Aug. 16, 1958 – Dec. 28, 2022
Dennis Clark of Dallas, Oregon, passed away unexpectedly on Dec. 28, 2022, at the age of 64.
He is survived by his wife Brenda, their children Noah and Katie, sisters Kim Balleby and Cheryl Murphy and grandchildren Henry and Rose.
Dennis was preceded in death by his mother Wanda, brother Dan, and father Charles.
Dennis was born on Aug. 16, 1958, in Oxnard, California, and graduated from Rio Mesa High School in 1976. While still in high school, he worked as a cadet firefighter for the Oxnard Fire Department Station 51 before deciding to enter the electrical trade.
Dennis met Brenda Hansel shortly after he graduated from high school. They were married on Dec. 2, 1978, and soon thereafter started their family together in Ventura before moving to Ojai in 1986, where they lived for seven years.
Dennis began his career as an electrician in his early 20s, kicking off a lifelong love of building things and building relationships. After the family moved to Oregon in 1993, Dennis ran his own electrical contracting business before becoming a building inspector for Polk and Marion counties.
While he enjoyed inspection, Dennis eventually went to work for the state of Oregon at the building codes division where he was the training coordinator for anyone seeking inspector certifications. If there was anything he liked more than working in the trades himself, it was mentoring young people with passions similar to his own. While at BCD, he was also the assistant state electrical chief, for which he wrote policy for the Oregon Electrical Code and advised the governor and various entities on construction issues. When he retired in 2021, the state training center in West Salem was named in Dennis’ honor.
In many ways, Dennis’ life was just getting started. Never one with the patience to sit still, Dennis relayed his work ethic, curiosity and creativity into a burgeoning second-career as an artist. He spent many hours in his garage, finding ways to express his ideas through metal work, stained glass, paint and found objects. If he could dream it, he knew he could make it and many of his friends and family can proudly say they have original works hanging in their homes from a true original of a man.
Everyone who knew him has a Dennis Clark story, a testament to someone who freely gave his time, talents, and friendship. He put other people’s needs before his own, never taking himself too seriously, but always serious about dropping whatever he was doing to help others.
Dennis was a father figure to more than his own kids and a “brother” and partner to more than his own family. If you knew him, you loved him. There wasn’t much in between with Dennis. An irreplaceable husband, father, brother, friend and the greatest “papa” his grandkids could have ever asked for, he leaves behind a legacy of generosity, self sacrifice, enthusiasm, humor and most importantly, love.
In lieu of flowers or gifts, the Clark family has started a scholarship in Dennis’ memory that will directly benefit students enrolled in apprenticeship and building inspection programs at Chemeketa. If you would like to help carry on his work of giving back to the industries he loved, please visit https://chemeketa.thankyou4caring.org/give and designate “in memory of Dennis Clark” in the drop down menu.
A celebration of life ceremony is tentatively scheduled for early summer 2023. Details to follow.