Oro Valley resident Will Miles Clark, D.D.S., will be 108 years old on Aug. 17, but last week, the staff and residents at Fairwinds Desert Point threw him a festive party with drinking, dancing, and singing, which is a lot in comparison to his day-to-day lifestyle.
When Clark, who stands at about 5-feet, 7-inches, was asked how he spends his days, he had a very simple answer.
“Well, I’ll tell you, it helps when you’re retired when you’re slow, inefficient and lazy. And you always have something to do. So I have my desk in there and I am always behind with my bookkeeping. So I am never bored for a minute’s time,” he said with a slight smile on his face.
Aside from keeping up with his mail and bookkeeping, Clark always likes to be reading a book. He prefers biographies, autobiographies and history books.
“I will tolerate a history novel at times. These stories they make up. I like to read the real stuff that some guy really experienced,” said Clark.
Clark’s life lends itself to reading real-life experience books, seeing as in his lifetime he has lived through and experienced and recalls numerous events.
One memory that came up was that of his wife Lois, who died at the age of 103. The two had been married for 76 years. Below his television sat a coffee mug with four pictures of Lois, all in different stages of her life. One from when she was holding their first child, who is now 77. Another photo was taken in the middle of her life along with another one, which was taken some time later. The fourth photo was taken on Lois’ 100th birthday.
He still speaks very highly of her and how their marriage lasted for so long. He feels blessed that he got to spend that much time with the woman he loved.
Clark also talked about a friend who recently passed away. He was one of the best friends he had ever had, but had only known him for two years. Both bonded with the fact that they had each lost their wives after years and years of marriage.
That, for Clark, is one of the downsides of living longer than others.
When asked how he deals with the loss of loved ones, Clark said, “Now that’s a good question, and one that I cannot answer.”
After Clark spoke about the time he got to spend with his friend and how even though it was short, it was quality time, he had his answer.
“It’s depressing, but it is a fact of life and you’re not going to change it. So you have to accept it,” he said.
While accepting that unfortunate fact of life, Clark makes the best of it by meeting with friends from his retirement community and others. He jokes and says, “We just sit around and tell each other big, ol’ lies.”
Later this month, for his 108th birthday, Clark and his three kids, and their families, are planning to take a trip to Colorado. Between his two sons Terry, 77, Max, 70, and his daughter Kae, 73, Clark has seven grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.
“I just hope to keep living the way I have. This is a wonderful place to live and hope to live here the rest of my life. I can’t do a lot of traveling but plan to do a little of traveling,” Clark said.
During his retired life, Clark played a little golf. He shot his age starting at the age of 75 and he once hit a hole-in-one. During his employed years, he worked as a dentist during a time where they would re-sharpen the needles and tools they would use and they reuse them. And during his time as a dentist, they started using anesthetics for dentistry.
A lot of things have changed in his former profession since he retired and quite a few common-day items have been created during his lifetime.
The year Clark was born, the tea bag was invented. When he was a 1-year-old, Albert Einstein published his theory of relativity. Crossword puzzles were invented when he was 9. In his 20s, spiral notebooks, television, penicillin and Scotch tape were invented. From the ballpoint pen to the Colt revolver, and from the atomic bomb, to the modern-day computer, all of them have been invented during Clark’s lifespan.