After about a 40-year hiatus from mountain climbing, David Clarke climbed to the summit of Rattlesnake Mountain, just off Squam Lake in New Hampshire. He was 87.

“We got him to the top of the mountain,” said his daughter Nancy Brewer, as he followed the easiest, well-maintained route to the top, aided by two canes and accompanied by his family.

“We were worried about (him climbing), but we loved doing it for him,” she said.

Mr. Clarke died Saturday at age 90.

He spent his career doing investment work for various banks.

After starting his career in New York City, Mr. Clarke moved his family to Maine in 1967. Brewer said her father saw a job advertisement in the Wall Street Journal that read: “Would you like to work in Vacationland?”

“He didn’t even know where Vacationland was,” Brewer said, but he applied for the position as a trust officer for Casco Bank.

When they moved to Maine, it was the first time Mr. Clarke’s children had set foot in the state.

Mr. Clarke majored in music at Princeton University before serving in the Army during World War II. His education at Princeton fostered his lifelong love of music.

“Every Saturday, the house echoed with Wagner,” said his daughter Sally Hassey.

Throughout his life, Mr. Clarke used church as an outlet for his passion. He sang in the choirs at St. Mary’s Church in Falmouth and the First Parish Congregational Church in Yarmouth, said his son Peter Clarke.

“I remember singing with him,” Clarke said, “standing next to him in church from the time I was a kid, well into adulthood.”

Mr. Clarke was remembered Monday as someone who loved the outdoors, whether it was mountain climbing, walking, swimming or rowing. Brewer remembers rowing with her father, who would make each stroke vigorously.

“I used to row with him and watch the sweat,” she said.

She remembers taking a snowshoe hike with her father one Christmas Eve. The party the family planned to attend had been canceled because of a snowstorm, so they snowshoed instead, enjoying the falling snow and the quiet night together.

During the years he lived in Yarmouth, Mr. Clarke was an active community member. He served on the Town Council for two terms, volunteered for the historical society, assisted with the chamber of commerce, was a member of the Portland Rotary Club and volunteered at Mercy Hospital for countless hours.

“The thing he handed to all of us was to be an ‘adder’ to your community. Don’t just be a ‘taker,’ ” Peter Clarke said.

His son described him as a “pillar of the community, but almost in a quiet way.” He said his father was always eager to volunteer his services whenever he was able.

“He did things, really important stuff, in a quiet way,” Clarke said, “because someone’s got to do it.”

 

Staff Writer Emma Bouthillette can be contacted at 791-6325 or at: [email protected]