The St. Francois County Sheriff’s Department suffered the loss of one of their longtime deputies Monday morning. Deputy Paul “Clubber” Clark, 55, died unexpectedly while at home with his family.

Sheriff Dan Bullock said it is a tremendous loss for the department.

“Everyone knows him by Clubber, and he was a veteran police officer for the county,” said Bullock. “He also worked for Park Hills Police Department for a few years before he came to the county. He was a really good officer and did his job. He also has been a really good friend and has been involved in Shop With a Cop and BackStoppers.”

Bullock added Clark would do anything to help the sheriff’s department get things done.

“Most recently he has been doing civil service, but over the years he has been a road officer and has done a little bit of everything … all the different positions throughout the years,” said Bullock. “He had back surgery on Thursday last week and he was on leave for it. He was actually home (Monday morning) and was sitting in his recliner when it happened.”

Bullock said the ambulance crew worked for an hour trying to revive him and rushed him to the emergency room but he didn’t make it.

The sheriff added he isn’t sure what the cause of death is at this time, but is confident an autopsy will be performed. Clark was married and has two kids. He was hired into the St. Francois County Sheriff’s Department on August 19, 1998

St. Francois County D.A.R.E. Officer Deputy Gary Carver worked closely with Clark and said he thought Clark served as a police officer for 25 years or more.

“He was just a decent kind guy who was honest to a fault,” said Carver. “You could call him at 2 a.m. for a roof leaking or something and Paul is the kind of guy who would come out to be right there to help you out. If you needed anything … he’s the guy if he’s got it or if he could find it or if he could help you with it, he’s the guy who would do that.”

Carver added Clark will be missed by everybody. He was well-liked and an extremely hard worker.

“He was an honest guy and again, if someone needed a pick-me-up or some help around the department Paul is the guy who would step in and lend a hand,” said Carver. “I know his family will miss him and Paul has a lot of friends that were there (Monday morning) and those folks are going to miss him. He is the kind of quality person that you would want as a neighbor.”

“His loss was very unexpected. He was with me for three days the week before and he had this surgery coming up,” said Carver. “All he wanted to do was recover and get back to work. We talked about it for those three days we spent in the car together and he said ‘I want to get this surgery behind me and I just want to get back to work’. That’s the kind of work ethic and value that Paul had.”

Recently it was discovered Clark had a broken back as result of injuries he received when a suspect attempted to run him over with a stolen pick-up truck while attempting to flee the scene of a traffic stop in Desloge on Oct. 27, 2015.

Bullock said BackStoppers has already contacted him and he will be talking to them about getting help for the family since the injuries occurred while on duty. As of press time there had not been any funeral arrangements announced.