James Otis Clark | Obituary

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James Otis Clark, 78, from McBain, returned home to be with his Lord and Savior on October 7, 2021, at Munson Healthcare-Cadillac Hospital. He was born on December 12, 1942 in Fulton, Kentucky, to Frank Sexton and Helen Louise (Potts) Clark.

Jim’s parents divorced when he was very young and he was raised by his maternal grandmother, Irene Potts, whom he affectionately called Mammy Potts. She encouraged him in his faith from an early age, seeing him come to faith in Christ at the age of 11 and be baptized at the First Baptist Church in Fulton, Kentucky. So began a career and a passion for singing and playing music.

Jim graduated from Fulton High School and began a career playing in his little band, “The Moxies” while he was still in school. They were playing in little cafes, backrooms, whatever they could find across their state. At 17, he began his long career as a Disc Jockey. He was hanging around the radio station so much that they put him on the payroll and he was gone and was running away.

Over the years he has been DJing in Paducah, Kentucky, Indianola, Mississippi, Kansas City, Missouri, Fort Wayne, Indiana, WEXL in Detroit, WITW in Cadillac and WTCM in Traverse City.

In 1967 Jim was an instructor at the Institute of Broadcast Arts in Detroit. After that, he briefly traveled with Dick Clark’s “Where the Action Is” tour, where he played in Neil Diamond’s band. From 1981 to 1988 Jim sang with the New Life Singers Gospel Quartet and from 1993 to the present day he was the lead singer of the Beulah Land Quartet.

Jim spent 55 years in broadcast and broadcast sales. He then bought Cadillac Carpet Cleaning, retiring in 2018.

Jim enjoyed spending time with his family and especially spending time with his grandchildren. Birthday parties were always a lot of fun, especially when he was telling stories from his youth. This year he was particularly delighted to have a new great-grandson born into the family.

On August 10, 1968 Jim married Kristine Lynn Smithee at First Baptist Church in Farmington, Mi. and survived him. He is also survived by his children: Matt (Betty) Clark of Manton and their children, Paige (Brock), Emery and Jayce of Traverse City, Hunter, Hannah, Leyton and Lauren Clark; Corey (Heather) Clark of McBain and their children Ethan, Briar, Addison, Avery and Cambell Clark; and her daughter, Jennifer Doolittle of Lake City, and her children, Laura and Brooke Doolittle.

Jim was predeceased by his parents, Frank (Jessie) Clark and Helen Lager; infant granddaughter, Makayla Lynn Clark; and in-laws, Bernard and Margaret Smithee.

The funeral will be on Wednesday, October 13 at 11 a.m. at the First Baptist Church in Cadillac, with the Reverend Chad Zaucha. Visitations and viewing will take place Tuesday from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Burkholder Family Funeral Home in McBain and one hour before church services. Lunch will follow church services and burial will take place at Lucas Cemetery at 3:00 p.m. Memorial contributions can be made to the family or to the First Baptist Church.


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