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Published: Tuesday, 7/4/2006

Church musician did best to live her Baptist faith

FINDLAY - Myrtle Irene Clark, a Baptist church musician in the Findlay area for years, died Sunday at home following a long battle with ovarian cancer. She was 65.

Mrs. Clark played the organ, piano, accordion, violin, and psaltery, a stringed instrument mentioned in the Bible, her husband, David Clark, said.

Mrs. Clark was born in Wood County and her family moved to Findlay. Mr. Clark said he and Mrs. Clark were sweethearts from age 14, graduating together from Findlay Senior High School and from Baptist Bible College, Springfield, Mo.

Mr. Clark said they were married after their first year in college and traveled around Missouri, Kansas, and Oklahoma to small Baptist churches where Mr. Clark would fill in as the substitute preacher and Mrs. Clark would sometimes provide the music.

"A lot of those churches were very small, and the preacher and his wife had to do everything," Mr. Clark said.

She received a degree in Christian education with a minor in mission techniques.

After graduating, they signed up in 1964 for a three-year mission commitment in Ethiopia. They went to Ethiopia, along with their two young sons, Richard and Greg, where they were to preach and set up churches and schools.

Mr. Clark said they were there nine months but had to return when Mrs. Clark developed health problems.

Mrs. Clark participated as a musician in church programs at New Testament Baptist Church, Springfield, Mo.; Trinity Baptist Church, Findlay; Dillon Road Baptist Church, Fostoria; Bible Fellowship Church, Arlington, Ohio, and Gospel Fellowship Church, Rawson, Ohio.

Mr. Clark, the police chief of Findlay from 1979 until his retirement in 1992, was pastor for 11 years of Gospel Fellowship Church in Rawson after his retirement. He said Mrs. Clark played violin in the church orchestra there.

"Her interest in ministry was pretty wide-scope, but her deepest interest was music," he said.

Mrs. Clark's son Richard said his mother exemplified the faithful mother. He said she worked hard at her music and was taking piano lessons as recently as two years ago. He said her Baptist missionary work made her friends around the world.

Mrs. Clark worked for about 12 years ordering merchandise and stocking shelves for American Merchandising Associates, of Van Wert, Ohio, in stores in Findlay, Carey, Forest, and McComb, all in northwest Ohio.

Surviving are her husband, David Clark; sons, Richard and Greg Clark; mother, Gladys Canterbury; brother, David Canterbury, and four grandchildren.

Visitation will be after 2 p.m. Friday in the Coldren-Crates Funeral Home. Services will be at 10 a.m. Saturday in Trinity Baptist Church, where visitation will be one hour prior to the services.

The family suggests tributes to Dillon Road Baptist Church or Bridge Home Health and Hospice, Findlay.



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