Wessington native and Wessington High School graduate Dennis Clarke, Pierre, will be the speaker at the Wessington Community Center on Memorial Day, Monday, May 27 at 10:30 am.
Following high school graduation, Clarke continued his education at Northern State University, where he received his bachelor of science degree in education, with a major in biology. He earned a master’s degree in botany from the University of Wyoming, and completed his PhD at South Dakota State University in the field of agronomy.
He served in the US Army from 1968 to 1970, and is now a paid-up for life member of Pierre Legion Post 8.
He taught junior and senior high science courses at Kadoka, and then plant pathology and biology at SDSU.
He taught biology, human anatomy and physiology, microbiology and chemistry at Capital University Center in Pierre.
After a widely varied career in agricultural, environmental and natural resource concerns, Clarke retired in 2008, but remains active in these areas.
He has authored several scientific papers and publications and informational materials.
In his local community, Clarke is a member of Lutheran Memorial Church, Pierre, and has been a city council member, and has been a member of the Chamber of Commerce and Jaycees.
He is a member of the SD Natural Resources and Conservation State Technical Committee, and has been chair of several state and regional professional associations and committees. He is currently treasurer of the Children’s Care Hospital and School Foundation Board of Directors, and is on the Oahe Habitat for Humanity Board of Directors.
He is also a member of the Fraternal Order of Elks, and has served in numerous leadership positions, including Exalted Ruler at Pierre, and District Deputy Grand Exalted Ruler.
Clarke married Audrey Ohlson in 1967. He has a daughter, Andrea, and two grandsons. Following Audrey’s death, he married Joan Bortnem in 2007.
The Legion has been sponsoring Memorial Day services in Wessington for untold years. Again this year, the Legion will have a brief service at Rose Hill Cemetery at 9:30 a.m. on May 27.
The program will follow at the Wessington Community Center beginning at 10:30 a.m., with Dennis Clarke as speaker and music provided by SuAnne Meyer. A salute to deceased veterans will be held at the Wessington Cemetery after the program.
After the cemetery salute, everyone is invited to attend the potluck dinner at the Community Center.