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In Memoriam

Richard Clarke

In Memoriam:
Richard  Clarke
1960 – 2009

Richard Clarke passed away on May 29, 2009, after a long and courageous battle with the ravages of diabetes and the side effects of its treatment. 

 A long time resident of Tulsa, Mr. Clarke was born and raised in Wichita, Kansas.  His family flew private aircraft often, and instilled in him an early love of flying.  After graduating from Wichita State University, with an emphasis in Aviation Management, Mr. Clarke attended the University of Tulsa College of Law.  Although he had originally planned to become a fighter pilot for the military, Mr. Clarke liked to say that, “God had a much better plan in store.”

 Mr. Clarke practiced law for over twenty-four years.  During that time, Mr. Clarke served as an Assistant Public Defender and, later, he was appointed as a Special District Judge in Tulsa County, where he served in various courts for almost eleven years, being one of the youngest attorneys appointed to this position in Tulsa.  After leaving the Bench, Mr. Clarke further expanded his experience by working with a large local corporation in the area of commercial contracts before joining the firm of Barber & Bartz in 2001.  During his career at Barber & Bartz, Mr. Clarke concentrated his practice in the area of family law.  He was frequently appointed by the Courts as a Guardian ad Litem for children and as a Parenting Coordinator in domestic cases.

While serving his tenure in Juvenile Court, however, he had seen firsthand the plight of children that have been abused by those that are supposed to care for them.  This was his call to arms, and he began serving on several community agency boards that provide invaluable services to these children.  These have included, over the years, Court Appointed Special Advocates, Child Abuse Network, Children’s Services Advisory Board and the Tulsa County Bar Associations Children and the Law Committee.  He also served on the Board of Heritage Family Services, a Christian adoption agency.  He was a fierce advocate for children.

Soon, however, this type of community service was not enough.  So, after being married for six years, Mr. Clarke and the love of his life, Kathy, decided to begin building their family through adoption.  Over the years, God gave them the opportunity to bring nine wonderful children into their family.  They will be his ultimate legacy.  He will be greatly missed by our firm.