John Leslie Clark, age 59, of Candler passed away during the early morning hours of March 1, 2019
Les was born June 23, 1959 in Asheville, NC. He was a class of 1977 graduate of Enka High School where he played drums in the band and took pride in being first chair. He studied tool and die making at AB-Tech. He began as a journeyman tool and die mold maker and completed his apprenticeship with Alliance Carolina Tool and Mold, Corp. in Arden where he was employed for 30 years. He worked his way up in the company and was one of the best Program Managers in the field. After leaving Alliance, Les worked as a Sales Engineer with Atlas Precision and later with Carson Tool and Mold in Kennesaw, Georgia.
Preceding Les in death are his parents, Homer Davis Clark and Elizabeth Warren Clark; father in law, Glenn Everette Phillips; special aunts who shared their gardening and canning talents and their recipes with Les and Sandy, Lillian Warren Martin and Marcelene Warren Jackson; his labrador retrievers Dexter, a pound puppy rescue from Asheville Humane Society that lived to be 16, and Pisgah whom Les rescued from a big snow on Mt. Pisgah.
Les is survived by his wife of 21 years, Sandy Phillips Clark, sons, Cory Tre’ Ballew and Cason Grant Clark and a grandson, Charles Tre’ Ballew; his mother in law and personal therapist, Irene Ray Phillips of Weaverville; his wife’s siblings, Annette and Gary Shook of Fairview, Kenny Phillips of Weaverville, Kathy and Lawrence Thomas and their children, Lance and Vanessa of Weaverville. Also, surviving are Les’ special cousins Marvin Warren of Middleburg, Florida, whom Les talked with daily; Warren and Patsy Stanberry of Hueytown, AL; Philip and Marla Jackson of Swannanoa and Maria and Van Atkins of Candler; and a very special uncle that he also talked with daily and who prayed for Les at every meal, Reverend Robert Jackson.
Les was a simple, rough around the edges, country boy who grew up on his family’s small farm in Candler. He was a lover of rebel flags and history, the beach, burning candles, politics, President Trump, rivers and creeks, wild animals, music, gardening, fishing, and was skilled in working with his hands to repair or create so many things. He never met a stranger and would do anything for anyone who needed help. He took up for his family and always defended what he believed was right. In the last several years of his life Les struggled with depression and alcohol addiction. One of his favorite songs was “Branded Man” by Merle Haggard.
A private Celebration of Life service will be held at a later date. The family wishes to thank everyone for their thoughts and prayers. Perhaps you have left a text, a card, food, a visit, monetary gift or a bag of goodies on the front stoop. Your kindness has been greatly appreciated. Les’ last wish would be for his boys to be taken care of. A memorial fund has been set up for the family at the Smokey Park branch of SECU and memorial contributions may be made in the name of Sandy Clark.
If your loved one suffers from depression or addiction, please don’t turn your back. Keep the lines of communication open, trust in a higher power and never give up on them.