Obituary: Edward (Ed) Perry Clarke, long-time Noroton Yacht Club member, Person-to-Person volunteer
Edward (Ed) Perry Clarke of Darien, died peacefully of natural causes June 1, at Atria Senior Living in Darien, where he had lived since 2003. He was 94.
Mr. Clarke was born in Mount Vernon, New York, on May 7, 1922, the son of the late Gilmore David Clarke and Emma Vought Clarke. His father was a landscape architect, who was instrumental in planning many of the parkways in the New York area and who served as chair of the National Commission of Fine Arts from 1937-1950. He grew up in New Rochelle and Pelham, New York, and graduated from Pelham Memorial High School in 1939.
A 1943 graduate of Cornell University, Mr. Clarke was a member of the Delta Phi fraternity, the freshman 150-pound crew, and the ski team. Following the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor, he joined the ROTC, and on graduation, the US Army. He transferred from a field artillery unit to the Army Air Corps, where he became a pilot and flight instructor for B25 bombers. The war ended before his scheduled overseas assignment, and he left the service in 1945 with the rank of second lieutenant.
Mr. Clarke had a 40-year career with the Turner Construction Company, beginning in 1945 as a timekeeper on a large building project in Parkersburg, West Virginia. He served in capacities of increasing responsibility on building projects in several locations in the eastern US, worked as an executive in the company’s main New York office, and ultimately retired in 1985 from his position as senior vice president for corporate operations.
An avid sailor, Mr. Clarke was a long-time member of Noroton Yacht Club in Darien, where he raced Solings and Sonars and participated in many club cruises and races on his Pearson 35, Chandu. He served the club as commodore from 1986-88. He was also a member of The Corinthians.
Mr. Clarke moved to Darien with his family in 1960, and was active in a variety of civic organizations, particularly after his retirement. He served Person-to-Person from 1987 to 2002 as a volunteer, board member, board president, and director emeritus. He was especially proud of the scholarship program that assisted local youth to attend college. Mr. Clarke was also a member of the board of the Darien United Way and, from 1985 to 2008, a member of the board of the Darien Land Trust. In 2005, he received the Obie Harrington-Howes Community Spirit Award, given to an individual who has effectively and with dedication served several organizations as a volunteer.
Mr. Clarke was predeceased by his wife of 41 years, Roberta Pfautz Clarke, who died last October, by his wife of 9 years, Barbara Kahl Clarke, who died in 1972, and by his sisters, Elizabeth C. Tower and Doris C. Bond. He is survived by Margaret Darrin, his first wife, his children, Anne C. Brown (Lee Alison Crawford) of Plymouth, Vermont, and Leigh C. Sneed (Michael) of Reston, Virginia, and by his step-children, John H.P. Wheat (Karen) of Hartford, Bonnie Wheat of Taunton, Massachusetts, Patricia Jayson of Fairhaven, Massachusetts, William Jayson (Anne) of Rowayton, , and Sally McGowan, also of Rowayton. He is survived also by one granddaughter, two great-granddaughters, and Roberta Clarke’s grandchildren and great grandchildren.
A gathering of family and friends to celebrate his life will take place at the Noroton Yacht Club, Darien, on June 14, 2016, beginning at 11 AM with a brief memorial service. All who knew him are welcome. His burial will be private.
Contributions in Edward Clarke’s memory may be made to Person to Person, 1864 Post Road, Darien, CT 06820.
— by The Darien Times