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2000 - 2020
CLARK, Henry "Harry" William Harry Clark, 20, whose towering strength inspired a community. Age 20, a Wellesley High School graduate who inspired his community with his grace, charm and fortitude, died Friday, July 3, 2020, after a courageous battle with a craniopharyngioma brain tumor. Born in San Francisco on May 28, 2000, he moved to Wellesley in 2005, where he embraced the community and the community fully embraced him. Shortly after, Harry was diagnosed with a rare brain tumor. His diagnosis and treatment, which included multiple surgeries, radiation, chemotherapy and countless procedures, never held him back from enjoying life to the fullest. Harry was an incredibly talented student. He attended Sprague Elementary School, Wellesley Middle School, where he received the Dottie Kelly "Personal Growth" Award, and Wellesley High School, where he served as class vice president his sophomore year and served on the board of the Youth in Philanthropy program. In his junior year, Harry participated in a youth panel at the Massachusetts Commission on the Blind conference and was invited to testify before the state legislature on budget funding for the blind. He advocated for racial equality, traveled to the South as part of his study of civil rights and presented a keynote speech on Martin Luther King Day to the entire 8th grade.  In his senior year of high school, Harry completely lost his eyesight, but that didn't stop him from succeeding. He accepted his blindness with grace. He was accepted to every college he applied to and ultimately attended Assumption College and was planning to be at Providence College in the fall. On Senior Night at WHS, to a standing ovation, he received the Helen Stewart Award given to a senior for generosity, care and dedication to others, as well as the Coach Seaver Memorial Scholarship Award for commitment, courage and character. Harry threw himself into various activities. He was the top popcorn seller for his cub scout troop, stationing himself at the Wellesley town dump on Saturday mornings. He was a diehard sports fan, especially for his beloved Red Sox, and met many players, including one of his favorites, Big Papi, and befriended ushers, ticket sellers, players and executives of the team over the years thanks to the Jimmy Fund. Highlights included announcing players' names as they came to bat, traveling to Florida for spring training and even riding on one of the duck boats for the 2018 Red Sox World Series championship parade. Harry also loved the Patriots – rejoicing in their multiple Super Bowl championships – and even flipped the coin kicking off a Patriots' Monday night football game. Harry also loved participating in sports, ranging from tennis to golf. He rode the Pan Mass Challenge twice on the back of a tandem. Harry's indomitable spirit was ever-present. When he could no longer play baseball because the tumor had compromised his vision, he volunteered to be the team manager for a summer league baseball team, a skill he carried with him to high school where he managed the successful Wellesley High School girl's varsity basketball team for four years. He spent most of his summers with family in Niantic, CT, peppered with several fun stints at Hole in the Wall Gang Camp. Indeed, Harry's character and strength in the face of adversity made a lasting impact on his family and friends. He never complained about the multiple surgeries and the countless treatments he had to endure. He befriended the medical community. He was known as "The Mayor" throughout Boston Children's Hospital and Dana Farber for his sense of humor, charm and thoughtfulness. On his weakest days, he was blowing kisses to his caretakers, joking with them, giving them the thumbs up or flashing his trademark smile with a twinkle in his eye. Harry had a wonderful sense of humor. He used to joke about his job shredding documents at Wellesley Town Hall – saying that as a blind person they didn't have to worry about him reading confidential documents. He loved music - Sweet Caroline was a favorite – and regularly burst into song. He was a member of the youth and teen choir at his parish, St. Paul's Catholic Church, as well as an altar server. Wise beyond his years, Harry lived by the personal mantra: a loss of sight is never a loss of vision. He will always be remembered for his kindness, his courage and for being our Tower of Strength. Harry is survived by his parents, Kevin and Eunice; his sister, Phoebe; his paternal grandmother, Carole Clark Pehlke; and numerous aunts, uncles and cousins. He was predeceased by his paternal grandfather, William Clark, and his maternal grandparents, Thomas and Eunice Groark. A private funeral mass will be offered for Harry followed by a community celebration of Harry's life at a future date. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to Harry's Cranio Research Fund: http://danafarber.jimmyfund.org/goto/craniowarriors. For online guestbook, gfdoherty.com. George F. Doherty & Sons Wellesley 781 235 4100
Published in The Boston Globe on July 7, 2020
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