Longtime local Bob Clark died Monday
Bob Clarke died Monday after a long bout with cancer. He was 61.A memorial service is scheduled for 11 a.m., Friday at the Clarke ranch, 13400 Colorado River Road. The family will have the location clearly marked with signs.”He wanted to be buried at his home,” said son Mike Clarke. “It’s where he loved to be. He picked out a spot on a hillside overlooking the river.”Family and friends said Clarke was gifted in many areas, especially the art of conversation. On camping trips with family and friends, when it came time for someone to clear their throat and begin to tell campfire stories, it was Clarke, his son said.
“He was a pretty glorious guy,” said Mike.Friends said Clarke was not a complicated man. They said he loved his family, being outdoors and the many Masonic organizations he was part of.He made his living as one of the owners of Clarke Painting and Drywall. But Clarke, say his family and friends, was an artist – a third generation master craftsman. Like his father and grandfather before him, he passed the secrets of his artistry along to his sons, Rob, Mike and Lonnie, to whom he handed much of the business several years ago.”He could take a steel door and make it look like mahogany,” Mike said.His family said that like the man himself, there was more to the his work than the raw materials might indicate.
His work is on display in high end homes all over the Vail and the Roaring Fork valleys. Mike recalled the time they did all the doors in Barbie Benton’s house. Benton’s people sent the doors over from Aspen, but marked the wrong side to be painted like wood grain. Clarke calmed everyone down, had the doors sent back over and they did the other sides exactly the same.”They couldn’t believe we could do it,” said Mike.Clarke traveled far and wide in his outdoor pursuits. Hunting and fishing took him all over North America. “No matter where he was going, he took his family with him,” said Mike. “No matter who he met, they were soon his friends, swapping stories.”Clarke was born in Taylorville, Ill., on Oct. 25, 1943, to Robert Ray Clarke and Mary Agnes Clarke. The family moved to Colorado in 1956. He graduated from Golden High School, worked as a contractor in Denver, then moved to Eagle County.
He met Rose Marie Reining when she was in college in Denver. They were married Aug. 13, 1964.Between his outdoor adventures with friends and family, and working, Clarke was a leader in almost every Masonic organization imaginable.He was Worshipful Master of two lodges, including Castle Lodge No. 122 in Eagle, and was honorary master of another. He was a member of the Consistory, York Rite, the Shrine Jeep Patol, and was a belly dancer for the Oriental Band, the Order of the Q, No. 69. He asked to be buried with a Masonic symbol next to his name.Clarke is survived by his wife Rosie; his three sons: Robert and wife, Tina, of Eagle; Mike and wife, Shatasha, of Avon; and Lonnie, and wife, Jessica of Avon; brother Jerold Michael Clarke and his wife, Karen; sister Judy McRoberts and her husband, Doug, of Boulder; and eight grandchildren.