Mount Vernon News
  • B. Keith Clinker

  • January 27, 2011

MOUNT VERNON — Bernard Keith Clinker, 91, of Mount Vernon, died peacefully at Knox Community Hospital on Jan. 25, 2011.

He was born Dec. 25, 1919, in Silver Lake, Ind., to the late Dorsey and Matilda (Lamar) Clinker. During World War II, Keith served as a surgical nurse for the Army in England and France. Later, he earned a doctorate in education from Indiana University. His lifetime career in education included serving as a teacher and principal in public schools in Indiana and Ohio, and teaching at the University of Cincinnati and Eastern Nazarene College in Massachusetts. He was the first professor hired to teach at Mount Vernon Nazarene College when it began in 1968, where he worked as an education professor and in several other capacities until his retirement in 1984.

Keith was very involved in the local community. He was an active member of Lakeholm Church of the Nazarene. He enjoyed collecting books and researching local history. From 1970 through the early 2000s, he owned and operated Owl Creek Books, where friends gathered to chat and discuss favorite authors and other topics. His longtime interest in Knox County writers resulted in a compilation of biographical sketches of local authors from 1800 through 1950, and he was actively involved with the Knox County Historical Society.

Keith leaves a legacy among his students, friends and family. He was a lover of God and of nature, and a follower of Jesus. He spoke out as a Christian evolutionist, wrote poetry, loved life, and attempted to practice the presence of God.

He is survived by his loving wife, Mildred, whom he married Sept. 4, 1943; his son, Duane Clinker and wife Mary Curtin; his daughter, Vicki Snyder and husband Jim; his grandchildren, Julia Clinker-Gross and husband Teny, Nicole Jones and husband Ed, Conor Clinker, and Elizabeth Clinker; and his four great-grandchildren, John, Owen, Julian and Delaney. Keith was a man of deep spirituality and is also survived by many who treasure God’s love, seek understanding, and thirst for justice.

In addition to his parents, Keith was preceded in death by a brother, Leonard Clinker; and a sister, Inez Helser.

A memorial service in celebration of Keith’s life will be held Saturday, Jan. 29, at 10:30 a.m. at Lakeholm Church of the Nazarene, 16001 Glen Road, Mount Vernon. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Palliative Care Unit at the Knox Community Hospital or to a charity of one’s choice.

Private condolences may be expressed to the family at

The Snyder Funeral Homes of Mount Vernon are honored to have been chosen to serve the family of Bernard Keith Clinker.

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