Walter Forrest Clark passed away peacefully at his home, surrounded by his family, in Clinton, Montana Saturday, August 25. He was born September 20, 1931 in Pompeys Pillar, Montana to W. Raymond and Helen (Stanton) Clark, the eldest of five children. A viewing will be held at Garden City Funeral Home and Crematory, 1705 W. Broadway, Missoula, on Thursday, August 31 from 1 – 3 o’clock. A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date in October.
He spent many years as a teamster, as well as serving over 21 years in the Clinton Volunteer Fire Department, as Fire Chief and truck driver. During that time, he spent many long days on wild fires in and around Montana.
Forrest also had a bluegrass band for approximately 10 years with his friends Woody and Monty – The Montana Outlaws, which had gigs in various local establishments.
Forrest was a pioneer member of the Rocky Mountain Bluegrass Association, where members were family, not just friends. He loved them all and couldn’t wait for the phone to ring for the next Bluegrass picnic.
Spending much time out of doors, Forrest was also an avid fisherman and hunter. He also enjoyed making homemade wine, especially huckleberry. He was a jack of all trades; there wasn’t much he couldn’t do, and if you wanted to hear a good story, he was the best!
Forrest was preceded in death by his loving wife and mother of his children, Darlene (Meyer), daughter Christine, grand-daughter Nicole (Gardner) Gay, his parents Ray and Helen Clark, sister Roberta Pugliano, loyal dog Sissy who was always at his side, as well as special friend Gool Counts of Livingston – the start of his addiction to bluegrass.
He is survived by his daughters Vickie (Eric) of Libby, and Cathleen of Clinton; grandchildren Wesley of Clinton, Justin of Brookings, Oregon, Jamie of Houston, TX, Jetta of Libby, Montana, and Jillian also of Libby. Survivors also include 14 great grandchildren and one great great grandchild. He is also survived by sisters Madge Adams of Townsend, Edith Baker of Ronan, and Linda Ford of Livingston.
The family’s thanks go to Partners Home Care Hospice, especially Jackie, Chris and his nurse Terry Mumma. Also, their thanks go to Dr. Scott and to Dr. Mendez and staff, as well as all of the cancer unit staff. A big thanks goes to the Rocky Mountain Bluegrass Association and its’ members, as well as to Garden City Funeral Home and their staff. Condolences may be left at gardencityfh.com
A Celebration of Life Potluck will be held on October 7, from 1 – 7 p.m. at the Clinton Community Center, 10011 Stitt Road, Clinton, Montana. Please join us and share your remembrances of Forrest’s life.