Robert B. Clark, 92

Robert Clark

DENMARK — It is with heavy hearts that the Clark family conveys the passing of their much-loved father, Robert Burrell Clark, 92, at his home on Moose Pond in Denmark, Maine on the morning of Jan. 16, 2019, exactly six months before his 93rd birthday. He was ill for over four years, hanging on for some questionable reason. Some might wonder that he feared passing before his beloved wife, Dorothy, a mere 91 days before he did, as young Robert was known as a mischievous boy, skipping school at a young age and, therefore, hoping that she paved a path direct to her.

Born on July 16, 1926, in Melrose, Mass., Robert was the valued son of the late E. G. and Ruth Clark, and the adored younger brother of the late Lucille Taylor, previously from Saratoga Springs, N.Y., and the older brother of the late Nancy “Peanut” Wetterer, previously of Hopkinton, N.H.

During World War II, Robert was a tail-gunner on a Martin Mariner PBM-3 and, in part, responsible for the sinking of a German submarine off the southern coast of the United States. It was upon his return from WWII that Robert met Dorothy, then a roommate of “Peanut” at Tufts University, who was visiting his family home in Melrose. I’d like to think it was love at first sight, for, as I have learned through the years, Robert was a romantic of great proportion. He and Dorothy celebrated their seventieth wedding anniversary this past August 27th.

Robert was a Renaissance man in that he was, by day, an insurance underwriter, but excelled at many things. First, he had a wonderful ability to be at one with his children, behaving much like a child himself and ultimately being a devoted dad. On the events that he had to be a disciplinarian, he would send the child in need of “behavioral correction” to bed without dinner, then, later in the evening, when the kitchen was quiet, he would prepare and sneak them their favorite food. So much for discipline…He taught each of his children to water ski, standing in the water supporting them for what seemed hours, always encouraging, until they were successful in keeping the skis on their feet. He was also the builder of the family’s second home on Moose Pond.

While sorting through his personal documents, his very detailed floor plans and list of cost by item were discovered. The home still stands strong and sturdy. In his retirement he revived his outstanding carving skill. As a young man at Colgate University, while being a young father, he dismantled an old blanket chest and used the top of it for carvings of waterfowl and bird scenes. Later in life, he carved multiple birds, ducks and, his favorite, the loon. Whenever he entered some of his carvings to the Fryeburg Fair, he inevitably won. Many asked to purchase the carvings; the answer was always “no.” Thought is that he was very humble and was uncomfortable placing a cash value, however, he never failed to present them, inscribed, as gifts.

Another noteworthy talent of his was his relationship with animals. There was once a red squirrel that would climb into his shirt pocket, take the waiting peanut, then sit on his lap while devouring it. There was “Big Boy,” his committed Canada goose who would, through the years, sit by his side while enjoying the afternoon sun. Big Boy always brought his brood around to show off to Robert. He and Dorothy both enjoyed the evening event of a beautiful red fox, that he would feed nightly. She was a gift with perfect timing as she came around shortly after losing his beloved Siberian Husky, Nanook. His request that her ashes be combined with his has been fulfilled.

A humorous trait of Robert’s was his propensity of nicknaming people close to him. Two favorites were his niece, Wendy, to whom he referred as “Breezy” and the daughter of his very close friend, Pete, who was “Boog” due to her being so afraid of the “boogie-man.” There were many others, another niece: Kiss-Me-Kate and grandchildren: Boo, Kerry-Ann-Higgins, Rifer-saver, Spach, Katrina; children: Moose, Janette-Mon-Cherie, the list goes on…He was nicknamed by his grandchildren, first by some as Big Bob, then others as Biggie Bob, and, lastly, as Mickie Bob, due to his retiring in Florida where Mickie Mouse was to be found. There is some irony that he held all three of these titles as he was always a child at heart. Even in his final years with the inability to verbalize, he was still able to laugh.

Robert was the last of siblings and their spouses, the last of Dorothy’s siblings and their spouses and the last of most of his friends. Robert leaves behind a legacy of family members: Linda Higgins, husband Barry; Diane Munson, husband Sam; Cynthia Arvanites, husband Peter; Janet Clark; Andrew Brooks Clark, wife Debra; 15 grandchildren; 21 great-grandchildren; nieces and nephews and their children. He had an enormity of friends, local neighbors. We will all miss this wonderful man but, with much hope, he is now with his beloved Dorothy.

The family has decided to celebrate the lives of Robert and Dorothy together in the summer at their home on the lake. If considering a donation in Robert’s name, please consider a hospice care facility. The family is grateful for the care that the staff at Beacon Hospice of South Portland and FirstLight Home Care, specifically Adam and Christine. With help from them, the family was able to grant his wish for being in his home until he passed.

Arrangements have been entrusted to Wood Funeral Home, 9 Warren Street, Fryeburg, Maine. To send words of condolences online, please visit www.woodfuneralhome.org

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