Sunday, September 22, 2013

Obituary for Joseph H. Clarke

Joseph Holmes Clarke

Joseph H. Clarke of Dartmouth died at home surrounded by his family on September 20, 2013.  Joe was born on May 11, 1929 in Pugwash. He was the son of the late Joseph Valentine and Christina (Williams) Clarke. He was predeceased by his sister, Eleanor and brother, Jim. He is survived by his wife, Diana (Goodridge) of Dartmouth, his children, The Rev. Canon Dr. Jody Clarke (Beth MacDonald) of Dartmouth, The Rev. Archdeacon John Clarke (Teresa Veinotte) of Charlottetown and Penny Clarke (Michael Ciarrocco) of Berwick. He is also survived by his beloved grandchildren, Maria, Emily, Keely, Joseph, Zoe, Anna and Riley and his sister Marion Macgillivray of Halifax.  As “Uncle Joe,” he was keenly interested in the lives of his many nieces and nephews.

Joe was educated in the four room school house in Pugwash and by his grandfather who taught him farming and lumbering. As a teenager he served in the North Nova Scotia Reserves during WWII, and was also a member of the University Naval Training Division. He attended St. F.X.U..  After which and held a variety of jobs in industry and retail. However, Joe’s real passion was politics and more specifically how government could serve people of Nova Scotia.  So in 1960 he moved from Amherst to Halifax in order to become the Executive Director of the Progressive Conservative Party of Nova Scotia. During this time he worked closely with Premier Robert Stanfield, a man he greatly admired. He served as Executive Assistant to Premier Smith and then as the Director of Research to the Leader of the Opposition. Joe enjoyed the campaign trail and understood that speech writing was an art form.  In 1978 he was appointed Secretary of the Executive Council and later became Deputy Minister of Advanced Education and Job Training. Joe oversaw the development of the Nova Scotia Community College system.  He served on a variety of governmental and intergovernmental boards.
Joe was always committed to his community. An active member of Christ Church, Dartmouth Joe served on parish council.  He was a delegate to Diocesan Synod and on a parish and Diocesan committees.  At a national church level, Joe was a delegate to General Synod and was on the Board of Directors for the Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund.   While working on committees was important to Joe, he delighted in coaching baseball and hockey as well as working on the frontlines of Christ Church’s food bank.
Joe believed in importance of service, he also understood the power of music.  Joe sang in the church’s contemporary choir.  He was also a member of the Christ Church Players singing and dancing his way through many musical over the years.  Joe relished the opportunity to learn how to play new instruments, he had a particular passion for the harmonica.
Joe appreciated a good game of bridge and always found a bowling league to join.  His creativity extended to penning poetry, limericks and hymns. His artistic eye was reflected in his photography as well as in painting landscapes. Joe was always fiercely loyal to his family, friends and the PC Party of Nova Scotia. Few people were prouder of Nova Scotia than Joe.  His passion and his love will be missed by all who had the privilege to know Joe.
Cremation has taken place, visitation will be held from 6:00 – 9:00pm Tuesday, September 24th to be followed by a funeral service at 11:00am Wednesday, September 25th.  Both events will take place in Christ Church, Dartmouth. The family would like to thank the kind attention of Dr. Frances Moriarty.  Arrangements are under the direction of Dartmouth Funeral Home.  Memorial gifts can be directed to the Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund, Feed Nova Scotia or an interest that makes the world a better place.

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