JAMES ANGUS CLARK, Jr.
James Angus Clark, Jr. was born in Neenah, Wisconsin on 10 May 1949 and passed on to his next great adventure in Oshkosh, Wisconsin on 23 November 2022 after dealing with severe health problems in recent years.
Jimmy graduated from Winneconne High School in 1967. While there he set an unofficial pole vault record which held for many years – unofficial because he got into trouble for brushing his hair down over his forehead Beatles style and was not allowed to compete on the intermural team.
Jimmy grew up on the Clark farm on the north shore of Lake Winneconne. His interest in natural history and archaeology began in early childhood on the family farm. One of his first words was ‘trilobite.’ Although he never intended to be a farmer, he loved to explore the plowed fields, woods, marsh, and lake shore on the farm. From the time he was a young boy, he had a keen eye for noticing and collecting archaeological artifacts of the earliest inhabitants of the Clark and nearby farmlands in Winnebago County. But he was not content to find objects; he wanted to learn all that he could about the people who shaped and used them and their environment.
Jimmy grew up in a family that supported his interests, and he became so knowledgeable that he gave his first presentation - to the Winneconne Historical Society - when he was in the sixth grade. After Sunday mornings at the Allenville Baptist Church, our mother frequently drove us to Oshkosh to spend the afternoon at the Oshkosh Museum. The natural history exhibits were Jimmy’s favorite. From age eight on, he conducted independent archaeological survey and cataloguing of specimens on the north shore of Lake Winneconne and in adjacent counties. These collections are now housed for research purposes at UW-Milwaukee.
Jimmy was a member of the Wisconsin Archeological Society for which he served as Vice-President (1991), President (1991-92), and for several years on the Board of Directors. He was one of a few members of the Wisconsin Archeological Survey who was not an academically trained, professional archaeologist.
Beginning in the early eighties, Jimmy began to work on field crews conducting surveys, excavations, and inventories. During his career, he was employed by the Center for Archaeological Research at Marquette University, Great Lakes Archaeological Research Center, B.Z. Engineering, Department of Natural Resources (Archaeological Division), and the State Historical Society of Wisconsin. He also assisted David Overstreet in his program for Menominee high school and college students in training them in field methods and techniques in archaeology. For several decades, he made valuable contributions to publications and presentations. In 1998 Jimmy was awarded the Increase A. Lapham Award by the Wisconsin Archeological Society.
Before health problems made it too difficult for him to carry on, Jimmy taught elementary and middle school students in field classes for Crossroads at Big Creek in Door County, Wisconsin. Perhaps to his own surprise, he enjoyed this experience and was great with the kids. Jimmy built a remarkable career in archaeology. He was well liked and respected by his many wonderful colleagues and mentors, whom he greatly appreciated.
As a shareholder in the Clark’s Bay Corporation which owns and works to improve and conserve the land, he was able to continue his connection to the Clark farmland, which his great-grandfather had
occupied by 1850. This same great-grandfather was a fiddler, and it may have been through him that Jimmy inherited a gift for music, his other passion.
He learned to play guitar as a teenager and built a fun and successful complementary career in music. The first band Jimmy and his friends formed was named The Emanons. Even though they only played one gig for some college students, and his devoted mother had to collect band members and instruments after the third noise complaint and police visit, it was a start for Jimmy.
A more propitious music career launch came when he met Jules Blattner and joined the Warren Groovy All-Star Band. The band played up to 300 nights a year throughout the seventies. Other than the Beachcomber in Daytona Beach, Florida, these were mostly one-night stands throughout the Upper Midwest and the Southeast.
In 1989 Jimmy and Lee Weissgerber formed Five Guys with Day Jobs. For seventeen years, this very popular Milwaukee band played classic rock and roll songs at local bars, Bastille Days, Summerfest, and the Wisconsin State Fair.
The last band Jimmy played with was the Dave Olsen Band, which included his cousin, Russell, on drums. They played in local bars and river resorts from Green Bay to Fond du Lac. Jimmy really enjoyed the rhythm and blues along with the rock and roll these bands played.
Jimmy enjoyed seeing different areas of the United States. He travelled to Tahiti, Bora Bora, Guatemala, Jamaica, Bahamas, Canada, and southwestern France, where he was able to visit cave and rock shelter sites with a colleague. For many years, he made an annual winter visit to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico with his old band friend, Jules. On one trip, as Jimmy stood on the beach, smoking a cigarette and gazing out to sea, he realized a musician he had long admired stood only a few feet away doing the same - Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones. He never said a word. He just enjoyed the moment…
Oh, how we miss him.
Jimmy was predeceased by his parents, James Angus Clark and Vera Annelle Shield Clark (divorced 1987); aunts and uncles; and one cousin.
He is survived by his sister, Judith Adolphson (Donald); nephews John (Sherry), Matt, and Peter (Annie); niece Sarah Lillian; great-nephews and great-nieces; one uncle and many cousins. He is also survived by former wife and friend, Cathreen Weissgerber Clark; girlfriend and dedicated caregiver, Sheri Angell; and great friends, some going back to early childhood!
The family thanks the staff at Bella Vista Senior Living; St. Croix Hospice; and Heart of the Valley Cremation Services.
A Celebration of Life Open House for family and friends will be held from 2-6 pm on Saturday, May 27th, 2023 at the Fin ‘n Feather Supper Club, 22 W. Main St., Winneconne, WI.
For those who would like to do so, the family suggests a charitable donation to the James Clark Fund at the Wisconsin Archeological Society, 3413 N. Downer Ave., UW-Milwaukee Sabin 290, Milwaukee, WI 53211-2934. Attn: Seth Schneider, Treasurer. WAS is a 501(3)c