Purcellville’s oldest resident—Charles P. Clark—died Tuesday at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Martinsburg, WV.
He was 108 years old. Clark, who was characterized by a lively, but gentle, sense of humor, was active until he became ill on May 13. Immaculately attired, he frequently served as honorary chairman in Purcellville parades.
Born in Hamilton in 1907, Clarke was one of seven children. His father was a sharecropper and his mother was in domestic service.
At the age of 32, after completing training at Ft. Lee, in September 1944 he was drafted to the U.S. Army. He joined an all-African-American unit, the 3238 Quartermaster Service Company, of the 9th Armored Division, and was among the 125,000 African-American men to serve overseas in a support role during WWII.
After almost two years in service, Clark returned to Purcellville, where he had a number of jobs, but he was best known to local kids as the genial Mr. Clark who drove their school bus—a job he held for 25 years.
The funeral service will be held at 3 p.m. Saturday at Mt. Zion United Methodist Church, 250 W Virginia Ave. in Hamilton. Visitation is at 2:30 p.m. at the church. Interment will take place following the service at Mt. Olive Baptist Church in Lincoln.