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Tom Clark Hospitalized, passes


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I spoke with Ian Willie and confirmed that Tom Clark has been hospitalized. They are running tests to try to diagnose the problem and he is reported as doing well.

Ian said that cards or letters would be appreciated. Send to

Tom Clark
20183 W. State Hwy. 8
Potosi, MO 63664

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just received an email stating that they have called in Hospice for Tom Clark. Cards can be sent to:
Ozark School of Blacksmithing, Inc
20183 W State Hwy 8
Potosi, MO 63664

Please, lets flood the place with them. I'm sure it will lift his spirits and I know he would appreciate any of them. If you were not blessed by knowing him you have truely missed out. Please pray.

I have put this thread here as more people will see it then if it was in the "Prayer List" section.

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We sat with Tom at quadstate, and he was very forthrite about what was going on, he also stated that he wanted to make amends to anyone he might have offended, he is a very decent guy who had the energy of 3 men on steroids when he was going full steam. I personally did not have anywhere near enough time to spend with him, and his loss will be huge. May the Lord bless him and embrace him.

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I met tom clark in april, 2002 when i bought a 50 kg sayha from him. he blew in...in tom clark fashion...set up the hammer, gave me a quick demo, talked me into taking his power hammer class that august, and was on the road in a heartbeat for another delivery. several weeks later i became aware of a knocking sound in the hammer. after numerous phone calls and tearing the hammer apart, i deduced what i thought the problem was. tom vigorously disagreed and said he would come to oregon after the abana conference to repair the hammer. i suggested he bring another hammer in the event his repair failed. tom wasn't happy, but did show up with another hammer on the truck.
he spent 2 long days tearing the hammer apart and repairing what he thought...ignoring what i thought... was the problem. he then pronounced the hammer repaired and turned it on. within 5 minutes it was obvious to me the problem was not solved. the knocking was back. tom thought i was nuts and argued forcefully that the problem was solved. we had a few words, tom offloaded the new hammer and left in a huff.
in august, not knowing what to expect from tom, i went to potosi for the class. i arrived sun afternoon and walked in the shop where the demo power hammer was running. after about 15 long minutes, tom greeted me and asked if i noticed anything upon entering the shop. i said the power hammer was knocking and had the same problem as my former hammer.
tom shook my hand and said that he owed me an apology and that my assessment of the problem was correct. apparently 8 or 10 of that batch of 12 hammers had the same problem. he had repaired my "old" hammer and i used it all week in the class. bill bastas and bob patrick were the instructors that week. bob now owns my former hammer. it's still running great.
my impression of tom changed dramatically during that week. i spent quality time talking with both he and thelma. they visited while in oregon, and while passing thru, tom stopped and upgraded my hammer at no charge. several months ago, i purchased the 60kg saymak. i wish tom could have delivered it.
we've kept in touch every couple of months, more frequently when abana was in the forefront of his mind. tom is a gentleman and i am a better person and blacksmith for knowing him. my heart goes out to both he and thelma. they are the salt of the earth.
john emmerling
gearhart ironwerks
gearhart, oregon

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One of the greats in ABANA died yesterday. You might pass that on to anybody who knew Tom. Tom had been very ill with cancer, in pain and had had problems similar to a stroke, though from different causes, and he would never have recovered, so his death was a mercy on him and his wife, Thelma.

Forwarded from
Bob Patrick

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There will be No funeral. but there is planned a memorial service.

Kate Denneen has asked that you DO NOT CALL Thelma Clark. Cards will be
welcome. Thelma has had a very rough month and especially the last two
weeks have been very tiring. She needs time to recover and heal. She will
have many decisions to make in the next month. Thank you for your

Cards can be sent to:
Thelma Clark, c/o Ozark School of Blacksmithing, Inc.
20183 West State Highway 8,
Potosi, Missouri 63664

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Tom was a great friend and mentor. from this day forth there will be a huge hole in the blacksmith world. Thelma and I thank you all for all your prayers and good thoughts. Thelma has requested no calls so she may have time to get herself togather. We will keep you posted on future plans for his memorial. It may not be till spring. thanks again Phil Cox

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I count myself as one of the lucky ones who knew Tom. He delivered one of his 50kg Saymak hammers to my shop after the ABANA conference in Seattle, and then I went to his school a couple of months later to learn how to use it. The class was taught by Bob Patrick, and Tom always quick to help out with demos or advice. He was the epitome of the Energizer Bunny both at the conference and at his school, but he would slow down to answer questions, offer advice, and kept an amateur like me out of trouble. When I learned from Bob Patrick that he was ill, I called to see how he was doing. He was very positive and upbeat. Tom wanted to know how I was doing more than talk about his situation. The blacksmithing community has lost a great friend. Tomorrow my anvil will toll for Tom using one the hammers he made. That hammer will be a good reminder of Tom, his skills, and boundless enthusiasm.

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