Ralph “Chub” M. Clark

GARDINER – Ralph “Chub” M. Clark, 92, died peacefully at Woodlands Memory Care in Hallowell, Maine, in the early hours of Jan. 21, 2021. He was born July 29, 1928, in Fort Fairfield, Maine, the son of Clarence Merle Clark and Beatrice Bishop.

Ralph graduated from Fort Fairfield High School, class of 1946 and Maine Central Institute Preparatory program in 1947. Ralph would frequently tell family and friends he had “the arms and chest of a strong man and the legs of a dancing master”. This must have been true. High school records show Ralph excelled at any sport he chose. “Chub” would always generously credit his coaches when regaling family and friends with stories of great homeruns and strike outs. One of these first coaches was his best friend and brother, Clarence Raymond Clark.

Ralph attended the University of Maine at Orono from 1947-1951 graduating with a BS in Economics. While attending UMO, the switch-hitting, second baseman with .333 batting average became the youngest captain of the Black Bears Baseball team, helping the team secure a 1951 CO-Yankee Conference Championship. He was scouted by both the Chicago White Sox who offered him a contract and by the Philadelphia Phillies. He turned them both down to enter the Air Force where he served from 1951-1953.

It was in college where Ralph met his wife of nearly almost 69 years, Joanne “Jody” Daley. They were married, June 14, 1952. Clark continued to play on several semi-pro leagues before attending Portia Law School (now New England Law School) where he earned a law degree in 1956, eventually settling in his wife’s hometown of Gardiner to open his own practice, Clark and Jones, AAL.

Ralph led a rich, full life in his “adopted hometown” serving as mayor (’67-’69), municipal judge, Christ Church Episcopal Chancellor and president of three banks: Gardiner Savings, Gardiner Federal Credit Union and National Bank of Gardiner. After work, Ralph could frequently be found at the Augusta Country Club sharing a laugh, telling stories and playing a round of golf or hand of cribbage with friends, Al Biondi, Henry Poulin, Tom Oliver, Andy Widdows and Mark Plummer. Ralph maintained a single digit handicap throughout most of his life, winning and placing in several amateur golf events in the State of Maine. In 1999, Ralph was inducted into Maine Baseball Hall of Fame and in 2015 joined the Fort Fairfield High School Athletic Hall of Fame, honors for which he always remained humble and grateful to receive.

Without question, his biggest pride and joy were his three daughters and their spouses: Debra and Michael S. Susi, Mary Jo and Murray K. Stevens, Jr. and Melinda “Pooh” Clark; his grandchildren: Michael Clark Susi, Meredith Lynn Susi, Carissa Bard, Lesley Stevens and five great-grandchildren.

The generations all share similar fond memories of their father/grandfather sitting in his chair, cat in his lap roaring with laughter at potato harvest stories, chuckling over old scrapbook memories and allowing them to style his white hair with colored barrettes. Grandchildren’s presence in the house never failed to make Ralph smile and crack a tear of happiness. He would growl with laughter and tease them with a ‘tickling finger’ in their ribs or collarbones. When it was time to leave, family would watch him wave goodbye in front of the home his father built.

In addition to his wife, daughters, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, Ralph is survived by a sister, Ruth L. Clark and two nieces, Andy Girvan and Ellen Dorsey. The family would like to thank the Woodlands Memory Care Staff and Maine General Hospice Staff for care of their husband and father. A private family service will be held in late Spring/early Summer in accordance with Covid regulations.

Arrangements are in the care of Staples Funeral Home and Cremation Care, 53 Brunswick Avenue, Gardiner, Maine. Condolences, memories, and photos may be shared with the family on the obituary page of the Staples Funeral Home website: http://www.familyfirstfuneralhomes.com.

Those wishing to remember Ralph in a special way may make gifts in his memory to: Christ Church Episcopal

2 Dresden Ave.

Gardiner, ME 04345

or Fort Fairfield High School Athletic Hall of Fame

28 High School Drive

Fort Fairfield, ME 04742

Attn: Larry Gardner

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