John H. Clark Jr., 82, of Wallingford, a Delaware County lawyer and avid historian, died of pancreatic cancer Saturday, Dec. 4, at the Taylor Hospice Residence in Ridley Park.

Mr. Clark's career spanned 58 years and included stints as solicitor for Tinicum Township and Folcroft and Norwood Boroughs. He never retired, remaining "sharp as a tack" until his death, a family friend said.

Born in Chester, Mr. Clark was a lifelong resident of Delaware County. A 1945 graduate of St. James High School in Chester, he earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Pennsylvania, where he joined Pi Gamma Mu, an international honor society in social sciences.

In 1952, he graduated cum laude from Penn's School of Law. He was a member of the Law Review and the Order of the Coif.

Upon graduating, Mr. Clark joined the Air Force Reserve as a first lieutenant in the Judge Advocate General's Corps. He was called to active duty during the Korean War, and remained in the Air Force Reserve until 1982, when he retired as a major.

He began a law practice in Chester in 1952 and was joined by his wife, Esther Giaccio Clark, in 1966. They practiced together until she became a law school professor at Widener University in 1976. In 1979, Mr. Clark moved his office to Ridley Park, where he practiced until his death.

Mr. Clark was a member of the Delaware County Bar Association for 56 years and saw his wife become the association's first female president. He served as a hearing committee chairman with the Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania and was a former member of the House of Delegates of the Pennsylvania Bar Association.

He was a John F. Kennedy delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1960.

Mr. Clark was president of the Delaware County Historical Society, a member of the Nicholas Newlin Foundation, and president of the Chester Pike Rotary Club. He volunteered as an interpreter at Independence National Historical Park for 12 years. Until recently, he was on the board of directors of the Lindsay Law Library at Widener University and the Taylor Community Foundation.

When his wife became a law professor at Roger Williams University School of Law in Bristol, R.I., they divided their time between here and Rhode Island. Mr. Clark was a Phillies fan and enjoyed trips to Atlantic City.

His wife of almost 48 years died in 2002. Mr. Clark is survived by a daughter, Jacqueline Clark Gilleland; and a granddaughter.

Visitation will be from 8:45 to 10 a.m. Friday, Dec. 10, followed by a Funeral Mass at Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church, 30 E. Franklin St., Media.

Memorial donations may be made to the Taylor Community Foundation, Box 227, Ridley Park, Pa. 19078.

Contact staff writer Bonnie L. Cook at 610-313-8232 or bcook@phillynews.com.