Sunday, December 14, 2003

Clark Millard, 62, helped people recover from addictions



By Nicole Hamilton
The Cincinnati Enquirer

BUTLER, Ky. - The tenants at Charlie's Three-Quarters House, a Clifton Heights shelter for recovering alcoholics and drug addicts, knew that if they didn't obey the house rules, their tough-as-nails director, Clark Millard, would send them packing.

They also knew he'd take them back in - no matter how many times they had been asked to leave.

"He had a big heart. He was just a great man who loved everybody, but he was also a no-nonsense kind of a guy," said Tom Scheffer of Loveland, a friend and member of the board of directors for Charlie's.

"Everybody living in the building either had to have a job, be looking for a job or be in school. If not, Clark would have them work. You just weren't allowed to sit around."

Mr. Millard died Sunday at his Butler home of a heart attack. He was 62.

A longtime employee of General Motors Corp., his last position with the company was as the employee assistance officer at the plant in Hamilton, where he offered support to workers struggling with alcohol or drug dependencies.

About 1993, after Mr. Millard retired from GM, he was asked to fill in as an interim director for Charlie's.

When he began at the shelter, it housed eight men in one building. Ten years later, Mr. Millard was still director of the house. Under his leadership, it grew to include three buildings that now house 53 tenants.

"Clark was the key to Charlie's success. He was the person on the front lines - getting things done, and he became the heart of it. People started staying longer because of the environment Clark created. He brought to it a sense of recovery and community," said his friend of 17 years, Jim Rombke of Anderson Township. "There are literally thousands of people that he helped."

He was a member of the Bob White Club in Claryville and of Mentor Baptist Church.

Survivors include his wife of 10 years, Darlene; a son, Clark III; two stepsons, Doug Meyer and Nicholas Meyer; a sister, Nancy Held; and his mother-in-law, Elizabeth Day. Services have been held. Burial was in Evergreen Cemetery, Southgate.

E-mail nhamilton@enquirer.com




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