Robert Earl Clarke, PhD, age 87 and a resident of Frisco, Texas, passed away on December 16, 2015 with his family by his side. He was born May 27, 1928 in Springfield, Missouri as the only child of Otto and Essie (Bradshaw) Clarke.
A public memorial service will be held at 10:00 am Tuesday, Dec. 22 at Turrentine-Jackson-Morrow Chapel at 8520 Main Street in Frisco. Pastor Gerald Griffin will officiate with music by Chris and Diane Machen. Those who wish to honor Bob’s legacy may make donations in his name to Oklahoma Baptist University at www.okbu.edu/onlinegiving.
Bob is a member of Preston Ridge Baptist Church and also active at Stonebriar Community Church, both in Frisco. He was a long-time resident of Parkview in Frisco, a vibrant retirement community.
Bob was Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at Oklahoma Baptist University in Shawnee, Oklahoma where he inspired thousands of students having taught for 32 years in the Religion Department of the Joe L. Ingram School of Christian Services. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Music Education from Southwest Missouri State University in Springfield where he played the trumpet in the university band. He also earned a Masters of Divinity and a Doctorate in Philosophy of Religion from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth. Following that he studied with notable Rabbi Abraham Heschel at Boston University.
Bob enjoyed traveling and short teaching stints in university exchange programs in Europe and Asia. He taught at the Baptist Lay Academy in Budapest Hungary for 10 consecutive summers and prior to that taught for three summers in Urumqi China.
While in Shawnee, Bob was an active member of First Baptist Church. He was also active in the Shawnee Little Theatre acting in many plays where he enjoyed roles like “Reverend Jeremiah Brown” in the 1977 production of Inherit the Wind, “Oscar Madison” in the 1981 production of The Odd Couple and “Carlson” in the 2000 Of Mice and Men production.
Bob was a veteran of the U.S. Army, having served in the Korean War, entertaining troops as a conductor of the Army Band.
He was a lifelong scholar of the Holy Bible and its teachings. After retiring from OBU, he spent the last 15 years studying the life of the Apostle Paul.
A loving father and devoted grandfather (Papa), Bob is survived by his children and grandchildren: Greg and Deanna Clarke and their twin girls Abigail and Emily Liss of Flower Mound, Texas; Rick and Lisa (Clarke) Bridwell, and their children Zach and Lauren Bridwell of Frisco, Texas; and Greg and Lisa’s mother Betty Clarke of Shawnee, Oklahoma. Bob regarded his family as his most precious asset and took every opportunity to spend time with them. He will be missed!