COOPERSTOWN – William David Clark, 95, a World War II veteran, former mayor of Cooperstown and a member of the family that owned McEwan’s Hardware, died at his home on Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2020. He was lovingly known as Bill, Dad, and Pop.
He entered this world on June 18, 1925, the only child of Lester James Clark and Catherine Mae Halsdorf.
He was raised in Cooperstown, graduated high school there and entered the Engineering School of Cornell University.
Bill took a break from Cornell, enlisting in the Army, training as an officer and serving as a 1st Lieutenant in the Philippines during World War II. He was awarded four medals for his service in the Pacific Campaign.
After the war, Bill married Gertrude (Mickey) Dowd and the couple returned to Ithaca, where Bill graduated Cornell with high honors in chemical engineering. His degree took him to Wilmington, Del., to work at DuPont, and where Bill and Mickey’s first child, Margaret, was born.
The family then returned to Cooperstown where Bill joined his father in McEwan’s Hardware.
The family grew as Sara, Catherine, David, William and Jean arrived. Bill left McEwan’s to become hospital engineer at Bassett Hospital.
Sadly, Mickey died in 1969. Bill then had the great good fortune to have Elizabeth “Liz” Feltz say yes to his proposal of marriage. Liz, with her children Linda and Craig, combined with the Clarks to make the family unit that made Bill most proud.
His belief in family was strong, and clearly transmitted to all of his children – all eight of them – a belief that all of his children carry today. Bill loved Cooperstown and Otsego Lake.
He served as mayor of the village and was an enthusiastic supporter of athletics. He was often found at the Alfred Corning Clark gymnasium playing squash, and was an excellent golfer, tennis player, swimmer and skier, and a formidable bridge player.
Bill is survived by Liz, his wife of 51 years, and by all of his eight children, 11 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren: Jean and Rob Bohm and children, Julia and Rudy; Bill and children, Morgann and Shane, and great-grandchildren, Juniper and Samson, David and Pam and daughter, Mollie; Craig and Peggy Torruella, Cathy and Ned Perkins and children, Emily and Matthew, Linda and Steve Roach and daughter, Ashley; Sara and Gary Barnum, Peg and John O’Meara and children, James, Caitlin and Ian and great-grandchildren, Edward, Jack and Bobby.
Bill’s example lives on while his family grieves his loss.
Contributions in Bill’s name may be made to St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church in Cooperstown and Helios Care, Oneonta.
Funeral arrangements are limited to immediate family to respect the pandemic.
Arrangements are with Tillapaugh Funeral Service, Cooperstown.