Several notable Houston area and Harris County residents passed away this week, including a professor, a centenarian, a public servant and a World War II secretary.
Here are some of the lives lost this week in Houston:
Thomas D. Clark Jr., 96
Thomas D. Clark Jr. of Seabrook, Texas, died December 4, 2021, at the age of 96, leaving behind a son, daughter, four grandchildren and four great-grandchildren, according to the Houston Chronicle. He was born in Kentucky and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana, where he met his late wife, Betty Ann Spell Clark, at the University of Southwestern Louisiana while he was working toward his mechanical engineering degree.
Clark taught at his alma mater in Lafayette, Louisiana, before moving to Annapolis, Maryland with his family to work as a civilian professor at the U.S. Naval Academy. The family moved to Seabrook, Texas in 1968 when Clark accepted a teaching position at the University of Houston. He retired from the university at age 75, his obituary says.
“Tom’s hobbies included photography, sailing and tinkering with projects in his workshop,” his obituary says. “He enjoyed the challenge of constructing or repairing items for friends and family.”
Clark supported charities including The Star of Hope Mission, the Houston Food Bank, and The Nature Conservancy, the obituary says. His family asked that a charity donation be made in lieu of flowers.
Anna A. Deden, 96
Anna A. Deden of Conroe, Texas, died December 4, 2021, at age 96, less than two weeks from her 97th birthday, according to Legacy.com. Deden left behind two sisters, two daughters, three grandchildren and one great-grandson. She was preceded in death by her husband of 65 years, John T. Deden, her obituary says.
Deden was raised in Madill, Oklahoma, and was valedictorian of her graduating class at Madill High School, her obituary says. She worked as a secretary during World War II and went on to work as an accountant and a tax preparer throughout her career, the obituary says.
“However, she always felt that her primary job was taking care of her family which she did with much love. Her smile was unmistakable when she was with her grandchildren,” her obituary says. “She was a devoted wife, loving mother and grandmother and faithful Christian. She also loved to sing, sew, cook, and garden.”
Virginia Elick, 103
Virginia Elick of McKinney, Texas, survived the Spanish flu and polio outbreaks, living to age 103 and raising four children, her obituary says. She died December 3, 2021.
Elick attended McKinney Business School in 1937 and met her husband of 62 years, Jerry Elick, at an agricultural department meeting, the obituary says.
Elick was a stay-at-home mother and “was very busy attending to the activities of her children hosting numerous birthday parties and serving as homeroom mother,” cooking three meals a day every day of the week, her obituary says.
“She spoiled her family with delicious meals especially her recipe for Cornbread dressing & the many holiday feasts served,” her obituary says.
Elick helped to form the Bluebonnet Society in 1983, an organization that raised funds for local charities, and remained active until her death, her obituary says.
Gary Stobb, 73
Gary Dale Stobb of Dripping Springs, Texas died December 6, 2021, at age 73, according to Legacy.com. He left behind his wife of 53 years, Jerrie Albin Stobb, a daughter, a son, and six grandchildren.
Stobb was a civil engineer and an avid traveler, his obituary says. He served Harris County as the director of the Harris County Toll Road, the deputy director of Harris County Flood Control and the deputy director of the Public Infrastructure Department, according to his obituary, in addition to years working with Texas Parks and Wildlife and a restoration project on the Battleship Texas.
“He was an avid driver who loved to travel and explore the roads of United States from Alaska to Maine searching for interesting geological attractions,” his obituary says. “He was also handy with all things mechanical.”