LAKE PLACID — Matthew B. Clark Jr., 85, of Lake Placid, N.Y. passed away Friday, Nov. 23, 2012 at his home with his family by his side.
He was born Dec. 21, 1926 in Lake Placid, N.Y., the son of Matthew Benjamin and Beatrice Maude (Lengfeld) Clark. He married Janet Carol Jacques Jan. 1, 1956 in St. Eustace Church, Lake Placid, N.Y.
A family man through and through Dad left us with an indelible respect for tradition. Holidays were filled with love, laughter, stories of years gone by and plenty of homemade treats.
He graduated from Lake Placid High School in 1946 and in June, 1949 from The American Academy of Embalming and Mortuary Research, Inc. in New York City. He was very active in sports his entire life as a participant in track and field, football and bobsledding, later having coached and umped Little League Baseball. A bobsledding accident which resulted in loss of his leg changed his role in sports as he became a leader and manager wanting young people to be involved in sport. In 1956 he, along with John "Bud" Colby reestablished the Junior Ski Jumping program in Lake Placid where he was the manager/treasurer helping to create numerous regional and national champions as well as Olympians.
Dad loved his country. As kids we raised and lowered the American flag every day and night. And of course he taught us how to fold it and watched from the kitchen to assure that it did not touch the ground. He told a story of sneaking to New York City and lying about his age to try to get into the
military at age 17 (before his bobsledding accident), but being turned down because the doctor heard a heart murmur.
He attended the local parades with a station wagon full of kids, except for the ones who weren't marching in the band or the girl scouts. He patiently and casually taught all eight kids to drive and parallel-park those giant station wagons on the Main Street, just smiling and chewing on that perpetual cigar saying, "Good, you're good, keep going." Many of us secretly wanted Mom to take us for "a turn" to practice.