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In Loving, Musical Memory

W. Ross Clark II went to join God's choir of Heavenly Angels on the evening of Saturday, December 19, 2009. (Actually, we're pretty sure he's leading the choir by now). Ross was born on March 17, 1974 and spent his 35 years making beautiful music and bringing joy to those around him. He also fought a nearly life-long battle with Type 1 diabetes with a strength and grace that serves as an inspiration to all who knew him.

Ross finally decided it was time to move on to a bigger and better life in the spirit. He leaves behind a loving circle of family and friends and a legacy of music that will live on forever. Those who wish to honor Ross' memory can do so by enjoying his music and making music in their own lives. His musical legacy also lives on through Ross's Gift: The W. Ross Clark II Award for Outstanding Musicianship, an annual scholarship awarded to a senior graduating from Oneida High School, Ross's alma mater. Anyone wishing to contribute is encouraged to email joannasero@gmail.com for information.

Ross wanted so much for his family and friends to stay in the fight for the cure and had great hopes for a variety of research initiatives, including stem cell research. He prayed that he would somehow be part of making sure that no other child, no other teenager, no other young adult would experience the "postponed promises/delayed dreams" brought on by the complications of diabetes. If you would like to join in the fight for a cure, please consider making a donation in his name to the American Diabetes Association.

Ross was given the incredible gift of 8 additional years to make music through the miracle of organ donation. Please consider helping to give the gift of life by becoming an organ donor. To find out how to become a donor in your state, visit www.donatelife.net.

Forever at Home in Our Hearts...

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

From Cylinda (Rickert) Areno

In another lifetime there was a girl who heard a golden-haired boy sing and she swooned, as most people did when he sang and played his guitar.

I loved it when I was able to get you for “Stairway to Heaven” at dances.

I loved it when you’d stop picking at the guitar strings and listen to what I was saying.

I loved discovering Eric Clapton.

I loved when you sang the solo in “That Lonesome Road,” a song that we listen to all the time in our home.

I loved covering the tenor line so you could sing lead in “Naturally.”

I loved your smiles, both the quick grin and the slow spreader.

With years and perspective, I loved that you treated my feelings as tenderly as you could. I was very young and innocent; thank you for honoring that.

My dad, in a moment of incredible sensitivity and clarity for him, once said music is what keeps my soul alive. You are part of music to me, Ross, and enmeshed in my very soul forever.

I love you. Be at peace, my friend.

Cylinda (Rickert) Areno

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