Tom ClarkA Celebration of Life memorial service will be held at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, March 21, at Grace Church, 5504 E 146th St, Noblesville, Ind., with visitation beginning at 4:30 p.m. Burial will take place in his hometown of Bluffton, Ohio on Friday, March 24, 2017 at Maple Grove Cemetery. Condolences may be expressed online at the funeral home website.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the trust fund for his son Hayden to this address: Trust for the Benefit of Hayden J. Clark, c/o Eric M. Douthit, CCH+A 2 North 9th Street, Noblesville, IN; or, Bluffton High School Athletic Department, 106 W College Ave, Bluffton, OH 45817.
Thomas G. Clark was born in Bluffton, Ohio on Feb. 22, 1959 to James A. and Mary (Canaan) Clark. After graduating from Bluffton High School, Clark attended Ohio State University. It was in his native Ohio that Clark launched his wrestling officiating career which spanned 35 years.
Although much of Tom Clark's officiating took place in Ohio and Indiana, his career took him throughout the world. He was a referee at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, and worked dozens of World Championships and major international competitions at the Senior Level. He also served as a board member of the U.S. Wrestling Officials Association for many years, and, in fact, was USWOA Vice-President at time of his passing.
"He was an overall good guy. I have been on so many trips with him and we have been good friends for so long," said U.S. Wrestling Officials Association president Rick Tucci. "Tom was an excellent referee. He worked himself up from the grassroots, and became well respected on the national and international levels. He was a wonderful human being. He could make you smile and always had a good comeback. He was a fun guy, who always brought people back to a sense of humor and humanity. I will miss him terribly. He made our officials organization better by his presence on it."
Clark was also a leader within USA Wrestling, having been named USA Wrestling Official of the Year in 2008. He was active in USA Wrestling programs in Indiana and Ohio. Clark was also named Indiana State Wrestling Association Official of the Year in 2005, and the Indiana Interscholastic Athletic Officials Association Award for excellence in wrestling in 2007.
"He is one of the true 'good guys' in the sport. Tom's friendly and fun-loving spirit will be deeply missed," said USA Wrestling Executive Director Rich Bender. "He was a true lover of the sport, deeply committed to helping others. The thoughts and prayers of the entire wrestling community are with Tom's family at this difficult time of loss."
Clark is survived by his son, Hayden James Clark; a brother, Steve (Mary) Clark; niece, Catharine Clark; and great-nieces, Naomi and Miriam Robinson.