HAROLD — George Ed Clark, who was Floyd County’s oldest living World War II veteran and a fixture in the Harold and Betsy Layne communities for many years, has died.
Clark, who was just a few days shy of his 98th birthday, died Thursday. He joined the Army in January 1943 and served in the Battery B 564th Full Artillery Battalion in the 71st Infantry under Gen. George S. Patton.
Floyd County Judge-Executive R.D. “Doc” Marshall said Floyd County lost a treasure with Clark’s passing, noting that Clark personally chauffered Gen. Patton in his Jeep.
“George was one of the most admired men in this county,” Marshall said. “He was admired for his heroic military career. His devotion to his country is unsurpassed.”
Clark served as a full track driver tech and earned a Marksman Medal in that capacity, along with many other medals, including the Bronze Star. He was injured during his service and was honorably discharged in June 1946.
Upon returning home, Clark was active in Disabled American Veterans Chapter 169, in Betsy Layne, of which he was a charter member. Former Judge-Executive Paul Hunt Thompson proclaimed Nov. 11, 2004, as “George Ed Clark Day” in Floyd County and, in 2009, Clark was named the Kentucky Disabled American Veteran of the year.
Beyond his military career, Clark worked in the old Harold Commissary and owned and operated both the Betsy Layne Food Market and Clark’s Dairy Bar. He was also very active in Vogel-Day United Methodist Church, at Harold, where he taught Sunday school classes and occasionally drove the church bus for Vacation Bible School.
“George Ed Clark is a man who will be missed not only in his community, but in Floyd County,” Marshall said. “He touched many lives. He was a dear friend.”
Funeral services were held Sunday. A full obituary appears on page A2.