Dr. Robert E. (Bob) Clarke
May 4, 1941 – Sept. 28, 2003
The world lost a loving husband, devoted father, proud-as-punch grandfather (pop), loyal friend, compassionate physician and visionary community leader when Dr. Robert Earl (Bob) Clarke succumbed to the cancer he valiantly fought for almost a year.
Lovingly remembered by his wife and best friend of 35 years, Carol, his children and grandchildren, Christy (Roger), Jayson and Owen, Comox; Andrea (Rob), Alexis and Georgia, Vancouver; and Steven (Meghan), Toronto. He is also survived by his sisters: Audrey Duby, Scandia, AB; Evelyn (Dave) Johnson, Kanata, ON; Yvonne Mulligan, Red Deer, AB; Edith (Vic) Brandl, Fort St. John; Dorothy (Lawrence) Reed, Fort St. John; his father and mother-in-law, George and Elsie Freeman, Sault Ste. Marie; and his sister-in-law, Mavis (Al) Crawford, Sault Ste. Marie; and numerous nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his parents, Hazel and Ruby Clarke; and his sisters, Viola Clarke and Kaye Clarke.
Dr. Bob was a man who made a difference. As a family physician, he delivered hundreds of Comox Valley babies and spent countless hours counselling and ministering to his patients. He earned the respect and admiration of his peers and his patients, and, in the words of one of his colleagues, “served as a mentor to the entire medical community.”
Since moving with his young family to the Comox Valley in 1974, Dr. Bob gave unselfishly of his time and his talents. As a young dad, he enthusiastically coached his son’s hockey and basketball teams, and was even coaxed to don a costume and dance on-stage during his daughters’ dance recitals.
As a founding member and past president of the Strathcona Sunrise Rotary Club, he was instrumental in raising funds for the purchase of a much-needed C.T. Scan for the Comox Valley. Moreover, Bob was also a founding member of the Comox Valley Community Foundation. His contributions helped the foundation become one of the most successful community development funds in Canada. And, as a member of Crown Isle Golf Club, he cheerfully became very familiar with the wooded areas of the golf course.
Dr. Bob had a gift with people, treating everyone he met with respect, kindness and compassion. He was never judgmental and consistently gave his best to his family, his friends, his profession, and his community.
Dr. Bob never forgot his humble upbringing in Fort St. John, BC. Philanthropy was an important part of his life, and he supported many worthy local, national and international projects. When he was diagnosed with mesothelioma, the Comox Valley medical community initiated the Dr. Robert E. Clarke Bursary Fund which is administered through the Comox Valley Community Foundation. This fund will help to sponsor young Comox Valley students who wish to pursue a career in the health services.
A Celebration of Bob’s life will be held at 2:30 pm, Friday, October 3, 2003 at St. George’s United Church in Courtenay with Piercy’s in charge of arrangements. A reception will follow in the church hall.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Dr. Robert E. Clarke Bursary Fund, Comox Valley Community Foundation, Box 3126, Courtenay, BC V9N 5N4.