In loving memory

Sign Guestbook Send Flowers

December 27, 1924 –  March 3, 2011 Nita Wiggs Clark of Commerce died at her home on March 3, 2011. Services will be at 3 p.m. Sunday at the First United Methodist Church in Commerce, with visitation from 2 to 3 p.m. prior to the service at the church.
R.W. Owens & Son Funeral Home of Wolfe City is in charge of arrangements

She was born Dec. 27, 1924, to Charles Benjamin and Stella Polley Cowan Wiggs and was raised in the Cross Timbers community south of Commerce. Nita was the fifth of six children in a family where hard work and education were of prime importance.

Nita attended the Cross Timbers School, a three-room schoolhouse with approximately 15 children per room. At the time one teacher taught multiple grades concurrently. Nita claimed that she was “never embarrassed at all to say I came from a three-room schoolhouse.” Nita excelled in school, winning the school reading contest as a third grader and also playing basketball in school against children from nearby communities such as Maloy.

Nita graduated high school in 1942 and recently recalled being a senior on Pearl Harbor Day, 1941, when her class was ushered into the school auditorium to hear President Roosevelt’s address to the nation.

Following high school, Nita attended East Texas State University where she earned her bachelor’s degree in only three years. All of Nita’s siblings attended the university where they became known for their dependability, both as students and as student-employees working toward their tuition and board.

Nita later earned her master’s degree in 1969 and went on to further post-graduate studies at ETSU. Nita recently commented that she “loved going to school.”

In 1945, upon graduating from college, Nita married James Whitley Clark Sr. following his discharge from the United States Navy.

Nita and James initially resided on Bonham Street in Commerce where James entered the family business with his father. Nita and James have three sons, James Whitley Clark Jr., Robert Wiggs Clark and John Charles Clark, all of Commerce.

Nita and James were very active in community life in Commerce. They felt a great responsibility to the community, and Nita was active in her children’s school, at church and in the business community. Nita was a founding member of the Friends of the Library (one of two remaining members along with Francis Hyatt), as well as a member of the Pallas Club and the Coterie Culture Club.

Nita recently expressed what a “group of good friends” she had in those organizations. Nita has said many times that her “great joys today are my family, my house and my yard.”

Many members of Nita’s family are interred at the Stewart Cemetery on Malo Road, and she had taken a vital role in seeing to the maintenance and upkeep of that cemetery for a number of years.

After 21 years as a homemaker, Nita returned to work as a teacher with the Commerce Independent School District. She loved teaching her students home economics and imparting her knowledge of practical home skills.

When asked about her personal characteristics, she cited “cleanliness and orderliness,” dependability” and maybe stubbornness.” All of her former students would most likely agree with her.

Surviving are sons and daughters-in-law Jimmy and Lou Ann Brown Clark, Robert and Carol Patterson Clark and John and Nocona Preas Clark, all of Commerce; grandchildren Chani Ann Clark McCoy of Holly Lake, James C. Clark of Alexandria, Va., Blake Clark of Plano, Eric Clark of Commerce and Ellie Nicole Crumbley of Commerce; a number of great-grandchildren and nieces and nephews — all of whom have been very important to her.

Nita was preceded in death by her husband; her parents and all five siblings, Ethel Rhea Wiggs Tidings who lived in Hobbs, N.M., Ruth Maureen Wiggs Henson who lived in Canyon, Elizabeth Virginia Wiggs Murcschel who lived in Bloomington, Ill., Ann Francis Wiggs Grayson who lived in Trinidad and Auby Lee Wiggs who lived in San Juan and Yantis.

Rather than flowers Nita expressed her wish that memorial donations be made to the Commerce Public Library.