John B. Clark

JOHN B. CLARK BURLINGTON - John B. Clark of Burlington died peacefully in his sleep at the age of 90, following a day spent playing with his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Born on June 30, 1918, in Graniteville (Barre), John was the second oldest of four brothers. His calm and serious demeanor from an early age made him perfect for assuming various responsibilities including making sure his siblings got to school on time, even if he had to drive the bus himself. Throughout his life, these brothers would remain his best friends. John met his wife-to-be, Marjorie M. (Foley) Clark at a high school dance in Montpelier. After his graduation from St. Michaels High School in 1939, he graduated from the Bay Path Institute in Springfield Mass. in 1941. All the time his heart remained with "Midge" as he called her. John subsequently attended the Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, N.Y. After graduating from Kings Point with an engineering and naval science degree in January of 1944, John had the option of becoming an officer in the U.S. Navy or serving in the Merchant Marines. As a Merchant Marine officer John spent the duration of World War II navigating some of the most treacherous waters in the world, including the North Atlantic, Russian ports such as Murmansk, and the Normandy D-Day landing areas. Other missions took him across Europe, South America, and into the Pacific Theatre. In 2002, John was honored by the receipt of a special Medal from the Russian government for his service and the vital role he played in supporting their country. John could never understand why his own country failed to recognize the courageous efforts of his fellow Merchant Marines. After the war John was honorably discharged from the Merchant Marines as a lieutenant and returned to Vermont to his loving Midge. While she had many restless nights not knowing of John's fate, she never questioned his sense of duty. On Dec. 27, 1945, they were wed in a small ceremony. A marriage that would span seven decades until Marjorie predeceased him less than a month ago on Feb. 10, 2009. Shortly after getting married, John and Midge built their first house in Montpelier and later their second house on Arlington Court in the North End, where they lived for over 50 years. When a job became available at Green Mountain Power in 1948, he was the perfect fit. While he was courted by other companies over the years, including having the opportunity to run a hydro-electric plant in Indonesia, John retired from GMP after 40 years in 1988. After retirement, John and Midge decided they had enough of Vermont winters and split their time between Burlington and Floral City, Fla. Dogs Cassius, then Doog, accompanied them faithfully on all of their trips. More than anything else in his life though and the thing that mattered most to John was his family. He and Midge had three children, Aileen (Clark) Lockett and Bill of San Antonio, Texas, Jay Clark and Wendie of Fairfax, Vt., and Tim Clark and Nancy Langan of Jericho, Vt. He was particularly proud of his grandchildren, Todd Clark and Sue Demasi of Colchester, Vt., Amie (Clark) Scanlon and Kyle of Essex Town, Vt., Sara (Clark) Benoure and Brad of Colchester, Laura (Lockett) Thetford and Todd of New Braunfels, Texas, and Leslie Lockett of Austin, Texas, Olivia Kazak of South Burlington, Vt., and Victoria Kazak of Saratoga Springs, N.Y. In addition, "Papa" will be greatly missed by each of his nine great-grandchildren who are all blessed to have their own special memories of him. Not to be forgotten are his brothers, Tom (deceased) and June, Bob and Nini, and Bill (deceased). Their bond far surpassed that of simply being born into the same family. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Monday, March 9, at 10 a.m., in St. Mark's Roman Catholic Church, Burlington. A joint burial for him and his wife Marjorie will be in Holy Cross Cemetery, Duxbury, Vt. in the spring. The family would like to offer special and heartfelt thanks to Sister Marie of St. Mark's Parish, Ann Marie Mable, and Betty Allen. Visiting hours will be held on Sunday from 5 to 7 p.m., in the Ready Funeral Home, North Chapel, 934 North Ave., Burlington. To send online condolences, please visit www.readyfuneral.com . Condolences may also be offered with flowers or contributions to "Meals on Wheels," 3 Cathedral Sq., Burlington, VT 05401.

Funeral Home

Ready Funeral Service, Inc.
934 North Avenue Burlington, VT 05401
(802) 862-1138

Published in The Burlington Free Press from Mar. 3 to Mar. 6, 2009