Created January 16, 2018
- This eternal flame burns forever
- in remembrance of Dr. Thomas Bernard DeClerk
Dr. Thomas Bernard DeClerk
March 7, 1922 - January 10, 2018
Dr. Thomas Bernard DeClerk passed away January 10, 2018, at his home.
He was born March 7, 1922, in Pocahontas and was the seventh of eight children born to
Ben J. and Catherine Frangenberg DeClerk. He spent his boyhood growing up on “Catholic
Hill”. He was a member of St. Paul Catholic Church and attended St. Paul Parochial
School. He graduated from Subiaco Academy, where he earned awards in academics and
character. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry and a Doctor of
Medicine degree from the University of Arkansas and interned at St. Vincent Infirmary
in Little Rock. He enter the Army and served in the Army Air Corps and United States
Air Force, where he graduated from the School of Aviation Medicine and became a flight
surgeon during World War II. He later earned an underwater medicine certification.
After leaving the service, Dr. DeClerk returned to Pocahontas, where he practiced
general medicine, surgery, and obstetrics for 37 years, delivering approximately 2,500
babies. Early in his practice, he made many house calls to patients who were too sick or
otherwise unable to get to the clinic. In 1942, he married Ula Thennes and they became
parents of nine children. After the passing of his first wife, Ula, he married Kathleen
Kincaide. They were married until her passing in 2013.
Dr. DeClerk was very active in civic affairs. He was a member of the Kiwanis Club and
served as a board member for the Pocahontas Area Chamber of Commerce. He assisted
in organizing Planters and Stockmen Bank, where he served continuously as a director.
He also held the office of president and served as chairman of the Board of Director of the
bank. Dr. DeClerk served as president of the Randolph County Medical Society and was a
member of the Arkansas State Medical Society. He also served as chief of staff of
Randolph County Medical Center.
He was active in church affairs at St. Paul Catholic Church, where he was a member of
the Parish Council and sang in the church choir. He was a member of the Knights of
Columbus, serving as a Fourth Degree Knight and also as the Grand Knight. Before
attending medical school, Dr. DeClerk carried a journeyman’s card with the United
Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America, following in his father’s footsteps as
a finish carpenter. He kept his love of woodworking throughout his life, producing many
beautiful items, including a beautiful wooden canoe.
In addition to woodworking, he loved fishing, camping, and gardening. He could “fix
anything”. He loved having his entire family together. One of his greatest pleasures in hi
late years was visiting with former patients when out in the community. He was a man of
great character, integrity, and goodness, who contributed unceasingly to his community.
He is survived by seven of his nine children: Bernardine Cox (Ed), Susan Rice, Diane
Burnham (Jim), Thomas DeClerk Jr. (Phyllis), Martha Dust (Buck), Celeste Adams (John),
Charles DeClerk (Jo). He is predeceased by his two daughters, Clare Keltner and Celine
Adams and by Ula Thennes DeClerk and Kathleen Kincaide DeClerk. He is survived by 22
grandchildren; 17 great grandchildren; step-daughter, Debbie Flagg (Mickey) and 5 step-
The family wishes to extend a heartfelt thank you to all of his compassionate caregivers.
A tireless and dedicated servant who cared for many, Thomas passionately believed in
the love of Christ. He is at peace. Our only sorrow is for our loss.
All services will be at St. Paul Catholic Church. Visitation is Sunday, January 14, 2018
from 2:00 - 4:00 P.M. with a Rosary service immediately following at 4:00 P.M. The
funeral mass will be Monday, January 15, 2018 at 11:00 A.M. with Father Mariadass
Vallapaneni officiating. Burial in St. Paul Cemetery.
Though He's gone, He is not forgotten.
Though absent, He remains in spirit.
Though once a worker, He now rest.
by The Arkansas Good Sams
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