Deceased August 13, 2013

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50th Reunion Book Entry

In Memory

Roger Clark died Aug. 13, 2013, at his home in Hilton Head, S.C. Last fall Roger was diagnosed with incurable brain cancer.

Roger came from St. Louis to Amherst, where he majored in economics. He was a member of the choir and band, assistant editor of the Olio, on the Sabrina staff and in ROTC. Roger joined DU and served as its president.

In 1956 Roger married Barbara Speegle, Wellesley '56. Air Force Lieutenant Clark and his bride were stationed at an airbase in Germany. Upon returning to the States, the Clark family (now four, with the addition of two sons) moved to Cincinnati, where Roger joined Procter & Gamble. After he spent 10 years as a self-styled "soap guy," the Clark clan, now numbering six, moved to Connecticut, where Roger joined a marketing consulting firm formed by former P&G associates. He consulted for well known brands such as Pillsbury, Heineken and Wrigley. Fifteen years later Roger started the truly entrepreneurial phase of his career, operating from Westport, Conn., and, since 1995, from Hilton Head. He invested in and helped manage a variety of companies, including one that sold lottery programs to countries not on the tourist routes.

Roger was a lifelong tennis player and country music fan. He and Barbara traveled widely in this country and abroad. Through his church, where he recently became an elder, he was involved with various charitable organizations. Roger was calm, friendly, kind and generous. He was humorously self-deprecating about his many accomplishments and delighted his grandchildren with a "silly" sense of humor.

He is survived by his wife, Barbara; a daughter, Cynthia '87; two sons, Steve and Scott, and their wives; and six grandchildren. He was preceded in death by son Gregory '80.

Norm Douglass '55
Henry Keller '55
Peter Wykoff '55

50th Reunion

Spouse: Barbara
Children: Stephen Clark, Scott Clark and Cynthia Clark Berman (Amherst '87)
Grandchildren: 6
Career: Partially retired. Marketing and management consulting plus entrepreneurial ventures.
Interests: Tennis, travel
Biography: "Yes, I'd do it all over again." These words from one of my favorite gospel singers (Vestal Goodman) pretty well sum up my reflections.

The USAF was my first stop in the real world. By the fall of '56, I found myself as a 2nd Lt. at an air base in Germany with responsibility for about 100 airmen and 200 German civilians. Fortunately, I inherited an SS Trooper who kept the civilians in line and a great Master Sergeant who did his best to control the airmen.

Life was full, particularly when my new bride (Barbara, Wellesley '56) arrived and found out it only cost $6.98 to have a baby. We left Germany 2½  years later for civilian life with two boys, all for only $13.96. (Barbara forgot to tell me about the upkeep expenses.)

The 60's were spent in Cincinnati, OH as I valiantly climbed the corporate ladder at Procter & Gamble, always hoping to reach the next rung before we all starved to death. This also was the period when we added two more children to the Clark Clan.

In 1969, we relocated to Westport, CT where I went to work for Ralph Glendinning, who had been my first boss at P&G. Ralph founded a consulting company in the early 60's and later started several other marketing businesses. I ran various pieces of these ventures over the next 15 years and particularly enjoyed the time spent helping develop several offices in Europe.

During these years, I entered the college acceptance jungle with our kids. We were fortunate to have two attend Amherst, one Lafayette and one Colby. All of these turned out to be very good experiences. In fact, when my daughter was accepted at Amherst, I showed my flexibility by deciding that this co-ed thing might be OK after all.

When Ralph Glendinning retired in 1988,I bought a couple of companies from him and ran them from Westport, CT until 1995, when I moved to Hilton Head, SC. We had owned property here since the late 70's so the move was relatively painless.

I am still involved in several business ventures with long term friends which I enjoy and which take up about half my time. The balance is spent mainly on tennis and travel. We particularly enjoyed a trip we made to Sicily last year with a group of Amherst alums and spouses. We will leave on the encore voyage with this group next week, visiting Budapest and cruising the Danube to Romania.

Barbara and I are looking forward to the 50th reunion although I may ask Bill Duffy to delay it for a week since it now conflicts with my granddaughter's high school graduation from Hilton Head prep.

Reflections: Coming from a small Midwestern prep school (St. Louis Country Day; 30 in my class), I was relatively naive about my own strengths and weaknesses. In our small school:
• Everyone that wanted to play basketball, football, etc. made the team.
• Math did not seem any harder to me than English
• Virtually everyone was in the Glee Club and band, or these groups would not have existed. (The thought that I sang "Old Man River" in a production boggles my mind.)

Since I had never seen Amherst nor even known anyone close to my age who had attended, I really did not know what to expect when I arrived. What I soon discovered was that our class was extremely talented in many ways and that my self-image needed a bit of adjusting. For example:
• At freshman basketball tryouts there were at least 50 guys who were bigger, stronger, faster and shot better than I did.
• One of my freshman roommates knew more about Physics than my prep school professor (or so it seemed to me).
• The numerous musicians in my dorm (South) were much more talented than any I had ever heard before.

Fortunately, the freshman workload was so demanding that it was almost a relief to know that extra curricular activities would not be a big time consumer for me. So I worked hard and survived Year One.

By sophomore year, the fraternity experience arrived and I formed friendships that will stay with me forever. DU also provided a broadening experience for me in my senior year when I had to deal with the college's policy of disbarring any fraternity that had a blackball provision in its national charter. I can still recall my trepidation when I was summoned to President Cole's office to discuss this situation. Fortunately, the college decided to let DU withdraw from the national and survive and I gained a new sensitivity to the need for the civil rights movement.

Over the four years, I realized I would never be a Greek scholar like Bob Fagles or an MIT Dean like my roommate Paul Penfield. However, I could take solace in the fact that I did reasonably well as an economics major and really enjoyed intramural sports and the high-class ambiance of the DU bar.