Zachary James Clark
Jan. 25, 1986
March 6, 2017

Zachary James ClarkThe world lost one of the finest, most passionate souls on March 6, 2017, with the passing of Zachary James Clark, MD, who died after a brief, sudden illness. Zach (aka Clark) was a loving husband, brother, son and friend.

Zach was born on January 25, 1986, to his loving parents, Jim and Mary, and grew up in Oconomowoc. His life was a gift, realized early on when he beat leukemia as a child. He loved life and was driven to make life better for others. Zach had a special bond with his sister, Mackenzie, always protective of her and a proud big brother.

Zach took pride in his studies, beginning in his first school at St. Jerome’s Catholic School, followed by Oconomowoc High School, where he excelled in sports as well as academics. Zach attended the University of Wisconsin- Madison, studying neurobiology. It was here that he met so many of his life-long friends and "had the best time of his life." After graduation, it was not uncommon for him to walk around campus and the student housing reminiscing about all of the incredible memories forged during those four years, especially Badger game days. He would frequently wish that he could go back and live it all over again. During his freshman year living on Witte 4B, he would meet his best friend and future wife, Megan Gussick. His infectious laugh lead to numerous friendships and memorable gatherings including the infamous "Clark-a-palooza." In his sophomore year, he moved with four of his best friends into "the Mills House," a typical boys’ college apartment littered with empty cans, half eaten frozen pizzas and posters of Brittany Spears. For the next two years, these best of friends would work hard and play hard, ensuring that no passerby fell into the infamous "badger hole" out front.

After graduating from UW-Madison with Distinctive Scholastic Achievement and undecided about pursuing a Ph.D. to continue his neuroscience research or a MD, he pursued and obtained a master’s degree in neurobiology and physiology at Northwestern. His caring spirit lead him to medicine and he decided to become a physician and split his time between patient care and research. He joined Megan at the UW Medical School, graduating in 2013.

After seven years together, Megan and Zach were married on May 4, 2013, in the church with the red door on the square. Their wedding day was representative of their relationship together and with their friends and family; a day filled with love, laughter, dancing and culminating with the singing of Varsity. Their love for one another was recognized by everyone who knew them.

Throughout his many years of medical training, Clark always gravitated toward his true passion, research. With this love of research in mind, Zach pursued a career in radiology focusing his research on neuroradiology and vascular imaging. Even though he was not directly caring for patients, Clark never lost sight of the patients behind the imaging and the benefits his research could have to patients in the future.

In his far too short life, Zach lived a life full of lasting memories, laughter and love. He was an incredible best friend and dedicated husband to Megan and would have been an amazing father. Our lasting memories forged with Zach will never be forgotten and his infectious, staccato laugh will be ingrained in our memories forever.

"Wherever a beautiful soul has been, there is a trail of beautiful memories." Thank you, Zach, for the blessings you brought into our lives.

Zach is survived by his wife, Megan Gussick, MD; parents, Jim and Mary Clark; his sister, Mackenzie Clark; grandparents, Bernette O’Connor and Jim and Mary Ann Clark; Inlaws, Sharyn and Ron Gussick; Sean Gussick and Vasantha Aaron, and their daughters Neela and Asha; and Scott and Angie Gussick. He is further survived by many aunts, uncles and cousins.

Zach was preceded in death by his maternal grandfather, Harold O’Connor.

A celebration of Zach’s life was held on Friday, March 10, at Grace Episcopal Church in Madison.

Cress Funeral & Cremation Service of Madison, 608-2383434, is serving the family.

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