Clark H. Neill ’56 died on August 8, 2021, in Falmouth, Massachusetts
(The following was published by The Wellesley Townsman on August 17, 2021)
Clark Hodges Neill, 87, of East Falmouth, passed away peacefully with family by his side at Falmouth Hospital on August 8, 2021, after a period of declining health. He was born on June 2, 1934, in Washington, DC, the son of Capt. William Gilmore Neill and Lydia Hodges Clark Neill. Early years were spent in Long Beach, CA. Clark’s family moved to Cambridge where his father oversaw ordnance at the Boston Naval Yard. Upon his father’s retirement from the Navy in 1946, the family moved to Cape Neddick, ME, and bought an antique farmhouse on the Cape Neddick River. Clark graduated from York High School and spent summers as a lifeguard on York Beach. Majoring in physics and mathematics, he graduated from Bowdoin College in 1956. He was a member of Zeta Psi fraternity and the varsity swim team and the sound engineer for the “Meddiebempters”, a popular a capella singing group. Upon graduating from Naval Officer Candidate School (OCS), Clark left for Honolulu, serving three years active duty, managing the Pearl Harbor Degaussing Station. He would spend twenty additional years in the Navy Reserves, retiring as a commander. While in Hawaii, he learned to sail and fly. Once home on the mainland, he bought a primitive Luscombe stunt plane that lacked heat and lights and had to be landed sideways, turning at the last moment with the hope of hitting the runway. He flew it home across the United States in 1959, sometimes landing for the night in parking lots, on beaches or in an open field. After attending Boston University Law School, Clark worked for Honeywell in Wellesley. Soon after meeting Joyce Heissenbuttel at a Valentine’s Day party, the couple married on September 5, 1964. They later moved to Wellesley where they resided for thirty-four years and raised three sons. After nine years at Honeywell, Clark became vice president of marketing for Fishery Products in Danvers. In fulfilling his dream to own his own company, he purchased and ran two businesses: Surrette Battery in Tilton, NH, and Auto Industrial Machine in Danvers, commuting each day from Wellesley. Clark’s direct and affable personality made him a natural for multiple leadership roles, both professionally and across diverse hobbies and interests. Over several decades, Clark was president of The Bowdoin Club of Boston (after years spent interviewing prospective students), Broomstones Curling Club in Wayland, and The Wellesley Players. He loved a good challenge and working with his hands, designing and building sets for multiple Players productions, along with chairing the Ice Committee at Broomstones. He made lifelong friends with many along the way. Retiring to East Falmouth, Clark remained quite active. He became treasurer of both the Cape Cod Curling Club (enjoying his Ice Committee duties there) and the homeowner’s association of Windwood, where he and Joyce have lived for the past twenty-one years. Besides family and close friends, Clark’s major loves were sailing and curling which took him to Scotland and Canada many times. If he wasn’t on the ice, he aspired to be on their sloop (8-Ender). Clark and Joyce enjoyed sailing up and down the coast to Maine and around Cape Cod and the islands, often with friends or family. He is survived by Joyce, his wife of nearly fifty-seven years, three sons: Jonathan (Laura) of Wooster, OH, Christopher (Devon) of Lakewood, CO, and Dayton (Emily) of Natick, as well as four grandchildren: Emily (Cincinnati, OH), Jack (Bloomington, IN), Addison, and DJ (Natick).