Ed Clark, the man whose year round Christmas display attracted thousands, will be laid to rest Friday in a full military burial at Fort Sam Houston.
Since the late 1980s, the former Army Master Sergeant and three-time Bronze Medal recipient has invited people to his Northeast Side home to see his elaborate Christmas display that covered nearly every inch both inside and out.
“There would be mariachi out front and the street was full of people,” recalls neighbor, Natalia Banuelos.
Starting around Dec. 1 every year, Clark would light up his home and hand out candy to children who came to visit with their families.
And if visitors wanted to see the lights any other time of year, he made it happen.
“If we had people come to visit, he would open his house for me and turn on all the lights,” said Baneulos. “He was just a great man, awesome man. All the kids loved him.”
It wasn’t just the amount of decorations that impressed Clark's visitors, but also the reason for the display.
After his wife died from kidney failure in 1983, he set up the decorations to carry on her Christmas spirit.
“It just shows how much love he had for her,” said Mike Townsend, who came by to see what’s left of the decorations after hearing of Clark’s passing.
“As my dad said, she loved Christmas and I loved her,” said Susan de Rojas, Clark’s daughter.
“He was just giving, all around, no matter what,” said neighbor Maria Dolores-Cerna.
But now the lights at his house have dimmed, and with no one in town to care for it, Clark’s family plans to sell the home.
“What I would like for everyone to know is that even though he gave a lot to them, they gave so much more to him that they don’t even know," de Rojas said.
"I can’t even imagine next Christmas to not see his house lit up," said Cerna.
"We'll miss him. We'll miss Mr. Clark for sure," Townsend said.
Clark will be laid to rest Friday morning at 10 am at Fort Sam Houston’s shelter 3. Clark’s family says the service is open to all.