Obituary - Lynn Ferrin Clark

Lynn Ferrin Clark

Jackson Hole native Lynn Ferrin Clark died Oct. 16 following a two-year battle with cancer. His family provided the following.

Born in Jackson Hole in 1931 to parents Harold Silas Clark and Ada Ferrin Clark, Lynn was a third-generation resident of the valley. He had one older brother, Lewell Harold Clark.

Lynn spent much of his childhood years on the move as the family followed construction projects wherever there was work. They lived in different parts of Wyoming, Colorado, California and even moved to Panama while his father worked on the Panama Canal. Throughout those years they returned to visit Jackson Hole frequently and finally returned for good in 1946. Shortly afterwards, Harold started his own business, which would later become Clark’s Ready Mix and Construction.

Once settled in Jackson, Lynn began his high school years at Jackson-Wilson High School. He was active in sports and was on the football team for four years. After high school graduation he attended the University of Wyoming. He played center on the Cowboy football team, was a member of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity and joined the Army ROTC program. During his time in Laramie he received a commission in the Army and completed basic officer training in Fort Benning, Georgia. He was then stationed in Bamberg, Germany, and finally in Fort Riley, Kansas. After his time in the military he returned to the University of Wyoming and earned his bachelor of Arts degree in business Administration in 1958.

During his time in Germany he met his future wife, Martha Burdeaux. Martha was from Baltimore, Maryland, and was in Bamberg to help with the birth of her sister’s first child. Her sister, Joyce, and her husband, Gene, were also stationed in Germany. Martha met Lynn shortly after she arrived and they were married on April 14, 1956. In 1957 their first daughter, Susan, was born. Sadly, she died of cancer in 1968. They had four more daughters, and Lynn’s role as father of a houseful of girls was established — a job he truly cherished. He was always happiest when he could spend time with his girls, helping and supporting them any way he could. In 1959 Lynn and Martha built a house in the Gill Addition that was the family home for many years. Later they moved north of Jackson to be closer to the Tetons.

After his father died, Lynn became co-owner and operator of Clark’s Ready Mix and Construction. As one of the only heavy construction businesses in the valley, the company built roads, foundations, water and sewer systems and a great deal of the infrastructure in the valley. He was especially proud of the work the company did for Grand Teton and Yellowstone national parks over the next several decades. Any Jackson old-timer can tell you about the red-and-white Clark’s trucks and concrete mixers on the valley roads.

Lynn was always active in service to the community. He served two terms as a member of the Teton County School Board, was a member of the Elks Club and was a founding member of the Jackson Church of Christ. Lynn was also an active member of the Jackson Hole Rotary Club, serving as the president and longtime committee chair for the student exchange program. He very much enjoyed overseeing students who came from all over the world to spend a year living in Jackson, as well as preparing local students for a year learning abroad. He was particularly proud of his work with the Rotary Club and its many contributions to the valley. Lynn’s community support extended to his professional life as well. He served as president and a member of the board of directors for The Wyoming Trucking Association and was involved in the organization’s committees and activities.

Throughout their life together, Lynn and Martha frequently enjoyed the adventure of traveling. They were fortunate to travel to all 50 states, as well as numerous countries in Europe, South America and Central America. Lynn loved the outdoors, spending many hours in his younger years hunting and fishing across northwest Wyoming. He especially loved hiking, backpacking, ice fishing, snow machining and anything that allowed him to spend time in the Tetons, Yellowstone and the Wind Rivers.

After 48 years in business Lynn made the decision to close Clark’s Ready Mix and Construction and formally retire. Not long after that, Lynn and Martha built their winter home in Sequim, Washington, so they could spend more time with their children and grandchildren. This home eventually became their full-time residence and was a favorite family gathering spot. Living in Sequim, Lynn and Martha were able to focus on all the joys of retirement. Lynn was an avid reader and was often found with a crossword puzzle by his side. Sequim’s temperate climate allowed them to enjoy the outdoors year-round, and their gardens were phenomenal. Lynn was especially proud of his apple, peach, pear and cherry trees and the yearly harvests they provided. Lynn quickly became a fan of Pacific Northwest sports and became a season ticketholder of the Seattle Mariners, University of Washington football and the Seattle Seahawks. He attended most of these games with his daughters, which brought him great joy.

Lynn’s Christianity was a cornerstone in his life. His retirement in Sequim allowed him time to be in service to the Port Angeles and Sequim Churches of Christ, often leading Bible study groups and education programs.

Most recently, Lynn was especially proud to join in the creation of a recurring Ferrin Family Reunion in Jackson. This is a celebration for the descendants of Josiah “Si” Ferrin, Lynn’s grandfather and Jackson Hole homesteader. The family has gathered three times to connect and commemorate the Ferrin contribution to Jackson Hole. During his last visit home he was also able to connect with a group of the remaining members of the Jackson-Wilson High School Class of 1949 for their 70th class reunion.

Lynn was a true Wyoming original. Jackson Hole was in his blood, and every backroad in Wyoming could spark a story. His strength of character grew from this place. He was a quiet and kind man with a generous spirit, always quick to lend a hand to anyone in need.

In his later years Lynn was the primary caregiver for Martha, who is living with Alzheimer’s disease. After his own cancer diagnosis, Lynn’s family supported him with love and care and was able to surround him during his final days at home until he passed peacefully.

Lynn is survived by his wife, Martha, currently residing at the Dungeness Courte Memory Care, Sequim, Washington, and his children: Donna Clark, Kirkland, Washington; Debbie (Todd) Tracy, Renton, Washington; Sarah (Brandon) Clark, Bellevue, Washington; and Avis (Mike) Kowalewski, Oakland, California. He is also survived by his four grandchildren: Peyton Tracy, Meredith Tracy, Elia Kowalewski and Ada Kowalewski. Lynn was preceded in death by his parents, his brother Lew Clark and his daughter, Susan Clark.

A celebration of his life will be held at a time when we are all able to gather safely and COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted. We respectfully ask that any remembrances be made to Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the Grand Teton National Park Foundation.

If you would like to send condolences or reach out to the family, please email clarksarah@comcast.net.

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