The Coastal Packet: Maine reporter writes his own obituary

Thursday, August 6

Maine reporter writes his own obituary

Jeffrey Davies Clark, Desmond Funeral Home, Bath, ME The advantage of knowing when you’re going to die is that you get to write your own obituary. For a journalist, that’s the gold standard.

I, Jeffrey Davies Clark, was born February 8, 1950, in Belfast, Maine, to Leroy H. “Pete” Clark, of Belfast, and Edith Mae “Di” Clark, née Davies, formerly of Liverpool, England. I was the oldest of six children. After a childhood on the family farm in Swanville and a side trip to Colorado, we moved to Belfast in 1962, where I graduated from Belfast Area High School in 1968.

After three years at the University of Maine at Orono, the realization dawned that I was about to graduate with an English degree, possibly the most useless piece of paper in academia. Taking a semester off to think things over seemed a good idea to me, but not to my draft board, so in May of 1972 I enlisted in the U.S. Air Force. I was stationed at Offutt AFB outside Omaha, Nebraska, where I literally found the rest of my life. I became a reporter and then editor for the Air Pulse, the weekly newspaper serving the Offutt community. And in a cornfield in Cass County I found the woman I would very happily spend the rest of my life with, Patricia Morris. She has been my rock and my light and my love.

Pat and I were married June 21, 1975, in Plattsmouth, Nebraska. In 1979, we returned to Maine, where I continued as a reporter and editor, first on Sam Pennington’s Waldoboro Weekly, then at Peter Cox’s Maine Times, and finally on Down East magazine, where Dale Kuhnert gave me the job of a lifetime chronicling the people and places of this astonishing state. In 1983 Pat and I welcomed our daughter, Jocelyn “Josie,” and in 1986 our second daughter, Erin, arrived. Two more wonderful daughters simply do not exist in this world, and I apologize to both of them for leaving too early.

For five years, I served on the board of Maine Rivers, an organization devoted to protecting Maine’s freshwater rivers and streams. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Maine Rivers at P.O. Box 782, Yarmouth, ME 04096 or Brunswick Area Respite Care at 41 Greenwood Road, Brunswick, ME 04011 in memory of my late mother-in-law, Lillie.

I passed away on August 4, 2015 from complications related to esophageal cancer... It’s been a trip, folks. Thank you to all the family and friends and complete strangers who have made this life so interesting. Now, on to the next one! Until the circle is unbroken.

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