Landscapes 15

John Carey Clarke

August 25, 1947 ~ May 18, 2020 (age 72)

Obituary Image


John Clarke, 72, of Knoxville, TN passed away on Monday May 18, 2020 in his favorite place, Highlands, NC.  John was born August 25, 1947 in Winter Park, FL.  In 1952 his family moved to West Palm Beach, FL where he grew up.  A member of Kappa Sigma fraternity, he graduated from the University of Mississippi in 1972 with a degree in Business Administration.  After graduation John worked in the construction industry in West Palm Beach until he moved to Nashville, TN in 1976 to take a position as a bond underwriter with Continental Insurance.  During that time he met the love of his life, Elizabeth “Lissa” Brandon.  They moved to Knoxville, TN in 1980 and had two children.  John was an insurance agent during this time.  He purchased Home Investment Insurance in 1986 and John Bailey Company in 1997.  He later merged the two agencies into John Bailey Company.  The agency was founded in 1946 on integrity and care. Those traditions still hold true today. He loved his employees, the clients they help, the industry, and the insurance company relationships. He was a great businessman.

 John was admired and loved by his family and friends.  Most notably known for his huge heart, curious mind, incredible work ethic and infectious laugh.  He enjoyed walking, hiking, horseback riding, deep sea fishing, fly fishing, reading and spending time with his grandchildren.  He was a friend to all and someone you could always count on.  He was a member of the Church of the Ascension (Episcopal) in Knoxville, TN.  John leaves his wife of 43 years, Lissa Clarke, son Brandon and wife Lauren and daughter Jean Clarke Bainer and husband John Bainer.  He had four grandchildren who adored their “PJ”, Emerson, identical twins Taylor and Bankston Clarke and his grandson Austin John Bainer.  He is survived by brothers and their wives Dan and Mary Clarke and Fred and Elaine Clarke. He cherished moments with his nieces, Carey Aron, Kathy Bird, Stirling Halversen, Roddy Belfatti and their families.  His family made him proud. 


This has been a tough time for the family as his death was unexpected.  We take great peace and joy, however, in our time with John.  He was a great teacher, a positive cheerleader and the life of the party.  We all wanted to be around him.  Every day he would ask “You doing OK?”  He never missed an opportunity to tell us he loved us and was proud of us. 

A funeral service was held at 2:00 pm Saturday May 23, 2020 at the Episcopal Church of Incarnation, Highlands, NC. Burial was followed at the Highlands Memorial Park. 

A Celebration of Life service will be held in Knoxville, TN at a later date.


Well done, good and faithful servant. 

Bryant-Grant Funeral Home is serving the Clarke family. Online condolences can be made to


Donations may be made “In memory of John Carey Clarke” to the following organizations of choice:








                            Bell Tower Endowment



The Bell Tower Endowment (BTE) is an enduring legacy that provides funds for maintenance and capital improvements for our historic church and grounds for perpetuity. The BTE funds are kept separate from the church operating accounts. The principal continues to increase with good management and by regular additions through donations and bequests.

The monies contributed to BTE have been used for drainage around the chapel, new gutters on the chapel, computers, a new sound system, new lights in the Nave, painting the bell tower, air handlers on the roof, wireless microphones, roof repairs, etc.

Contributions to the Bell Tower Endowment (BTE) may be given in honor or memory of loved ones, for a birthday gift or just because!

Your gift will continue to grow and grace others long after you’ve gone. If you are interested in learning more about the Bell Tower Endowment, please contact Anne Jones at 770-262-2657. To donate, click here.

Mailing address:

The Church of the Incarnation, PO Box 729, Highlands, NC  28741



Ole Miss

The University of Mississippi

P.O. Box 1848, University, MS 38677 USA

(662) 915-7211

Please specify for the **School of Business Administration**


To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of John Carey Clarke, please visit our floral store.


Funeral Service
May 23, 2020

2:00 PM
Episcopal Church of Incarnation (NC)

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