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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...

Saturday, December 19, 2009

From Stephanie Shultz

Hey Ross
I know it's been forever since we've talked. In some ways a whole life time ago. It may seem strange to you that I am writing now, but I wanted to let you know that my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Once upon a time I was not really able to tell people how much they meant to me, but back in that time you really touched me and I wanted you to know that. I especially remember celebrating our birthdays together during musical rehearsals. Although I think it was more like you sharing your birthday celebration with me. There was also a time when my closest friends called me "Step-on-me" and thought it was a funny play on my name, but you never did that. Instead you started calling me "The Stuff." So many little things that you did just because it was who you were that meant the world to a lonely, hurting girl who didn't think very much of herself. I've changed a lot since then, as I imagine we all have, figured some things out, learned how to like myself, and these day I'm actually a counselor (I know, the counselor part doesn't usually surprise people all that much). But when I think of you, I still very fondly remember the funny, talented, tender hearted boy who was so kind to me and made me laugh so often. I know there probably isn't much, but if I can do anything... Just know that you are in my prayers and that once upon a time you made a real difference in my life. Sending you my love.


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