We regret to announce the passing of Dr. Fredric Hallie Clark, age 78, of Fayetteville, TN. A funeral service will be held at 3pm on Sunday, March 12, 2023, at Higgins Funeral Home with Pastor Ronnie Brewer and Bro. Todd Gaskill officiating. A private family burial will follow the service. Visitation with the family will be held from 12pm until 3pm on Sunday at Higgins.
Fredric Hallie Clark was born March 30, 1944, in Marmaduke, AR a small town in the northeast part of the state. He was raised during a period where times were tough, but his mother instilled in him the values of hard work and his uncle helped foster Fred’s passion for the land. When he was in the 8th grade, Russia launched the first manned spacecraft to orbit Earth. Hearing the Russian cosmonaut proclaim, “there is no God” upon his return had a huge impact on Fred. His strong Christian faith and his belief in American ingenuity helped him decide to become an electrical engineer and work in the U.S. space program. Fred went on to obtain his BS from the University of Arkansas, and his Master’s and Ph.D. from the University of Alabama in Huntsville.
We could have a lengthy article about all of his important professional work, but here is a brief synopsis. Fred joined the U.S. space team fresh out of college by working for the IBM Corporation. He served the U.S. space program through the Apollo and Saturn programs, including all of the moon landings and the Skylab program. While with IBM, Fred worked on upgrades to the B-52 aircraft, radar for the Tomahawk cruise missile, and a special cruise missile that was the first design used in combat during the Vietnam War. When IBM closed their office in Huntsville, AL, Fred was offered a promotion and given the opportunity to move anywhere IBM had a permanent location. However, he had grown to love the Huntsville area and was raising two young children and believed the area to be the family’s permanent home. This led to Fred and a partner Bill Stender launching a new company called CAS, Inc. The company specialized in radar and missile systems design, and in the next 27 years it grew to more than 1000 employees. CAS applied their expertise to many programs including the PATRIOT, HAWK and THAAD air defense systems, Apache and Blackhawk helicopter programs, UAV program, and numerous other short-range missile and radar programs.
In 1988 Fred purchased a beautiful valley nestled in the hills of Tennessee for recreation and hunting. Not only did he want a lush piece of God’s green earth for his own enjoyment, but he also knew that he had to find something to do after his engineering career ended. His old love of agriculture soon found him establishing a commercial beef cattle herd on that land called Deer Valley Farm. Naturally, Fred was never one to do anything if he couldn’t be the best, so he built a herd of Limousin cattle that went on to win many shows around the country, and at one time had as many as five national championships simultaneously. It later became apparent that in order to keep up with the competition within the cattle market, Deer Valley Farm would have to make the change to the Angus breed.
In 2006 Fred and Bill Stender sold CAS. Not willing to sit idle he was able to bring his full focus on growing his farm. During this time, the Clark’s sold their home in Alabama and made Deer Valley Farm their permanent residence. In the years since Deer Valley has grown to a fully integrated operation that grows the majority of what they feed to their nearly 2500 head of the most progressive Angus cattle in the industry.
Within hours of Fred’s death, there were streams of calls and messages from stunned people from all walks of his life. Stories have been flooding in that demonstrate what a kind and generous man Fred was. There are also so many examples of how he used his intelect, his vision of possibilities, good old-fashioned hard work, and determination to make great things happen. He had the same attitude towards his friends and family. When he loved someone, he truly loved with all that he had. Many mentioned the joy of hearing his laughter and how it could fill the room with its warmth and exuberant energy.
Survivors include his wife, Phyllis Clark; children, Kimberly Ann Clark of Fayetteville; Dr. Sheri Lyn Clark (Laura Jesmer) of Phoenix, AZ, Delia Jo Ramsey of Nashville, Karen Elisabeth Bracken of Huntersville, NC, Philip (DeWayna) Shelton of Petersburg, Callie Shelton (fiancé Jordan Hedges) of Nashville; grandchildren, William Alexander Vaughn, Avery Shelton; great-grandsons, Abram Clark and Aiden James Vaughn; and several nieces, nephews, extended family members, and DVF farm family. Dr. Clark was preceded in death by his parents, Ben Clark and Bernice Crouch Clark; wife, Rinda Jo Clark; and sisters, Jane (Joe) Zollner, and Margaret (Fred) Koch.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial donations be made to the following local charities:
Fabulous 50s Foundation: Proceeds from the shows over the 20+ years have been donated to The American Cancer Society; Multi-County Cancer Support Network; and now primarily dedicated to serving the needs of families in Lincoln County. https://www.fabulousfiftiesshow.com. PO Box 934, Fayetteville, TN 37334
Howell Cumberland Presbyterian Church: 43 Brown Teal Rd, Fayetteville TN 37334
Junior’s House, Inc. Advocacy Center: Please visit https://www.juniorshousecac.org for the list of programs and services. PO Box 1062, Fayetteville, TN 37334
Higgins Funeral Home is honored to serve the family of Dr. Fredric Hallie Clark.