John B. “Jack” Clark, 80, of Pawlet passed away Thursday, Sept. 26, at Indian River Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Granville, N.Y. after a long battle with dementia and other medical issues.
Jack was born on June 21, 1933, in Granville, N.Y., the son of Dorothea Streeter Clark and Wilson Clark.
He grew up on the family farm in Pawlet, Vt, and received his early education at the Brook School and East Wells School and graduated from Granville High School in 1951. As a young man he enjoyed the maple sugar making process with his brother, Bill, which spawned the creation of Clark Brothers Maple Sugar business. He served in the United States Army and Army Reserves from 1954 – 1961 before settling in Pawlet. Jack was always an entrepreneur. He recognized an opportunity when farms began to transition from moving milk by cans to shipping their milk by truck and he purchased his first bulk milk tank truck and started Clark’s Transport in 1962. He soon purchased a second truck, and invited his younger brother, Leon, to come work for him and they worked together for over 50 years. For many years he operated the business with two trucks, then three, until eventually the industry called for tractor trailers and more long distance hauling. During this time, he also managed a new milk transfer plant in Manchester, Vt., and was responsible for sampling and testing all the milk that passed through this facility. In 1981, his son, Joseph, joined the business and began the expansion of the company to include additional milk tanks and flat bed trailers, as well as a new name as it still is today, J & J Trucking Co., Inc. He was very fortunate in that he was able to work with close family for all those years.
Eventually, Jack decided to follow another interest and purchased a peat bog in Wells, Vt., and began a successful production of peat products including peat humus, potting soil and top soil. He ran this company, Pioneer Peat Products, until his retirement in 2007.
Jack was always interested in farm life, tractors, trucks and mechanics and was always ready to tell a story with that good ole’ Vermont humor. He enjoyed antiquing, old cars, growing giant sunflowers and following the NASCAR circuit.
He married Barbara Frances Jones on Nov. 22, 1953, in Wells, Vt., and she was an active partner in business, handling the bookkeeping for the trucking companies and Pioneer Peat Products. Together they enjoyed their camp on Lake St. Catherine while their family was young and then their condo in Daytona Beach, Fl., where they were able to spend winters for thirteen years.
Jack is survived by his wife, Barbara, of 59 years, his son, Joseph Clark and wife Deborah, of Pawlet, his daughter, Cathy Leach and fiancé Daniel Wood, of Arlington, Vt., his granddaughter, Rebecca and husband Christopher Thomas of Somerville, MA, his grandson, Gregory Clark and his companion, Caitlin Foley, of Manchester, Vt., his brother, Bill Clark and wife, Sue, of Wells, Vt., his brother Leon Clark and wife, Dawn of Pawlet, sister-in-law, Priscilla Dahle of Crosby, MN., as well as several nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his parents, his father and mother –in-law, Burton and Lucy Jones, brothers’-in-law, Stewart Dittmeier and Oliver Dahle and sisters’-in-law, Brita Dittmeier and Alma Stearns.
Funeral services for Jack will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 2nd at Robert M. King Funeral Home at 23 Church Street in Granville, N.Y. The family will receive visitors from noon to 2 p.m. prior to the funeral service which will begin at 2 p.m. followed by a reception at Bernardo’s Restaurant in Granville. Internment will be at a later date at the family’s convenience.