St. Cyprian's Episcopal School students celebrate Lufkin man's 104th birthday

George Clark
George Clark
Daphene Clark
Daphene Clark

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - For the past ten years, students at St. Cyprian's Episcopal School in Lufkin have been celebrating George Clark's birthday. He is one of the founding members of the school's library.

His booming laugh and hearty smile can be seen and heard a mile away, and every day, the loveable family man proves that even at 104 years old, he has never looked better.

"It really doesn't feel like 104, it feels more like 120 right now," said Clark.

On Tuesday, Clark turned 104 years old, and kids from St. Cyprians brought him cake and balloons to honor the big day. Clark's first wife, Lillian, died in 1981. She was a librarian and in honor of her memory the school dedicated their new library, the Lillian A. and George L. Clarke library, in her name.

"For years, they have just been marvelously, wonderful supporters of our school and our library and it's just a way for us to give back to him. He's leaving such a legacy by doing all that he does for our school," said Susanne Lively, the school's librarian.

Clark says seeing the kids each year has been great.

"I think that was a wonderful thing to do. I like that library. It's a part of history," Clark said.

Madeleine McCollum, 10, has been celebrating Clark's birthday for several years throughout the school.

"I came for Dr. Clark's birthday two years ago for his 102nd birthday. We served him cake, I think it was carrot cake, and I just want to wish him a very happy birthday," McCollum said.

But the big delight on Tuesday was receiving a piece of cake from the kids.

"I like white cake with frosting on it, preferably chocolate, but it could be pink, it could be anything…it's always good if it's white," Clark said.

Born on Feb. 25, 1910 in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, Clarke calls himself a Yankee. He grew up in Minnesota moving to Alabama to work with the International Paper Company. He then moved to Lufkin to take over as Vice President of Operations for Southland Paper Mill. He traveled all across the country for work moving to New York, then British Columbia, Michigan and then Alabama again before he moved back to East Texas for good.

After Lillian died, Clark met and married Daphene, 97, who says their love is a true blessing.

"I love him because he is such an honorable good man and I appreciate him because he is one of the most intelligent people I've ever known," said Daphene.

The couple has been married for 31 years.

While Clark loves his birthday, his says the best part is playing bridge on Sundays with his kids.

"Ellen, and Susie play against George and I…my son, George and I  play together and every Sunday we play on the computer and we have a good game," Clark said.

The library has grown over the years, and now they have 25,000 books for students to read. Lively says Clark still continues to donate each year.

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