Donald S. Clarke died at the age of 86 on Sunday, August 22nd, 2021, at his home in Claremont, NH. He spent his last month enjoying calls and visits from friends and he was cared for and surrounded by family at the time of his death. He was a dedicated husband to Shirley Clarke and loving father to his children and their families: Susan and her husband Ray Thibodeau, Jim and his wife Vickie Rajaniemi, and Julie Clarke (who passed in 1998). He was also a proud grandfather to six grandchildren: Derek, Cory, Bryan, and Alexandra Thibodeau; and Hannah and Allison Clarke.
Don was born in Jaffrey, NH on September 8th, 1934, to Sydney and Pauline Clarke. He is survived by two sisters Joyce Story and Linda Christian. Don worked with his father on a dairy farm as a young man, graduated from Stevens High, then attended University of NH to obtain a degree in agricultural engineering. He married Shirley Brassard in 1958. Don and his father together managed Shugah Vale Inc., a large dairy and crop farm in Claremont, while raising his family. In 1969 he was awarded the Outstanding Young Farmer Award. In turn he supported other farmers by serving first on the local, and then on the NE Farm Credit Bureau for many years, as a member, director and then as chairman.
Community involvement was always a big part of his life. The Soil Conservation District Board, School Board, and Planning Board were boards that he served on locally, as chairman at times. In his later years, he became a realtor, Chairman of the NH Association of Realtors, and was then awarded The Realtor of the Year in 1999. The future development of Claremont was important to him, and he was on the Claremont Industrial Development Authority and SCEDC. Commitment was further demonstrated when he was our County Commissioner for six years and received the Sullivan County Commissioner of the Year Award. In 2006 Don was recognized for his community commitment, and he was awarded Claremont’s Citizen of the Year Award for over 40 years of service to the local area.
For those that knew Don, his love of family and community was also balanced by his love of the outdoors. He supported this for others by being involved with the Sullivan County Sportman’s Club, served as Commissioner for the Sullivan County Fish and Game, and ultimately served as interim Director of NH Fish and Game for nine months.
However, he was happiest when he was spending time with his family, hosting a local yearly fishing derby at his home or hunting with friends and family.
Visiting hours are planned at Stringer Funeral Home on Friday, Sept. 17th between 6pm and 8pm, and a service will take place at the funeral home on Saturday, Sept. 18th at 11am.
Donations can be made in memory of Donald Clarke, in honor of his daughter Julie Clarke, to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Checks can be made to Northern NE Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, 114 Perimeter Road, Unit G&H, Nashua, NH, 03063, or via https://www.cff.org/give-today/.
★ 2016 Copyright E-Ticker News of Claremont ★ Website by Bee Balm Productions ★