Frederick Earl Clark, Jr., 93, of Savoy, Illinois, formerly of West Hartford, Connecticut, loving husband of Marlys Robertson Clark, passed away peacefully on June 21, 2019, at Willowbrook Memory Care of Savoy. Born in Rockville, Connecticut, on November 26, 1925, Frederick (“Fred) was the son of the late Frederick E…read more
Frederick Earl Clark, Jr., 93, of Savoy, Illinois, formerly of West Hartford, Connecticut, loving husband of Marlys Robertson Clark, passed away peacefully on June 21, 2019, at Willowbrook Memory Care of Savoy. Born in Rockville, Connecticut, on November 26, 1925, Frederick (“Fred) was the son of the late Frederick Earl Clark, Sr. and Marion (McNeill) Clark. On his seventeenth birthday, Fred enlisted in the U.S. Navy during the Second World War and, after completing his training as an Aviation Machinist’s Mate Third Class, served in the Asiatic-Pacific Theater of Operations. He was honorably discharged on April 29, 1946. He then graduated from the Hartford Veterans High School, and, under the G.I. Bill, attended and graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Class of 1952, with a Bachelor of Architecture degree. He had a special talent for construction cost estimating, and, after working for a few years at local engineering firms, was hired by Jeter and Cook Architects. After a number of years at that firm, Fred formed his own architectural firm. Ultimately, Fred was hired by the United States Department of Agriculture, serving as the Illinois State Architect for Farmers Home Administration, in Champaign, Illinois.
Fred took his children hiking many times, and they owe their enduring love of the outdoors to him. He enjoyed reading military history books, and belonged to the Connecticut Civil War Round Table when he lived in West Hartford. Fred, like his parents, was an avid Contract Bridge player, and for decades he and Marlys were regular Bridge partners. He belonged to his local Toastmasters club, and always encouraged his children to join.
Perhaps it was Fred’s wartime service as an aviation mechanic, but Fred always wanted to obtain a private pilot license. After Fred retired from Farmers Home Administration, he obtained his private pilot license and achieved instrument rating. He belonged to a local flying club and enjoyed taking Marlys and his children flying with him. Fred loved to travel and took many trips with Marlys and with his son. Fred also had a life-long fascination with trains, and particularly enjoyed traveling by train.
Fred is survived by Marlys Robertson Clark, to whom he was married for over forty years. Fred is also survived by five children: Dr. Pamela E. Clark of Sierra Madre, California; Frederick P. Clark and his wife, Lisa, of Cromwell, Connecticut; Jill E. Clark of Boston, Massachusetts; Claudia A. Clark and her husband, Chris Durkin, of Waltham, Massachusetts; and Polly E. Michel and her husband, Peter, of Las Vegas, Nevada. Fred was predeceased by his former wife, Elizabeth Smyth Clark, the mother of his children, and by his first-born child, Jeffrey, who died in infancy. Fred was predeceased by his older sister, Ellen Bowden Fisher, and by his younger sister, Jane Marion Dodd, but is survived by Ellen’s children (Louis and Steven) and Jane’s children (Joan, Tom, Bill, Bob, and Janet). Fred is survived by his brother, Raymond D. Clark, of Ellington, and by Raymond’s children, Raymond, Jr. and Emily. Fred is also survived by four grandchildren: Polly and Peter’s children, Christian, Ellen, and Ethan, and Jill’s daughter, Sophia. Fred is also survived by two great-grandchildren, Oliver and Rosalind, the children of Christian and his wife, Meagan. Fred is survived by Marlys’s son, Whitney Brown, whom Fred regarded as another son. and by Whitney’s wife, Karla, and by Whitney and Karla’s daughter, Taylor.
Fred’s family is deeply grateful for the compassionate care that he received for over two years from the staff of Willowbrook Memory Care of Savoy and for the hospice care that he received in the last days of his life from Harbor Light Hospice of Decatur, Illinois.
Funeral arrangements are being handled by Morgan Memorial Homes of Savoy, Illinois. A memorial service will be held at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 29, 2019 at the funeral home.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Checks should be mailed to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Gifts Processing Center, P.O. Box 3164, Boston, MA 02241-3164. “In memory of F. E. Clark, Jr., Class of 1952” should be written on the memo line.