Jim D. Clarkson, beloved husband, father and grandfather, entered the kingdom of Heaven on May 28, 2007, after a long and valiant fight with kidney, heart and lung failure. He was 71.
Jim was born July 10, 1935, in Afton, Okla., the son of Everett Guy Clarkson and Diana Brewer Clarkson.
He graduated from Afton High School then served three years with the United States Army as a weather observer in Japan. He attended NEO A&M College in Miami, Okla., earning an Associate's degree in Science and graduated from Oklahoma State University with a degree in Engineering. He began a successful career with the Westinghouse Corporation in Baltimore, Md., on Sept. 1, 1963. In his years with Westinghouse, he was the Quality Control Manager for the space program that developed the camera used on the moon mission. He was also the Quality Manager on the F16 Fighter Radar System developed for the United States Air Force and the latest radar systems developed for airports. He was also Manager of Quality Control for the Westinghouse Air and Space Defense Division in Baltimore. He received the Mr. Westinghouse Award for Excellence in 1985.
He retired from Westinghouse in 1992 and later joined the Omeda A Division of British Operating Corporation. He received a Certificate of Appreciation in 1996 for his efforts developing the Quality Control department for Omeda. He retired in September, 1997.
Following his retirement, he and his family moved to the Grand Lake area where he enjoyed his love of fishing, among other interests.
He was honored by the Afton Alumni Association in 2002, receiving the Outstanding Alumnus Award.
He is survived by his wife of 49 years, Nancy Ponder Clarkson of Grove, Okla.; children, Kelly Kane (David) and Scott C. Clarkson (Dana) of Grove, Okla.; grandchildren, Stephanie Clarkson-Stambauh, Brenna N. Clarkson, Billie Jo Clarkson, Matthew Kane and Luke James Kane; two brothers, Leman Clarkson (Juanita) Grove, Okla., and Manuel Clarkson (Joyce) of Neosho, Mo.; two sisters, Desma Johnson of Afton and Betty J. Montgomery of Skiatook. Also survived by several nieces and nephews and cousins.
He was predeceased by his parents and a brother, Roscoe Clarkson.
Jim was an inspiration and joy to his family and friends alike. His passion in life was his family, his work, fishing. He had a gift for communicating with people and bringing out the best in people whose lives he touched. He would want everyone to find comfort in knowing that he did what he loved and loved what he did.
A visitation with family has been scheduled from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, May 31, at the Paul Thomas Funeral Home in Miami, Okla., and funeral services will be at 1 p.m. Friday, June 1, 2007, at the Trinity Baptist Church in Afton, Okla. The Pastor Gerald Dyer will officiate.