James E. Clarke was born in Rahway, New Jersey on April 23, 1949, the youngest of three children Carol Clarke-Griffin and Frederick Clarke Jr. born to the late Frederick Clarke Sr. and Jean Townes-Cherry. After graduating from Rahway High School in 1967, he enlisted into the United States Air Force, where he proudly and honorably served 24 years. From 1968 to 1992 he traveled the world serving in Southwest Asia and the European theaters finally touching down in Cheyenne Wyoming where he met Emley Clarke, the love of his life.
Following his time in the Military, James continued to serve his country and the world as a Plant Operator, Process and Area Supervisor in the Chemical Demilitarization Industry. From 1993 until his retirement in 2020 he and his wife traveled from the tiny remote pacific island, Johnston Atoll to Umatilla, Oregon and finally to the sagebrush fields of Pueblo Colorado destroying Americas stockpiles of chemical weapons. James was always honest and fair, he spoke his mind, but always thought before he spoke. His caring, candid and charismatic personality earned the love and respect of those he worked with and those he worked for.
James loved music, movies, photography, prospecting, aircraft, especially the SR-71 and U2, space travel, pretzels and jellybeans; he had a passion for the mountains, riding horses of all sizes and embracing his inner cowboy, but James’ first love was his family. Of all the titles, he had received in his life, the titles that mattered most to him were that he was a husband, a father, a G-pa, a brother and a son. To his family he was a giant, an even keel in rough seas, a compass that always pointed in the right direction (that compass didn’t seem to work on road trips), and a bridge that kept us connected. His love and support, council and advice, smile, laugh, handshakes and hugs will forever be missed and leave a void in the lives of those who knew him. He was loved unconditionally and will be missed for an eternity. Cheers to the next chapter Chief.
He was preceded in death by his father Frederick Clarke Sr., his mother Jean Townes-Cherry and his stepson Michael Douglas.
He is survived by his wife Emley Clarke, children Tyesha Clarke, Sabrina Clarke, and Trevor Clarke, Stepchildren Cristina Bessler, Sheraye Douglas and Christopher Aquino, 22 grandchildren, 2 great grandchildren Sister Carol Clarke-Griffin, Brother Frederick Clarke Jr. and 2 poodles Sophie and Lyric, and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
Services will be held:
Schrader, Aragon and Jacoby Funeral Home
2222 Russell Ave / Cheyenne, WY 82001
December 17, 2022 / 1300 – 1700