Reporter: Dhomonique Ricks l Videographer: Melinda Zosh
Lynchburg, VA - A huge loss in the Lynchburg community on Friday. Civil rights activist, veteran and community standout W.E. Clark passed away.
The news comes as a shock to many. His family tells us he died of a stoke. Family and friends are taking the news one step at a time.
Clark had a huge impact on the community, fighting for all people. Community members tell us, he accomplished a lot more than many people in this city will ever realize.
"I know you're watching me and I love you, I miss you," wife Geraldine Clark said.
56 years of marriage...
"That's me and that's him," Clark said as she looked through a photo album.
56 years of memories.
"It was heartbreaking inside but I knew he had to go. The Lord had a plan," Clark said.
Clark says she is taking it one day at a time.
"I will miss him and I love him. He was a good man," Clark said.
"Mr. Clark was more than a friend, he was like a mentor to me. I consider Mr. Clark to be one of the last great war freedom fighters for this area," Mentee and friend Reginald Herndon said.
He says Clark's passing has created a huge void in the community, saying Clark will never be replaced.
"When I think about Mr. Clark, I think about three words - honor, duty and service," Herndon said.
"He was a real, real soldier on the war on racism," Best friend Walter Fore said.
In fact, he and Fore created the Dialogue on Race.
"The last 5 or 6 years we've almost been inseparable. We do just about everything together," Fore said.
Clark won the mayor's award of excellence last year. He also fought in World War II, and was part of the first black marine unit back in 1945, something he was about to be honored for.
"In June he was really fighting for June. We were going to Washington to see the President to receive his medal," Clark said.
But his life, full of compassion and courage, was cut short.
"He died Friday, his birthday was Saturday. Would have been 85," Clark said.
Clark was supposed to receive his honorary Ph.D. from Eastern Theological Seminary this past Friday. His wife says a visitation will be held this Sunday from 5:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. at Pleasant Valley Baptist Church and his memorial service will be next Monday at 11:00 a.m. at Diamond Hill Baptist Church. Anyone is welcome to attend.