Maurice Eugene Clark Jr, age 94, passed away Tuesday, October 19, 2021, at his home in Metairie, Louisiana. His devoted and loving wife of 36 years, Miriam Romero Clark, was by his side.
Maurice was born in Mississippi to the late Maurice Clark, Sr. and Willie Locke Clark. The oldest of four children, Maurice grew up in the 9th ward of New Orleans and attended Francis Nicholls High School. However, while still in high school, Maurice felt compelled to fight for his country during the late stages of World War II, so he dropped out of school, left New Orleans, and joined the service as a Merchant Marine. After the war was over, Maurice returned home to New Orleans and married his high school sweetheart, Thelma Legier, an artist. In the years after the war, Maurice often had several jobs at the same time (either in construction, on the railroad, or in sales).
Maurice eventually recognized he wanted to continue with his education, and so he received his GED and began his undergraduate studies. When trying to decide what his next challenge would be, Maurice would later say that he looked around New Orleans at the many men he thought were successful and observed that most were lawyers. His mind was set. His in-laws, the Legiers, had noted his intelligence and hard work ethic, and so they encouraged him to pursue the law. While the Legiers provided housing and other assistance to the growing family, Maurice still insisted on working the entire time during his studies, working throughout undergraduate (at Louisiana State University) and law school. Maurice graduated from Loyola Law School in 1961. Upon graduation, Maurice immediately hung his shingle and started his own practice. Even though he got a somewhat later start than most of his peers, Maurice practiced law for over fifty years. While Maurice was the first lawyer in the Clark family, his example started a tradition in which his brother, nephew and niece followed. He was active in local politics and was well known for many years throughout City Hall as someone who could be counted on to make things happen.
Maurice was preceded in death by his daughter, Gretchen Clark Arnold; grandson, Christopher Michael Thomas; son-in-law, David Pierson; and former wife, Thelma Legier Hoxsey, the mother of his four children. He is survived by his wife, Miriam Romero Clark; brothers, Willie Clark (wife Mildred) of Marrero, Robert Clark (wife Sharon) of Sarasota, Florida, and sister, Joanne Hilton (husband Dennis) of New Orleans; daughters, Renee Pierson and Susette Walker (husband Tracey); and son, Jesse Locke Clark (wife Melissa); five grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
A visitation will be observed at Jacob Schoen & Son Funeral Home, 3827 Canal Street, New Orleans, LA 70124 on Sunday, October 24, 2021 beginning at 12:30 pm for family and 1:00 pm for friends. The Funeral Service will follow at 2:00 pm with burial will be at Garden of Memories Cemetery in Metairie, LA. Arrangements are under the care of Garden of Memories Funeral Home. To order flowers or offer condolences, please visit www.gardenofmemoriesmetairie.com.
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