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Tom Clark


Friday, May 17, 2019

LAKE PLACID, NY — Tom Clark, age 75, passed away Sunday April 7, 2019, at the Albany Medical Center. He was born July 29, 1943 in Utica, New York to Marion E. Randall and Joseph T. Clark. Tom cherished his time spent on the family farm in Gouverneur, NY and being with his extended family, especially his cousins Steve, Bill, and Helena. He received a Bachelors and Masters degree from Montclair State College where he studied industrial arts education and geology. As Tom was raised to be a person who gives more than he gets, teaching was his natural profession. He taught industrial arts and helped lead school bands and musicals at several schools in NJ before moving to the Lake Placid area in the 1970s.

Tom was introduced to Camp Treetops and North Country School by a colleague, Dick Wilde, and so began his long and influential relationship with this community. Tom worked at Camp Treetops from 1966 to 1983 and then again from 1996 to 2018. He taught earth science and was a beloved houseparent at North Country School from 1971 to 1982, returning in 2001 to continue teaching until his tragic death. In addition to his passions for teaching, woodworking, and music, Tom was a talented and avid photographer. He was part of the Lake Placid Olympic Organizing Committee team of photographers that documented the activities, events and sports prior to and through the 1980 Winter Olympics, an experience he relished.

In early 1981 Tom met the love of his life, Alison Riley, at Camp Treetops. After their marriage in June of 1983, the Clarks settled in South Strafford, VT, where Tom got right to work renovating their old barn, creating vegetable gardens, and building a huge deck. Tom worked for Harrington Engineering for many years and then, from 1995 to 2013, for the RHI/Rural Community Assistance Program as a water resources specialist, helping Vermont, New Hampshire and New York communities (including Lake Placid and Wilmington) obtain clean drinking water. In 2002, the Clark family moved to Lake Placid, building Tom's dream house down the road from the camp and school. Tom rejoined the school faculty, teaching photography, woodworking, music lessons, and horseback riding. In recent years he also served as the school photographer, documenting daily student life for social media. Tom was a tireless hiker (an Adirondack 46er many times over); he loved to cross-country ski, canoe, ski Whiteface, walk his dog, and just be in the mountains. Above all, Tom loved his family.

Tom is survived by his wife Alison of thirty-six years and their children Emily, Brenden and Stephen. In addition, he is survived by his brother Bob, sister-in law Marie, niece Kristin Schwenk, nephews Gregory and Daniel, and grand-nieces Julianne and Emma; his cousins Steve and Bill Randall and Helena Pate; in-laws John and AC Riley, sister-in-law Susan and husband Evan Shelby, nephew Dylan, and brother-in-law Kagan Wolfe.

There will be a memorial service on June 22nd at 2 PM at the United Church of Christ in Strafford, Vermont. For details please visit www.caringbridge.org/visit/tomclark5