Community says farewell to D.A. Tony Clark

Published 4:20 pm Friday, March 30, 2018

Family, friends, and colleagues gathered Friday morning to say their farewells to District Attorney General Tony Clark.

The service was marked by both laughter and tears as those who spoke shared their memories of Clark.

Clark will be remembered as a man with a kind heart who dedicated his life to serving others. One of those who spoke during his memorial said Clark had “invested his life to defend what is right.”

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A native of Johnson City, Clark earned his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and political science from East Tennessee State University. He then earned his law degree from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, and he remained an avid fan of the UT Vols all his life.

In 1994, Clark accepted the position of Assistant District Attorney for the First Judicial District. He held that position until 2006, when he was elected to serve an eight-year term as the District Attorney General for the First Judicial District. He was re-elected to a second eight-year term in 2014.

During his career as first an Assistant District Attorney and later as the District Attorney, Clark worked on a number of difficult cases, but those who knew him said he brought compassion to everything he did, speaking up for the victims of crimes.

“I just imagine it was a hard, hard life for someone with such a kind heart,” Clark’s former pastor, Sam Ferguson, said during Friday morning’s service.

Clark’s nephew, Brandon Dixon, asked all of those assembled Friday morning to find a memory of Clark and hold onto it.

“We don’t have Tony, but we have those memories,” Dixon said. “Tony is in a better place.”

The memorial service was closed out Friday with the song “Go Rest High On That Mountain” by Vince Gill, a song many felt was an appropriate tribute for a man who spent so much of his life serving and standing up for others.

Go rest high on that mountain

Son, your work on earth is done.

Go to heaven a-shoutin’

Love for the Father and the Son.”