Ruth Buck Clark

  •  Ruth Buck Clark
    Ruth Buck Clark

 Ruth Buck Clark, 93, is walking now in the eternal garden. She had a lifelong love of nature and supported environmental conservation, as well as a love for books, music, history, genealogy, bridge, and bird-watching. She was married for 60 years to Forrest Clark, a World War 2 veteran and journalist.
Ruth’s fascination with botany led her to establish a herbarium, a plant collection project, at the Disney Wilderness Preserve in Kissimmee, Florida in 2002. She was nominated for the Jefferson Award for her volunteer work. She grew a jungle at their Florida home and wrote a nature column for six years. In 2010, she helped create a new herbarium at Steele Creek Nature Center in Bristol, Tennessee.
Ruth was a member of the Audubon Society, Friends of Steele Creek Park and Nature Center, and the Bristol Bird Club. She served as president of the Kissimmee Valley Audubon Society (FL) and the South Plainfield Historical Society (NJ).
Ruth was born in Orange, New Jersey, on June 18, 1926, the daughter of Clifford Wilbur Buck and Mary Kuehner Buck. In 1948, she graduated from the New Jersey College for Women, now Douglass College of Rutgers University, in New Brunswick, New Jersey. She belonged to Phi Beta Kappa.
Her love for people of all kinds brought her to an early rejection of racism. Her opinions appeared in the Bristol Herald-Courier’s Letters to the Editor section. She loved opera and classical music, but was also a big fan of country music. For years she attended the Congregational Church. With her husband she traveled around the United States, Great Britain, Switzerland, Norway, and the Caribbean.
Ruth was the glue that held the family together. She often worked to help support the family’s goals and kept a firm hold on the budget. In the early 1970s she was the manager of the Plainfield Book Shop (NJ).
Ruth was predeceased by her husband Forrest Stanley Clark, her parents and her brother, Daniel C. Buck. She is survived by her daughter Mary of Bristol, VA, son Gordon and wife Priscilla of Myrtle Beach, SC, granddaughter Lyndsay Mutter of Bristol, VA, and grandson Tyler Clark of Gray, TN, five great grandchildren, her nephews Peter Buck of Oregon, Steven Buck of Maryland, and niece Diana McClinton of North Carolina.
Ruth will be laid to rest with her husband at Mountain Home National Cemetery in Johnson City, Tennessee. A memorial service will be held later in Bristol. The family thanks Adrianne Hess for her help and support. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to Friends of Steele Creek Park and Nature Center.
Online condolences may be registered at
Arrangements have been made with Weaver Funeral Home and Cremation Services, Bristol, Tenn.