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Lester C. Clarke

Lester C. Clarke


The world lost a beautiful soul with the passing of Les Clarke at the Moncton Hospital on Wednesday, April 5, 2017. Aged 91 years, Les was born in Lower Onslow, NS, the son of the late Harry and Margaret (Whidden) Clarke.

He is survived by the love of his life, his wife of 68 years, Edna (Robertson) Clarke and his children, Lyle Clarke of Oromocto and Leslie Ann Harrison (Jeff) of Dawson Settlement; his grandson Jeffrey Clarke Harrison and his wife Rhonda; granddaughter Michelle Ann Knowlton and her husband Matt; and his pride and joy of recent years, his great-grandchildren: Bradley and Riley Knowlton and Sarah and Laura Harrison, all of the Hillsborough area. As well as his sisters, Phyllis Clarke and Marion Clarke, both of Truro, NS, many nieces, nephews and cousins. Besides his parents, Les was predeceased by his sisters: Winnifred, Beryl and Verna; and brothers: Ray, Ken, and Darry.

Retired for 36 years, prior to that Les was employed with the Ministry of Transport (MOT) in the airport management profession. Throughout his career he worked at various airports, including those in Charlottetown, Saint John, Fredericton, Goose Bay and Stephenville. He ended his career working out of the MOT Atlantic Canada head office in Moncton, NB.

A very proud WWII veteran, Les joined the Navy and went off to war at the age of 17. For most of the war years he was stationed on the Canadian Corvette-class ship, The Eyebright, escorting and protecting convoys of ships crossing from Canada to Europe. After he mustered out of the Navy, Les moved to Northern Alberta where he met his beautiful Edna and they were married in Manning, AB, in 1949. Their son Lyle was born there and, when they moved back to Lower Onslow, NS, they welcomed Leslie Ann into the family. Prior to joining MOT, Les owned and operated Clarke & Whidden General Store in Lower Onslow, NS, with his uncle and also was a firefighter at Base 16X in Debert and later a fire chief at Halifax International Airport.

A true sportsman, Les excelled at softball, hockey, darts, pool and even ping pong, winning many championships throughout his younger years. He was a player and coach in the Truro District Hockey League for many years, beginning in the early 1940s. He also coached many softball teams in the Truro area over the years and was instrumental in organizing and starting the Little League involving many communities in that area. In the 1960s, following his move to Moncton, NB, Les became involved in the management of Viponds Fastball Team, culminating in a trip with the team to represent the Maritimes at the Canadian Senior Men’s Fast Pitch Championships in Western Canada. He was inducted along with the Viponds Team into the Softball New Brunswick Inc. Labatt Hall of Fame in 2009. He is also a member of Moncton’s Sports Wall of Fame.

Les’ family would like to extend their thanks to the staff of the 4600 unit of the Moncton Hospital as well as to those in the Stroke Rehab Center for their excellent care and kindness. Also to the staff and residents of Lakeview Manor, Riverview , where Les spent the last 2 months.

The funeral will be held at Fair Haven Funeral Home, 1177 Salisbury Road, Moncton, NB, on Monday, April 10, at 2 p.m., beginning with a Memorial Service conducted by the Royal Canadian Legion, Branch #6. Visitation at the Funeral Home on Sunday, April 9, from 4 to 7 p.m. Interment at the Clarke Family Cemetery in Lower Onslow, NS, later in the Spring.

In memory of Les, a donation to the Hillsborough United Church, 2891 Main St., Hillsborough, NB, E4H 2X8, or to The Friends of the Moncton Hospital or a charity of the donor’s choice would be appreciated.

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