany, including St. Catherine’s in Middleburgh, St. Joseph’s in Schoharie, St. Jude’s in Wynantskill, St. Patrick’s in Catskill, Immaculate Conception in Hoosick Falls, and St. George’s in Pittstown. Fr. Clark merged the three parishes of St. James in Fort Plain, Sts. Peter and Paul in Canajoharie, and St. Patrick’s in Johnsville into Our Lady of Hope in Fort Plain. He was appointed Pastor of Corpus Christi Church in Round Lake in 2010 where he served until the time of his death. In 2007, he had the opportunity to take a sabbatical to the Pontifical North American College in Rome, Italy. Fr. Jim was a 4th Degree member of the Knights of Columbus Rensselaer County and Saratoga County. He served on many boards and councils throughout the Diocese of Albany including the Deaf Apostolate, the retirement board, “Called to Be Church,” as well as managing the consolidation and construction of the Albany Diocesan building located at 40 North Main. Fr. Jim was also a Chaplain for the New York State Police and many Capital District hospitals.
Fr. Jim loved the outdoors. He was an avid skier, swimmer, and bicyclist and loved to travel. Besides Italy, his favorite getaway was Myrtle Beach. He could often be found feeding the deer or watching the birds, as he was always at peace surrounded by animals.
Survivors include two sons, James “Jamie” E. Clark, Albany and Jeffrey D. (Caren) Clark, Charlotte, NC; a brother, David P. (Shirley) Clark, Vergennes, VT and Rockledge, FL; two sisters, Diane (Peter) Garrison, Lady Lake, FL, and Kathryn (Daniel) Clark-Rich, Manhattan; two brothers-in-law, Larry (Sandy) Polsinelli, Phoenix, AZ and Dan (Elaine) Polsinelli, Glenville, NY; four grandchildren, Courtney, Christian, Chelsea, and Carter, Charlotte, NC; six nieces, Deborah (Rod) Gupton, Vergennes, VT and Rockledge, FL, Patricia Lauritsen (deceased); Lori Hume, Pembroke, MA, and Gwen (Bob) Stankiewicz, Waverly, GA; Brandy & Christina Polsinelli, Phoenix, AZ; Cheryl Polsinelli, Schenectady, NY. and three nephews; Daniel (Chris) Polsinelli, Glenville, NY; Mark (Christy) Polsinelli, Atlanta, GA and Michael Polsinelli, Glenville, NY. Fr. Jim also leaves his beloved family of brother priests, and dear friends and parishioners both past and present.
The wake will begin with the Reception of the Body on Thursday, October 8, 2015 at 11am at Corpus Christi Roman Catholic Church, 2001 Route 9, Round Lake, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 7PM with Bishop Edward B. Scharfenberger, D.D., Bishop of Albany as the Principal Celebrant. Interment will be at Most Holy Redeemer Cemetery, 2501 Troy Rd, Niskayuna, at 11am on Friday, October 9.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in memory of Rev. James E. Clark to Catholic Charities Disability Services, 1 Park Place, #200, Albany, NY 12205.
Catholic Charities Disability Services
1 Park Pl #200, Albany NY 12205