LARRY DENMAN CLARKE

Obituary
  • "Mr. Clarke, as I knew and respected him, was a gentleman..."
  • "Dennis and I were recalling our very fond memories of our..."
    - cecily dunlap
  • "I had the pleasure of meeting Larry Clarke many times..."
    - Brenda Rich
  • "I had the pleasure of working with Larry and Joan in the..."
  • "I joined Spar in 1970 and provide 3 memories of Larry...."
    - Phil Ibbotson

LARRY DENMAN CLARKE Order of Canada, LLD (Hon) Larry Clarke passed away peacefully on October 22, 2015 in West Vancouver. His ten children survive him: Ian, Sarah, Colley, Alex, Adrienne and Andrew Clarke and Jill, Tom, Penny and Sally Rigby. He is also survived by his 19 grandchildren, four great-grandchildren, wife Joan (Rigby nee Stewart) Clarke and sister Val Ives. His father Edward, his mother Audrey and brother Peter predeceased Larry. His first wife Barbara (nee Colley) Clarke died in 1974. Larry was born in London, England, in 1925 and moved to Canada in 1939 after attending Eton College. Upon graduating from Trinity College School, he served as a Technician in the Royal Canadian Navy during WWII. In 1949, Larry earned a law degree from Osgoode Law School and went to work under C.D. Howe in the Canadian Defense Department during the Korean War. This was followed by 14 years with de Havilland Aircraft of Canada. In 1967, he led the acquisition of SPAR Aerospace Ltd. from de Havilland and as founder, president, and chief executive officer, built SPAR into a world-class space-technology company. SPAR was best known for the Canadarm designed for the Space Shuttle orbiters. As a result of this innovation, the country enjoyed a high profile within the US space program NASA. As a true visionary, Larry's commitment and dedication to developing Canada's aerospace industry provided opportunities for thousands of engineers. Larry was an inductee of the Canadian Aviation Hall of Fame and a founding Director of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research. In 2004, he was awarded the Canadian Space Agency's Chapman Award for "his remarkable contribution to the advancement of the Canadian Space Program." Larry held honorary degrees from York University, Athabasca University, Ecole Polytechnique and Ryerson Polytechnic University. He was Chancellor of York University from 1986 - 1991 and was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1988. Those around him knew that when Larry put his mind to something -- from business to boating -- he would excel. Harnessing his skills, he built and designed several boats with the acuity of an engineer's mind toward form and function. In every pursuit, he was patient and exacting, understanding that great creations required patience and commitment. Larry was respected for selflessly sharing his knowledge and passions with entrepreneurs, friends and family alike in a kind and considerate manner. In retirement, Larry shifted his focus from aerospace to the joys of being on the water, spending his remaining years with what gave him the most pleasure -- family and boats. As a result, Larry has left those he loved with treasured memories of cruising the West Coast with him blissfully at the helm. He is greatly missed. Thanks go to the attentive caregivers at Hollyburn House. Condolences and memories can be forwarded through [email protected]

Published in the Toronto Star on Oct. 24, 2015
Arrangements under the direction of:
Hollyburn Funeral Home
1807 Marine Drive | West Vancouver, BC V7V1J7 | (604) 922-1221
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