Hometown News For Orange County, Texas

Graham Warren Clarke II, 81, formerly of Orange

Graham Warren Clarke II passed away on February 20, 2024, at Baylor Scott & White All Saints Medical Center in Fort Worth, Texas of complications due to heart failure. He was born in Berea, Ohio to Blanche Ethel Apsey and Warren Olsaver Clarke on January 14, 1940. In 1943 the family moved to Lake Charles, Louisiana where his father worked in the wartime chemical industry. The family moved to Orange, Texas where he graduated in 1958 from Lutcher Stark High School. He then attended North Texas State University, receiving his Bachelor of Music in Organ Performance in 1962. Due to his academic and musical accomplishments, Graham received the prestigious Presser Scholarship Award at the end of his junior year. Later that year, he enlisted in the military where he served in the United States Army Security Agency as a specialist in communication intelligence. He was stationed at the Clark Air Base in the Philippines, decoding wartime North Vietnamese wire traffic. He then began his teaching career at Gainesville, Texas Middle School. In 1970 Graham completed his master’s in music with minors in Music Theory and English, again at NTSU.

Graham’s teaching career was in various Dallas area public and private schools, covering a variety of subjects in both Spanish and English, in addition to music education. In 1973 & 1976 he received additional teaching certificates in math, science, social studies, reading and language arts. He was awarded Teacher of the Year in 1984.

In his musical profession Graham became organist and choir director at Church of the Holy Cross, Dallas in 1969-70, serving until its eventual closure in 2021.

Graham enjoyed traveling throughout the Midwest and Northeast regions by car every summer. He had a strong interest in family history and Civil War history. He developed a passion for cycling after a particular visit to his doctor who recommended an exercise program due to a congenital heart defect. Graham began biking vigorously on and off road. He joined the League of American Bicyclists and enjoyed participating in biking tours throughout the United States.

Over the years Graham’s quiet warmth and friendliness, quick-witted humor and various interests earned him a wide circle of lifelong friends. He was an active member of the American Guild of Organists, Classroom Teachers of Dallas, and TOMFRA – Texas Old Mission and Forts Restoration Association.

Graham is survived by his niece, Jeana Elizabeth Clarke of Fort Worth, Sister-in-law Helen Jo Clarke of Carrollton, as well as cousins in the Midwest and Northeast with whom he remained in touch until his last days. He was preceded in death by his brother, Michael Apsey Clarke. The service will be held on April 6th at 2:00 p.m. Saint Mathew’s Episcopal Church in Dallas, Texas. Please direct donations to The American Heart Association.


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