John A. Clements

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CROYDON - Former N.H. Department of Transportation Commissioner John A. Clements, 83, died at home on 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 B.S. degree in mechanical engineering, before serving as a U.S. Naval Explosive Ordnance Disposal officer during the Korean War.John leaves behind his wife of 44 years, Hannah Coolidge Clements; two children, John A. Clements Jr. of Stamford, Conn., 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. He continued 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, chairman of the National Academy of Sciences Transportation Research Board and the Federal Highway Administration's 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 and RTAC and OECD in Paris. He was on the board of directors of the American Public Works Association, the American Road and Transportation Builders Association and was a lifetime national associate of the National Academy of Sciences governing board of the National Research Council. He was a longtime member of The Road Gang in Washington, D.C.John served three New Hampshire governors (Meldrim Thomson, Hugh Gallen and John H. 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 vice president of Parsons Brinkerhoff, 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.He was board member and treasurer of the N.H. 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 Sen. Norris Cotton.He was vice president of Sturm Ruger & Co., a Newport firearms manufacturer, and vice president of N.H. 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 registered 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 New Hampshire and a retired lieutenant in the U.S. Navy Reserve.


SERVICES: A private family memorial service is planned for a later date.In lieu of flowers, memorialcontributions may be made to: The Wounded EOD Warrior Foundation at or scholarships for children of EOD warriors killed in action at more information or to send a condolence, please visit the Newton-Bartlett Funeral Home at

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Newton-Bartlett Funeral Home
42 Main Street
Newport, NH 03773
(603) 863-2113
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Published in Union Leader on May 4, 2014
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