John A. Clements (1930 - 2014)

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  • "John was my friend, my mentor, my boss, my role model. I..."
    - Greg Speier
  • "A great man who served NH very well."
    - Neal Scott
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CROYDON – Former NH DOT Commissioner John A. Clements, 83, died at home Monday, April 28, 2014, following a long battle with cancer. He was born on Aug. 22, 1930, in Hyannis, Mass. to Florence Pinkerton and George F. Clements. He graduated from Yarmouth High School and then Yale University, with a BS degree in Mechanical Engineering, before serving as a U.S. Naval EOD Officer during the Korean Conflict.

John leaves behind his wife of 44 years, Hannah Coolidge Clements; two children, John A. Clements Jr. of Stamford, Conn. and Kathryn (Robert) Okoniewski of Cazenovia, N.Y.; and three stepsons, Benjamin M. Rice III of Wayland, Mass., John C. Rice of Greenfield, N.Y. and Christopher W. Rice of Berlin. He is also survived by six grandchildren; and four step-grandchildren; and his brother, George F. Clements Jr. (Betty) of Greenwich, Conn.

John had a long and varied career in the public and private sector and strongly believed in high moral and ethical service to his nation and community continuing to serve as Selectman of Croydon when he died.

Nationally, John had one of the most extensive transportation backgrounds in North and South America, having served as president of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), chairman of the National Academy of Sciences Transportation Research Board (TRB) and the Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA) associate administrator for Research and Development. In addition he was director general of the Pan American Highway Institute, with 75 Centers throughout Central and Latin America and was U.S. Representative on the Transportation Association of Canada's Research Council. RTAC and OECD in Paris.

He was on the Board of Directors of the American Public Works Assn., The American Road and Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) and was a Lifetime National Associate of the National Academy of Sciences Governing Board of the National Research Council. He was a long time member of The Road Gang in Washington, D.C.

John served three New Hampshire Governors (Thomson, Galen and Sununu) over his 10 years as NHDOT Commissioner. During that time he was also President of the Northeast Association of State Highway Officials and Chairman of the National Rail Conference.

He received several prestigious industry awards: FHWA's Public Service Award, the Institute of Transportation Engineers Transportation Leadership Award, the 1985 George S. Bartlett Award for outstanding Contributions to Highway Progress presented by AASHTO, TRB and ARTBA and a Certificate of Special Appreciation by the American Forestry Association in recognition of his contributions in locating I-93 through New Hampshire's Franconia Notch State Park and White Mountain National Forest.

In the private sector he was President of the Highway Users Federation in Washington, the Nation's primary highway lobby. Returning to New England he was VP of Parsons Brinkerhoff(PB) where he managed the Environmental Impact Statement for Boston's Big Dig. He served as PB's President of California Transportation Ventures a private toll Road concession. Following this he formed New Hampshire Engineering Corporation and worked for several national engineering firms managing national projects.

He was 1973-76 Chairman (then President) of the Business and Industry Association of New Hampshire (BIA).He was Board Member and Treasurer of the NH Industrial Development Authority and on the boards of Indian Head Banks, Fleet Bank-NH, Citizen's Bank of Newport and the New England Council. For a short time he was Co-Chairman of the New Hampshire Republican Party with Senator Norris Cotton.

He was Vice President of Sturm Ruger / Newport NH firearms manufacturing, and Vice President of NH Ball Bearings in Peterborough.

He was a Kentucky Colonel, Admiral of the Great Navy of Nebraska, member of the Peterborough and Newport Rotary Clubs, Selectman of Peterborough and Croydon, a Register Professional Engineer in New Hampshire, Vermont and Massachusetts, a licensed private pilot, a Lifetime Member of the Navy EOD Association, member of the U.S. Navy Washington Memorial, NRA Life Endowment member, Gun Owners of NH and LT. USNR Ret.

A private family memorial service is planned for a later date.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to The Wounded EOD Warrior Foundation or scholarships for children of EOD Warriors killed in action

For more information or to send a condolence, please visit the Newton-Bartlett Funeral Home at
Funeral Home
Newton-Bartlett Funeral Home
42 Main Street
Newport, NH 03773
(603) 863-2113
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Published in The Concord Monitor on May 4, 2014
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