Henry DeClerck, a Hilt, Calif. native, passed away peacefully with his family by his side late Monday night, February 24, 2014 at Fern Gardens in Medford, Ore., just three months shy of his 87th birthday.
Henry was born May 26, 1927 in Hilt to Henry and Matilda DeClerck. He had a wonderful life growing up in Hilt, making many life-long friendships including meeting and marrying Marilyn Joyce Dunaway, whom he was able to enjoy a beautiful 47 years with. Marilyn was and always will be the love of his life.
Henry was proud to serve in the U.S. Army from 1945 to 1947. After giving his time in the military he went on to graduate from Sacramento City College. Henry then went to work for New York Life Insurance, owned Mobile gas Station, Tammy's Dress Shops in both Yreka, Calif. and Medford, Ore., Salty's Sea Food Restaurants in Medford, and Mobile Oil Bulk Plant. But his biggest achievement was starting DeClerck Enterprises in 1983. What started out as a single Taco Bell franchise in Yreka grew to include Round Table Pizza, Kentucky Fried Chicken, and the Wing Stop, along with real estate holdings. Henry's hard work and determination made DeClerck Enterprises one of the largest businesses in Northern California and the state of Oregon. Through his many business opportunities, Henry became a big supporter of youth sports in Siskiyou County, donating both his time and resources.
Everyone who knew Henry could not help but know how much he loved growing up in Hilt and his stories proved it. Even with his love of Hilt, hunting and fishing, the most important thing to him was his family. Henry was known for his one-liners and his witty sense of humor, as he always said, What are the three most important things to remember? God, your Country, and Poor Old Hank. He had an amazing spirit that followed him until the day he left us. He will always be remembered as the caring and giving person he was.
Henry is survived by his son, Steven DeClerck; his daughter, Dee Dee Lazaris; six grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents, Henry and Matilda; his wife, Marilyn; and his brother, Audomar. Henry never re-married.
Funeral services will be held at 1:00 p.m. Saturday, March 8, 2014 at the Girdner Funeral Chapel in Yreka, Calif. with Pastor Don Perdue officiating. Burial will follow in the family plot in the Henley-Hornbrook Cemetery in Hornbrook.
In lieu of flowers a memorial contribution can be made to the Alzheimer's Association at www.alzfdn.org or the American Heart Association at www.donate.heart.org Online condolences can be made at www.girdnerfuneralchapel.com.