SANFORD — Arthur Clark, an accomplished engineer for the Maine Department of Transportation who helped build bridges across the state, died Sunday. He was 85.
Mr. Clark, who grew up in Sanford, comes from a long line of engineers. His father, Frank Clark, was an engineer, as was his grandfather George Clark. They were instrumental in the development of the old mills in Sanford.
Mr. Clark graduated from Sanford High School and served in the Army during the Korean War. Soon after the war ended, he pursued a degree in civil engineering at the University of Maine at Orono.
In his early years, Mr. Clark worked for the city of Auburn as a city planner and engineer. During his tenure, the city earned an “All American City” award. He later worked as a city planner in Lewiston and a town manager in Ogunquit.
In 1978, Mr. Clark was hired as an assistant engineer for the MaineDOT. His son, Frank Clark II of Sanford, said he managed several large bridge construction projects across the state. He retired in 1992.
“He loved the challenge of designing something and seeing it come to fruition,” his son said. “There’s nothing like standing back and looking at your work at the end of the day.”
Mr. Clark, formerly of Auburn, was married to the late Shirley Bourque Clark for 26 years. The couple raised four children. He was remembered this week as a quiet and easygoing guy who worked hard to give his children a good life.
“He was a pretty good dad, but he was always concerned with bringing in the money,” his son said. “We always had what we wanted. He provided well for his family. There’s no doubt.”
Mr. Clark had a life-long passion for the outdoors. He enjoyed hunting and fishing in the Sanford and Shapleigh area. His son reminisced about the days they hunted and fished together.
“That’s how I got interested in the outdoors,” he said.
In recent years, Mr. Clark got involved with researching his family history. His obituary, published in Wednesday’s newspaper, notes his interest in Chinese culture and his role in establishing a relationship between Maine and Jilin Province in China. He was instrumental in organizing the United States-China Peoples Friendship Alliance of Maine. The local branch is now known as the Chinese-American Friendship Association on Maine.
Mr. Clark had lived with his son in Sanford for more than six years. His son said he had some health problems but never complained.
“He lived day to day and had a great sense of humor,” his son said. “I was very proud of the fact that I took care of him. I was so happy I could do that for him. He was a good man.”
Melanie Creamer can be contacted at 791-6361 or at: