Roy Clark Jr. 1952 – 2017

I’ve been thinking about death a lot lately.

Maybe it’s the Covid-19 pandemic and 48,000 new cases in just one day.  Maybe it’s my age; I am 61 so it is getting harder to put that unpleasant thought out of my mind.

But today I was thinking about Roy Clark Jr. 

Yes, he was the son of that Roy Clark senior who was a country music star and host of the 1970s TV series “He-Haw.”

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(Here is Roy Clark Jr. in the middle of this photo playing fiddle in 2016 just a year before he died in 2017 at the age of 65.)

I met Roy in September of 1984 at a small Bible college in West Virginia.  Roy and I were both going to be ministers in the Church of Christ, but with his impressive knowledge of the Bible, Roy could have been an instructor instead of a student.

I vividly remember sitting at my kitchen table having a Bible study with Roy as my wife made us dinner and we talked well into the night about many things.  In fact, many a night Roy didn’t leave our home until 2 or 3 AM because our discussions were so intense.  Roy was like an Old Testament Prophet but with a mischievous sense of humor.

Roy was always smiling and laughing, as if everything was a joke, except the Gospel, in which his eyes would narrow and he would point to a passage and say, “Have you read what God said about that?”

Roy humbled me in ways I can’t begin to list or explain.

He always got to the point of a serious topic, then he would tell a joke or a story to lighten the mood.  I can still hear his thunderous laugh all through our home some 36 years ago.

Yes, it was 36 years ago when I last saw him.  Like me, Roy dropped out of Bible college and was fighting “inner demons” and struggling with his faith.  That year I had lost my brother to a car accident and shortly after that Roy moved away, stopped going to church, and we lost contact.  In fact, we all lost contact with Roy that year: he cut ties with everyone in the church.

I miss Roy Clark Jr.  I can still hear him laugh in our kitchen.

Roy Clark Jr. 1952 – 2017

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