Passing of Joseph Clark

Joseph Lee Clark died March 31, 2018, in Paso Robles, California. Joe was the second of two children born to Harlan and Doris (Mayer) (Clark) Shaffer, August 29, 1949, in Redding, California. Joe was active in Boy Scouts. As an adult, he was a member of the Red Bluff Elks Lodge, the Lions Club of Lockwood, and the Knights of Columbus of Paso Robles. At the age of 16, Joe became a seasonal firefighter for California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. After Red Bluff High School graduation in 1967, Joe attended Shasta Jr. College, and obtained the Degree of Associate in Arts in Machine Shop. Soon thereafter, as his draft number was 60, he marched into the U.S. Army Recruiter’s office and asked, “Got anything besides walking?” He served 17 months for the Army, stationed in Long Binh, Vietnam as a Flying Crew Chief in the 120th Assault Helicopter Company with the Razorbacks. Upon an Honorable Discharge, he worked for the Bureau of Land Management in Northern California. In 1973, when an opening became available at the California Department of Forestry, he was employed as a Fire Apparatus Engineer. In 1986, Joe made the rank of Fire Captain and was stationed at Gabilan Camp in Monterey County. For the last fourteen years of his service with CDF, he was stationed at San Luis Obispo’s Cuesta Conservation Camp, retiring in 2002. After his retirement, personnel of SLO Camp asked Joe to return. He worked as a Clerk from 2005-08 as a retired annuitant (as Joe always said, a “retired irritant”). To add to his working resume, he was employed part-time at Orchard Supply Hardware for 11 years. Joe’s love of family made him a rock solid individual all of us could depend on. Joe also provided security for local Templeton football games and drove the cheerleaders to all the away games, which gave him joy. Despite all the hard work he put in to life, from courage under fire in Vietnam to the blazing fires of mother nature’s wrath, he maintained the highest level of composure. Some of his most heroic acts did not come with a medal but left us with indelible memories. Once in a while Joe did what we call “tractor therapy;” move dirt and dig tree holes for community, family, and friends’ projects – his favorite, to plow the fields with a grandkid or two in his lap. Joseph is survived by his wife, Laura, of Paso Robles; mother, Doris Shaffer (Phillip, husband deceased), of Templeton; sons and spouses: Theodore of Albuquerque, New Mexico, Christopher and Jennifer of Atascadero, Benjamin and Lisa of Yucca Valley; daughter, Allison with companion, Nolan Gustafson, of Paso Robles; and two grandchildren: Jayce and Sienna. He was predeceased by his father, Harlan; and brother, Michael. A viewing will be held from 4:00 to 8:00 pm, Monday, April 9, 2018, with a Vigil Service at 6:30 pm, at Kuehl-Nicolay Funeral Home. A Funeral Service will be held at 11:00 am, Tuesday, April 10th at St. Rose of Lima Church, both in Paso Robles. A reception will follow the service.