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Cornelius Edwards Clark Jr

Date of Death: March 19, 2018

Date of Birth: November 6, 1922

Biography:

TOPSHAM - Cornelius Edwards Clark, Jr., age 95, of Center Ossipee, NH and Topsham, ME passed away from liver cancer on March 19, 2018 at his winter home in Topsham. Known to family, friends, and colleagues as Neil, he was born in 1922 at Dover-Foxcroft, ME to the late Susie and Cornelius E. Clark, Sr. of Portland ME, graduating from Deering High School in 1940. Neil matriculated at Yale College, graduating Phi Beta Kappa with the Class of 1944, and after the war completed his L.L.B at Yale Law School, Class of 1948. He was a direct lineal descendant of the Reverend Thomas Hooker, a prominent Puritan colonial leader, and founder of the Colony of Connecticut; and the Reverend Jonathan Edwards, the important 18th century American theologian.

Neil served three years in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II, stationed in the South Pacific as a weather observer. While at Yale Law School, he met his future wife, Patricia Steffens, and they married in 1948. After working for Aetna Life Insurance Company in Hartford, Neil became a law partner at Camp, Williams & Richardson in New Britain, CT specializing in real estate. In New Britain, he and Pat raised their family and he was an active member of his church and the community. Neil retired from the firm in 1980, but continued the practice of real estate law in Connecticut. Neil fulfilled his lifelong desire to drive a school bus, working part-time for the Dattco bus company, a later-life occupation he really enjoyed.

Neil's greatest love was mountain hiking and trail maintenance. This interest began as a boy when he summered with his family on Ossipee Lake in Center Ossipee, NH. He was a long-time member of the Appalachian Mountain Club and he climbed to the summit of all 4,000 footers in New England. He also actively maintained a section of the Appalachian Trail in CT during the years he lived in New Britain CT.

During their retirement, Neil and Pat lived in Nokomis, FL and Center Ossipee, NH. Both traveled extensively around the world. On the Isle of Skye in Scotland, Neil fell in love with the countryside. They rented a house on Skye for 13 consecutive summers, and he hiked many of the Cuillin Mountains. During his retirement years in Center Ossipee, Neil cut and maintained the Dearborn Trail on Green Mountain in Effingham, NH. Neil was an active member of the Over the Hill Hikers of Sandwich, NH, making frequent climbs in the White Mountains and participating in group trips to Switzerland and Austria. His lifelong interest in weather observation kept him involved with the Mt. Washington Observatory, and he maintained personal daily records of rainfall wherever he lived over the course of his long life.

In 2005, Neil and Pat moved from Nokomis, FL to The Highlands in Topsham, ME, continuing to spend six months each year at their home on Ossipee Lake, where he could be found splitting wood up until the age of 93. Neil maintained a classic wooden rowboat on the lake for decades and he often rowed around the lake or paddled up the Pine River in his canvas Old Town canoe. He volunteered as a groundskeeper at the Castle in the Clouds in Moultonborough, NH. The outdoors was his passion and being busy was his avocation.

Neil is survived by his wife, Pat, married 70 years; and by his son Jonathan, of Hartford, CT, his daughter, Amy and her husband, Paul DeSimone, of Cambridge, MA; and two grandchildren, Alison DeSimone of Kansas City, MO and Nicholas DeSimone of Malden, MA. Neil was predeceased by his loving sister Edith (Clark) Wilkerson of Gaithersburg, MD, in 2014. In addition to his family, he will be missed by his many friends at the Highlands and in Center Ossipee who loved his quiet ways, generous heart, and the twinkle in his eyes.

There will be a graveside memorial service at Grant Hill Cemetery in Center Ossipee, NH at a date to be determined in the future. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Green Mountain Conservation Group, PO Box 95, Effingham, NH 03882 www.gmcg.org or the Lakes Region Conservation Trust, PO Box 766, Center Harbor NH 03226 www.lrtc.org or the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, 799 Washington Street, P.O. Box 807 Harpers Ferry, WV 25425-0807 www.appalachiantrail.org.

 

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