The family of Dennis McAlpine Clarke is saddened to announce his passing at the age of 82 on August 3rd at the Chatham-Kent Hospice. Survived by his beloved wife of 53 years Patricia Jean Clarke (Hammond), children Rob Clarke (Katie), Meghan Roulston (Tim), Brandi Clarke (Chris Gebal), and grandchildren Jacob, Carly and Karys Roulston, Vaughn and Holden Clarke. He will be surely missed by his East-Coast cousins Margie Ann Nelson and Fred Lewis, whom he held very dear. Den is pre-deceased by his mother Margaret Catherine Clarke.
Born on December 26, 1938 in Saint John, New Brunswick, Denny was an inquisitive young boy and thoroughly enjoyed all life has to offer – venturing off frequently to explore his home town, including near daily visits to the Saint John Wharf (maybe during school hours), traipsing the Saint John City Market so regularly that all the vendors knew him by name, and losing himself in the works of the world’s greatest authors in his Grandparents home. He was a busy young boy!
Den’s passion for life and exploration never ceased – from his childhood years a call from a friend saw him take off to Maine and enroll in Ricker College where he studied Marketing and Communications, and bore a lifelong passion for people and ideas, and the eventual creation of Clarke Communications. Highlights from his career saw him take on major accounts such as Ford Motor Company, Toyota and Honda and act as consultant to many different organizations and groups. He truly loved his work and spent the remainder of his years engulfed in it – always wanting to help others build vision and better their organizations.
In 1967 Den found himself venturing off to Ontario in search of opportunity, and with that, found the love of his life, Patricia. It was a whirlwind romance, one where they both knew they had found their person and they married shortly thereafter. Family was always very important to Den and the two of them enjoyed building their family with the births of Rob, Meghan and Brandi. Den was very active with the kids, frequently having them visit him in the office, encouraging them in their extra-curriculars, welcoming as his own their many different friends and getting them involved in Junior Achievement, an organization with which Den was heavily involved and very passionate about. To Den, it was important to teach his children that at the end of the day, you always end your conversation with ‘I love you’ and for that, they are forever grateful.
In the later years, Den and Pat relocated to Erieau after many summers spent there with the kids, and Den found himself thoroughly enjoying the comradery of the Erieau Yacht Club, Friday ‘Prayer Meetings’ with the boys, and drinks and ideas on the deck overlooking the bay. Sunday’s were busy days for Den, racing day on Rondeau Bay! As the self-proclaimed ‘Bargist’, Den’s major responsibilities included the signal flag, documenting results, and of course the weekly write up in the Blenheim News Tribute. He truly enjoyed this role. Always an ‘ideas man’ you would never find him without a pad and paper, as he never wanted to forget a conversation, an idea or an important date, and that was evident to all who knew him. It was an idyllic time in his life, one in which he was surrounded by friends and family (especially grandchildren!) in a place that he truly loved
Friends and family are invited to a Celebration of Life on Saturday, August 28th from 2pm – 5pm at Clarke’s Point in Erieau. In lieu of flowers, donations in Den’s name can be made to the Erieau Yacht Club or the Chatham-Kent Hospice for whose care of Den the family is forever grateful for. We will always remember Den for his stories, his sense of humour, his love of life and family and his quest for knowledge. We’re forever grateful for our time with him, and we promise, we’ll always end the day with ‘I love you’.