Richard “Dick” Wright Clark

WINDHAM – Richard “Dick” Wright Clark passed away in Naples, Fla. at the age of 86, following the return of his cancer.

Dick was born November, 1934 in Gray, son of the Rev. Clarence H. Clark and Beatrice Wright Clark. He grew up with his parents and two brothers in North Windham, Newport, N.H., and then Westbrook. He graduated from Westbrook High School in 1952 and University of Maine, Orono in 1956, where he was a loyal member of Sigma Chi Fraternity where he formed many long-time friendships.

His lifelong career in the insurance industry began after his graduation from UMO with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. For the five years immediately following graduation he worked for Kemper Insurance Group. At Kemper he was a trainee out of the Boston office, studied at Mutual Insurance Institute in Chicago, and then became the district manager for the State of Maine. In 1961 he joined Paul S. Woodworth, who owned B.M. Clough Agency. With this partnership, Dick became vice president of a newly formed Woodworth and Clark, a two-employee independent insurance agency in Portland. The agency experienced significant growth over the years by acquiring several small agencies and expanding the commercial side of the business. Dick soon became president, took on additional partners, and in 1977 changed the name to Clark Associates. Over the years, the agency continued to grow and prosper. He was an extremely generous man and the employees always looked forward to an annual picnic in the summer and to “Mr. Clark” personally delivering their bonuses with a cheerful smile and a boisterous “HO-HO-HO!” at Christmas.

With retirement on the horizon, Dick reorganized the agency again, this time as an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP). This ensured the perpetuation of the agency by giving every employee a stake in the agency’s future successes and a retirement opportunity of their own. By the time of Dick’s retirement in 2003, Clark Associates was the second largest privately-owned insurance agency in the state of Maine with 70 employees. The name was later changed to Clark Insurance.

His success in business was due not only to his dedication to his clients, as he always put them first, but also to his integrity and professionalism, which he instilled in his employees and his children. He was highly regarded by his clients and the insurance companies he represented, as well as his friendly competitors.

In addition to being a certified insurance counselor, Dick was very active in industry affairs. He was president of Professional Insurance Agents of Maine and president of the Cumberland County Board of Independent Agents. He served on the Board of Directors of Professional Insurance Agents of New England and Maine Employers’ Mutual Insurance Company (MEMIC). He chaired various sub-committees and served on numerous other professional organizations over the years. In recognition of his dedication and involvement, he was named Business Person of the Year by the Windham Chamber of Commerce in 1989 and was honored as the Maine Insurance Agent of the Year in 1994.

In addition to his dedication to the insurance industry, Dick was also a man with strong ties to the community. He was heavily involved in making Windham a better place. During his two years as president of the Windham Junior Chamber of Commerce (Jaycees) he lead the development of several community projects including the town’s first Old Home Days. He also organized a polio clinic, funded and arranged for the installation of street signs in Windham, and spearheaded a movement to remove several junk cars that were scattered throughout the town. Dick went on to serve as the very first chairman of the Windham Comprehensive Plan Committee, the Dundee Park Committee, and the Economic Development Committee (which later became WEDC). Dick was a trustee of the Windham Public Library, Town Charter Committee, and the Greater Portland Chamber of Commerce. He was also an active member of the Windham Hill United Church of Christ, where he served as trustee for 12 years. He loved to be involved in his community and it showed in all that he gave back.

Above all, his biggest pleasure was spending time with his family and friends on Sebago Lake. His love for Sebago began as a young boy when his parents and brothers built a log cabin in Standish where they spent every summer for thirty years. As an adult, Dick was fortunate to have a home built on Jordan’s Bay where he lived for over thirty more years. He loved having his children and grandchildren living so close to him. Together they enjoyed boating and water skiing on Sebago Lake, as well as tennis, pickleball and countless projects around the house. He loved riding his mower with his well-manicured lawns reflecting that pleasure. He also loved to gather with friends and family at their camp in Rangeley to hunt, snowmobile and downhill ski, all of which Dick did until he was in his 80s. In recent winters, he loved to spend time at his “villa” in Naples, Fla. There he enjoyed biking, walking, and fishing with friends as he captained his boat to their favorite lunch spots. He especially looked forward to visits from the kids so he could share these activities with them. In memory of Dick, the family took a boat ride in his honor two days after he passed – he would have loved that trip! His family and close friends will remember him most for his quick wit, which effortlessly produced jokes and endless puns, some good and some not so good. He fully enjoyed telling stories and making others laugh.

Dick is survived by his wife, Julie Clark; his daughter, Christine Clark Williams, and her husband, John, his son, Kenyon Clark and his wife, Eileen; as well as four grandchildren, Madeline and Jackson Williams and Ashley and Morgan Clark, all of Windham. He is also survived by his stepchildren, Travis and Christopher Hayes and their families; as well as several nieces and nephews.

Dick’s former wife, Diane White Clark, mother of his two children, died in an airplane accident in 1995. He was also predeceased by his parents, Rev. Clarence H. and Beatrice W. Clark of Portland; and both of his brothers, Charles E. Clark of Durham, N.H. and Llewellyn E. Clark of Falmouth.

There will be a celebration of his life in the spring and a private burial at the Windham Hill United Church of Christ. Arrangements are in the care of the Windham Chapel of Dolby Blais and Segee, 434 River Rd., Windham, ME 04062. To express condolences or participate in Dick’s online tribute, please visit http://www.DolbyBlaisSegee.com.

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