The Rev. Dr. Peter Yuichi Clark, who felt called from an early age to serve people as a Christian minister and passionately and cheerfully followed that vocation throughout his life, died on December 6, 2019, at age fifty-four from complications of biliary tract cancer (cholangiocarcinoma) at his home in Alameda, CA.
At the time of his death, Peter held the positions of Director of Spiritual Care Services for UCSF Health at the University of California, San Francisco, and Professor of Pastoral Care at the American Baptist Seminary of the West, a member school of the Graduate Theological Union (GTU) in Berkeley, CA. A graduate of Plano (TX) Senior High School, Baylor University (B.A.), the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (M.Div.), and Emory University (Ph.D.), Peter was ordained by Seventh and James Baptist Church in Waco, TX; endorsed as a healthcare chaplain by the American Baptist Home Mission Societies; and held certifications from the Association of Professional Chaplains (APC) and the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education (ACPE). He received the PRIDE Award from UCSF in 2017; the Institutional Chaplain Merit Award from the American Baptist Churches USA in 2007; dissertation fellowships from the Lilly Endowment (through the Louisville Institute) and from the Civil Liberties Public Education Fund in 1999; and induction into Phi Beta Kappa in 1987—but he was proudest of being the husband of Tilly Roche Clark and the father of Adam Kiyoshi Clark.
Beyond his hectic work schedule and a commitment to research and writing, he enjoyed films and music of all kinds, cooking with Tilly, San Francisco Giants baseball, and being an eager student of subjects as diverse as psychology, constitutional law, history, Pure Land Buddhist teachings and practice, economics, astronomy, architecture, medicine, and current events. He was well known for his hearty laughter and welcoming presence, and he is survived by his beloveds Tilly and Adam; his mother, Shigeko Helt; his sister Carole Yoshie Clark; and a large web of family members, friends, former students, and colleagues whom he considered his companions on the journey. To the end, Peter remained thankful for their love and support, and he credits the compassionate care of many physicians, nurses, and others for extending his life.
A Celebration of Peter’s Life will be held on Tuesday, March 10, at 1:00 pm in Cole Hall at UCSF Health on the Parnassus Heights Campus. Cole Hall is located on the First Floor of the Medical Sciences Building at 513 Parnassus Avenue, San Francisco. A reception will follow in the City Lights Room Located on the First Floor of Millberry Union across the street. Attendees are requested to wear a festive color to celebrate Peter’s life and ministry (this was his specific wish).
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be sent to any of the following organizations that Peter served or supported: UCSF’s Spiritual Care Services (https://makeagift.ucsf.edu/spiritualcare), the UCSF Cancer Immunotherapy Program, (http://cancer.ucsf.edu/support/immunotherapy/donate), the American Baptist Seminary of the West (http://www.absw.edu), Amnesty International USA (http://www.amnestyusa.org), Habitat for Humanity (http://www.habitat.org), Bread for the World (http://www.bread.org), the Japanese American National Museum (http://www.janm.org), APC (http://www.professionalchaplains.org), or ACPE (http://www.acpe.edu).