Clark, Dennis Lee
July 7, 2020, age 78
TWIN FALLS—Dennis Lee Clark, 78, of Twin Falls (and formerly Buhl) passed away July 7 at home with his loving wife of 56 years, Donna, at his bedside.
He was born September 21, 1941, in Jane, MO to George and Beulah (Ford) Clark. In 1946, the family moved to Castleford, Idaho, where they resided for three years before moving to Buhl. Dennis graduated from Buhl High School in 1960. In November of the same year, he met the woman with whom he would share the remainder of his life, Donna Pinkston. Dennis and Donna were married June 5, 1964.
While in school, Dennis embarked on his lifelong passion with trucks. Early on, he custom hauled potatoes and bucked hay. In the mid 1960′s he began to haul corn during the Green Giant harvest. Later, he and his father George started to expand their respective businesses to haul silage produced from the corn to local beef feedlots and to the budding dairy industry. Nary a husk nor a corncob hit the slab on their watch. In the 1980s, Green Giant’s merger into Pillsbury brought additional opportunities and expansion as the Buhl facility became a regional distribution center. Dennis was awarded contracts to service the newly formed membership warehouses of Price Club and Costco and transported 800+ loads annually into California and Arizona. His on-time delivery percentage was consistently one of the highest in the nation.
Dennis also played a pivotal role in the development and expansion of the aquaculture industry in the Magic Valley. In the early 1970′s, he worked with local trout processors to provide weekly transport of refrigerated product into the Los Angeles marketplace. This quickly grew to twice weekly, then expanded to the San Francisco Bay area and later to the East Coast. At the same time, they added service to the Salt Lake City airport. His commitment to working through challenges brought on by growth and changes in these marketplaces allowed “the Trout Capital of America” to strengthen and solidify its position over nearly five decades.
Dennis’ passion for trucks was eclipsed only by his love for cars. Throughout his high school years and into the 1960′s, Dennis built and drag raced cars with others in the area. The Syndicate, as they came to be known, spent many a late weekend evening cruising Main and selecting rural roads on which to challenge one another. His 1932 Ford Coupe was often the bane of other racers throughout Southern Idaho.
Time away from work was frequently spent combing swap meets and wrecking yards with fellow car enthusiasts. For nearly three decades, “The First Saturday in April” was spent at the Portland Swap Meet. While Dennis enjoyed many makes and models, he was particularly fond of both high performance muscle cars and, later in life, low production / rare equipped combination autos. He was particularly fond of Chevys and built / restored cars in model years from 1955 through 1962. He was an active member of the Magic Valley Early Iron car club and participated in many local car shows and events.
Through all of his adventures, Donna was his constant companion. They worked together their entire careers – he ran the trucking operation while she ran the office. A shared passion for collecting led them to hundreds of antique malls and shows in search of the next ‘great find,’ and they were fortunate to enjoy traveling with friends and family throughout the United States and abroad.
Dennis is survived by wife Donna Clark of Twin Falls, Idaho, sons Tracy (Serena) Clark of Twin Falls and Brian Clark of Merritt Island, Florida, grandchildren Kathryn Clark (Twin Falls), Sydney and Kellen Clark (Merritt Island), sister Linda (Wayne) Stahlecker of Filer, Idaho, brothers- and sisters-in-law Dean and Karen Brown (Spokane Valley, WA), Calvin and Carolyn Pinkston (Boise, Idaho), and Maria and Rob Young (Mesa, AZ), and six nieces and nephews. Dennis is also survived by many friends. A remarkable feature of Dennis’ life was his long-lasting friendships: from the early days of ‘The Syndicate,’ to friends made combing junk yards, to more than 40 years of morning coffee. He was preceded in death by his parents, his brother Fred, and several close friends.
Funeral services will be at Noon on Wednesday, July 15 at Parke’s Funeral Home, 2551 Kimberly Road, Twin Falls, Idaho, with a viewing prior to the service from 10-Noon. Due to the increase of COVID-19 infections throughout our area, those attending the viewing or funeral are asked to wear a mask and practice social distancing. For those unable to attend in person, a live webcast will be available via Zoom at (https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81199848737). In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to your local food bank.
Those who wish may share memories and condolences on his memorial page at magicvalleyfuneralhome.com.