Funeral arrangements for Paris’ beloved Tony Clark, known as Santa Claus for more than five decades, has been set for Friday, Oct. 21.
Since the family announced his passing on Tuesday, Oct. 18, the community has flooded social media with photos and memories of the man that brought smiles to the community during the festive season.
“To know him was to love him! To be loved by him was a given! He was one of a kind, special to soooo many & especially our family! He brought Christmas to life & enjoyed asking who was on the naughty & nice list….even tho he already knew! Our community will miss him dearly!! RIP my sweet friend,” said Le Andra Border Maughon.
Amanda Jackson Lilies said, “I’m heartbroken!!! So many precious memories!!! Such a blessing to so many.”
“So saddened to hear this. He was a great man. He was a pillar of the community and came from a very civic minded family who believe in contributing to their community in a positive way. He will be greatly missed, not only as Santa, but as the warm person he always was,” said Rhonda Parham.
Bright-Holland Funeral Home has scheduled services for 2:00 p.m. Friday, Oct. 21st at East Paris Baptist Church with Rev. Mike Fortenberry and Rev. Wade White officiating. Inurnment will follow in Evergreen Cemetery.
Tony was born in Paris on January 8, 1959 to parents James and Helen Clark.
He worked many years for Kimberly-Clark before health issues forced an early retirement. For many years, Tony was a Santa to scores of families and their children. He looked forward every year to the Christmas season. He even began his journey as Santa at the age of six in a Christmas program at school. Even though he had so much enjoyment playing Santa and going into numerous homes, he always wanted everyone to know Jesus is the real reason for the season.
Tony was also involved with many charitable organizations which included Adopt A Cop, Paris Kiwanis, Lamar and Red River County Crime Stoppers, Volunteer Fireman for the Paris Fire Department, the Paris Traffic Commission, and Toys for Tots which was near and dear to his heart. He was a member of His Place Fellowship Church.
Tony is survived by his mother, Helen Clark, and son Justin. He is also survived by his brother Jim and wife Carolina of Yukon, Oklahoma, three nephews, one niece as well as numerous cousins who adored him, and special friend Vicki Eisele. He was preceded in death by his father James Harold Clark and grandparents Jim and Birtie Threet and Kate and Carl Clark.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Toys for Tots in care of Richard McIntire, 604 Co Rd 13300, Paris, TX 75462, Adopt A Cop, 6080 Post Oak Rd, Reno, TX 75462, or the 100 Club of Lamar County, P. O. Box 790, Powderly, TX 75473.
The family wishes to extend heartfelt thanks for the food, fellowship, and kindness shown by so many. Tony loved his family and friends dearly, and all the kind words and remembrances spoken about him are cherished. Heaven gained an angel in Tony Clark. He will be missed.
To leave a message or tribute for the family please visit www.brighthollandfuneralhome.com