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March 29, 1945 – February 12, 2023

Mr. Joseph Raymond Clarke, Jr., of Chesterfield, VA, departed this life Sunday, February 12, 2023, at Chippenham Medical Center, Richmond, VA. He was born in Chesterfield County, VA on March 29, 1945, and was the oldest of five children under the union of the late Joseph Raymond Clarke, Sr. and Evelyn Estelle Clarke. Along with his parents, he was preceded in death by his brother, Lionel Bruce Clarke and Wayne Terence Clarke.

At an early age, Joe accepted Christ and was baptized at the historic First Baptist Church in North Chesterfield, VA

Joe attended the G.W. Carver High School where he often mentioned the late principal, W.A. Brown, and Mrs. Pauline A. Graham, teacher, who made a great impact on him as they were “stern” educators who didn’t allow much horseplay in class. Subsequent to high school, Joe was drafted in the United States Army for two years and was stationed in California. Once returning home, he was later employed at Honeywell (formally known as Allied Chemical Corporation) where he worked for 30 years until his retirement in December of 1999. 

Out of the union of Joe and Marchia was born one daughter, Tisha B. Nicholson (Marion) and fast forward years later, grandchildren, Camille and Marion Jr. “MJ” were born. His grandchildren gave him a reason “to live his best life”, as he adored them. He was known as “Little Papa” and visited them every weekend, bringing them toys, telling them stories of his childhood with his siblings, exhibiting his Soul Train dance moves, and many other tall tales. They loved their “Little Papa” and spending time with him was ideal.  

Joe’s life was filled with the best circle of caring and devoted friends. Although divorced, his ex-wife, Marchia remained a dependable confidant and support. Their friendship was a source of comfort and joy as they proudly participated in the activities of their grandchildren. Joe was also an avid car enthusiast who loved Westerns and James Brown. He enjoyed drag racing and attended several car events and shows with his devoted friend, Greg Campbell. He also loved fine southern cooking and his friend, Nelson Fegans made the absolute best Brunswick Stew. His friend, Sissy Crytser brought joy and care to his life playing cards and watching the games. All of his long-term friends played an integral part of his life prior to and during his sickness.

Joe was a kind and loving family member and leaves to cherish his memory: his former wife, Marchia T. Clake; their child, Tisha Nicholson (Marion); brother, Michael S. Clarke; sister, Cynthia Harvey (Joseph); nieces, Michelle Clarke, Kim Akers, Ashley Harvey, and Shauniece Harris; nephew, Gil Clarke; cousin, Melany Clarke-Moore; devoted friends, Jerry and Nadine Nicholson; his G.W. Carver High School classmates, his Food Lion management and coworkers, and a host of other relatives and friends.

Graveside services will be held 1:00 PM, Monday, February 20, 2023, at Sunset Memorial Park, 2901 W. Hundred Road, Chester, VA.

J.M. Wilkerson Funeral Establishment, Inc., 102 South Avenue, Petersburg, VA, (804) 732-8911, watch the funeral services live online at