Maurice Holland Clark was born at home on Hot Wells Blvd. in San Antonio, Texas on January 24, 1925, to parents Odis and Seppie Clark and brother Odis Jr. The young brothers survived a rabid dog bite by undergoing shot treatments at the hospital. Maurice had a great love for music and learned to play the guitar at a young age. He and his brother spent their free time playing music and hunting. In 1942, Maurice graduated from Hot Wells High School in San Antonio where he played football, was captain of the basketball team and played the saxophone.
Maurice met his wife Maxine at school and after receiving his draft notice for World War 2 they married on March 12, 1943, at 18 years of age. Maurice and Maxine spent as much time together as possible at various locations across the country where he was training for the war. Maurice was originally assigned to the tank core and would have been deployed to North Africa to serve under General Patton, but he greatly desired to serve in the air corps and managed a transfer with the help of a bird colonel. Maurice served as a radio operator, second navigator, and medic on the B-29 bomber that the 11-man crew named Lilʼ Butch. He was stationed in Guam and flew on around 30 missions in the South Pacific mostly bombing Japan. The crew was in the air the day Enola Gay dropped the first atomic bomb and Maurice received a radio transmission instructing the crew to leave the area to which he replied intensely, "which way do we go?" His last mission was part of a show of force in the air above the battleship USS Missouri on September 2, 1945, when the Japanese signed the instruments of surrender ending the war in the South Pacific theater that Maurice had feared would never end. Maurice earned various medals during his service in the Air Force including the notable Air Medal and the Distinguished Flying Cross.
After the war, Maurice used his GI Bill benefit to attend the University of Texas where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering. He worked several years for the Texas Highway Department before accepting a job offer from the highway contractor Cecil Ruby, which later became the Dahlstrom Corporation, and worked there until he retired. Maurice and Maxine had 2 daughters, Karen and Laura, and lived in Austin's Barton Hills and frequented their cabin on Lake Travis enjoying swimming, boating, fishing, and water skiing. Later, the Dahlstrom Corporation relocated to Dallas and the family moved there in 1969. Maurice retired in 1987 at the age of 62 and moved to his ranch in Dripping Springs which he had wisely purchased in 1961.
Maurice greatly enjoyed his active retirement spending most of his time hunting and fishing along with all of the ranch work. He would occasionally give a special invitation to family members and close friends to catch a big catfish out of his fish pond. Maurice also liked to travel across the country pulling his fifth-wheel RV with Maxine and later with his daughters and grandson to various vacation spots and with friends on fishing trips. He spent time in the Dripping Springs community visiting with the locals at Rippyʼs Feed Store and Mikeʼs Cafe. On May 20, 1996, Maurice was baptized in his home swimming pool by pastors David McNary and David Smith of the First Baptist Church in Dripping Springs. Afterward, friends and family celebrated the occasion with a fish fry.
The later years of retirement became difficult for Maurice, but his strong spirit and love for music were heard in the tune he would often hum or whistle. He devoted several years to caring for his beloved wife, Maxine, and held her hands as she passed away in 2013 after celebrating 70 years of marriage. Maurice then devoted his time to caring for his daughter, Karen, who was fighting cancer, and was at her side when she died in 2014. He had 3 bouts with cancer himself and miraculously survived each one. Despite the challenges, Maurice managed occasional fishing trips, participated in a home fellowship group at the Cearleyʼs, and played cards with former colleagues most every month at the Ruby Ranch. Maurice moved into Hill Country Care Nursing Home in 2016 at 91 years of age and continued to drive for another year. He lived at the nursing home for 6.5 years where music continued to fill his heart and his beautiful whistle could be heard filling the living room and hallways. He enjoyed outings with his daughter, Laura, visitors, live music, and church services during those years.
Maurice Clark enjoyed 98 years full of life and passed away on February 8, 2023. He is survived by his daughter Laura and her husband Elton Vann, grandson Jeffrey Vann and his wife Danielle, great-granddaughter Salem Vann, nieces, and nephews, and many friends.
Visitation will be from 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM on Monday, February 20, 2023, at the First Baptist Church of Dripping Springs. Services will follow at 11:00 AM at the church. Burial will be at Phillips Cemetery.