Clark was diagnosed with esophageal cancer early in 2018. He weathered the chemo and the radiation with grace and courage. The cancer was in remission and, in recent weeks, Clark seemed to be steadily improving. Sadly, life had other plans. On September 14, 2019, Clark left home to pick up lattes for him and Lisa, as he did most mornings, and he passed away suddenly due to complications related to his lengthy illness. He is deeply mourned by his wife Lisa, and his children, Matt (Krystal) and Jessie (Henry).
Clark was born on August 1, 1955 to parents Klaas and Nellie de Boer. He is survived by his brothers, Peter (Fran) and Fred (Isabel), his sister, Kim, his many nieces and nephews, their spouses and children.
Clark spent 32 years as a machine operator with the Building and Structures crew at CP Rail, before retiring in 2010. His career was full of colourful incidents such as finding himself unexpectedly dangling off bridges; narrowly missing the train that took out his truck while working on the tracks, and unintentionally taking down power lines leaving most of Port Moody without power. Clark handled all of these ups and downs with his typical sense of humour.
Clark met his wife Lisa on a ball field. The two spent their first date at the Ridge watching the Rocky Horror Picture Show, a movie that they watched several times over the years. They married on April 2, 1983, and have enjoyed a happy marriage filled with Clark’s and Lisa’s greatest loves, their children and sports.
Clark was a much-loved fixture in all facets of the North Shore sports scene. He began playing both soccer and baseball in his youth. His athletic pursuits continued into adulthood, including playing softball, slo-pitch, ice hockey, and sacrificing his two front teeth to a short-lived career playing roller hockey. Soccer remained his favourite sport with time spent playing for Lynn Valley, Mountainside, and, most recently, the Seymour Football Club.
It was not enough for Clark to be a player on the field. At the young age of 18, he began what became a life-long passion for coaching. Over the course of his career, Clark coached both youth and adult players in softball, field hockey, and soccer. His many teams are too numerous to mention, but highlights for him included the years spent coaching those he loved most, his wife and children.
Coaching and playing were still not enough for Clark. He spent countless hours working quietly and tirelessly behind the scenes as a volunteer for several soccer associations. He began with the board of Mount Seymour Soccer. He then brought his energy and enthusiasm as a board member for the North Shore Youth Soccer Association, where his years were spent organizing the mini soccer schedules and the Community Cup. Even after stepping down from the Board, Clark continued his role as the Mini Soccer Scheduler.
Upon his retirement from CP Rail, Clark began working for the West Vancouver Soccer Club as the Equipment and Uniform Manager, event and tournament organizer, and as an active participant in the logistics of the annual awards night, ensuring all awards made it to deserving players.
Up until his death, Clark was hard at work on the mini soccer schedules for the 2019/20 season, and boxes of soccer supplies he ordered from Soccer Express continue to arrive at the family home.
In his spare time, Clark was a dedicated sports fan, following hockey, baseball, football, and, of course, soccer. He and Lisa could be frequently found, lattes in hand, on the sidelines at any game involving Matt or Jessie. At home, again with latte in hand, Clark followed any and every televised soccer league. In a nod to his Dutch heritage, Clark harboured a not so secret desire for the bold orange of the Netherland’s national football team to bring home the World Cup.
Surprising as it may sound, Clark did have interests outside of sports, including spending time with friends and family at Ruby Lake, and pursuing a newfound interest in wine-tasting with annual tours in and around Oliver, B.C. But most importantly, Clark enjoyed any time with his wife and children. He was honoured to call his now adult children friends, sharing bad Dad jokes and silly games. Clark was so proud of their many accomplishments, including Jessie’s Masters degree and Matt’s musical performances, but, most importantly, he was so very proud of the adults they had become, due in no small part to Clark’s influence.
A memorial service will be held for Clark on Saturday, October 5th at 2 p.m. at the Highlands United Church, located at 3255 Edgemont Boulevard in North Vancouver. A reception will follow in the Church gym.
In lieu of flowers, Clark’s family would ask that you consider making a donation in tribute to Clark at https://lghfoundation.com/tribute-donation/
.Please designate your donation to the Chemotherapy Unit in recognition of the hardworking nurses and staff who made Clark’s difficult journey a little bit easier. In particular, the family would like to thank Dr. Sasha Smiljanic and Dr. Greg Monkewich.