Andrew Blake Clark
It is with great sadness we announce that Andrew Blake Clark lost his battle with cancer at the Orangeville Hospital on Tuesday, February 9, 2021.
He was predeceased by his parents, Blake and Lillian (nee Ward) Clark; his first wife, Janet (nee Tate); and his brother, David. Andrew leaves behind his loving wife, Cynthia and his daughters Kathryn (Jason), Rachel, Gretchen (Jonathan), Lara (Michael) and his stepchildren Maya (Steve) and Derek. He was Papa to Liam, Aidan, Evan, Keeley, Eileen, Isaiah, Audrey, Noah and Oliver, as well as Aidan, Hannah, Zoe, and Ronan. He is survived by his siblings Geoff (Nancy), Judi (Andrew), and Christopher. He will be missed by many cousins, in-laws, nieces, nephews and their children.
Andy was born in Grand Forks, British Columbia December 1, 1947. He was introduced to military life early, as his father, Blake, an Engineer in the RCAF, moved the family several times across Canada, including a posting to Germany. In 1965, he was accepted to Royal Roads Military Academy, where he excelled on the soccer field. He went to finish his degree in Kingston at RMC, where he met first wife Janet. They married in 1969, shortly after his graduation, and were posted to Winnipeg where he completed his Navigator training. Kathryn joined them in the fall of 1970, and Rachel the following year prior to their posting to Greenwood, Nova Scotia. They crossed the country a few more times between BC and NS and had two more children: Gretchen in 1974 and Lara in 1978. Andy was fortunate to receive a 3-year international posting to RAF Cranwell in Lincolnshire, England where he took the Aerospace Systems Course, and was course manager for two years. After returning to Canada, he completed Staff College at Downsview, Ontario. His love of flying sent him back to Comox, BC where he remained until his retirement in 1997.
In 2001, Andy and Jan returned to Ontario to be closer to Jan's aging mother, and after a year in Midland, settled in Oxford Mills. Andy worked as a consultant for an engineering company, General Dynamics, contracted to do the navigation systems refit for the Aurora, an aircraft used by the military for maritime patrol. It was the perfect job for him as he had been part of the crew to first fly this aircraft out of Greenwood. In this home, Andy was able to have a magnificent garden that kept him busy evenings and weekends as long as the snow stayed away. When the snow was there, he did things like build a mill in his garage so he could create bassinets and cribs for his grandchildren.
Unfortunately, Jan died suddenly in 2008, after which Andy retired once and for all and moved to Orangeville to be closer to family. He began attending St. Mark’s Church where he joined the church choir and shortly after the Headwaters Concert Choir. Here, he was able to start a new chapter of his life.
It was at Headwaters Concert Choir he met Cynthia (Robinson) who shared his love of singing, travelling, and gardening. They married in December 2010. Their love of travelling took them to Kenya, across Canada to Vancouver Island, throughout the United States, as well as northern Ontario, to the end of the paved roads. During these travels they stayed with family and friends. Singing took them to Italy where they had the wonderful experience of singing at St. Peter’s and in Palestrina with visits to the Amalfi Coast, Venice and Florence. Their last home was in the country on a lake where Andy at last had a separate workshop building where he was able to continue his woodworking skills making gifts, and together they worked on fixing up this home and tending their large vegetable and flower gardens.
Andy will be remembered as a man who worked with his hands, sharing his love of building with all of his grandchildren. When he wasn’t in the workshop, he could be found puttering around in the garden with Cyn, or sitting with his feet up reading a book.
Memorial donations in memory of Andy may be made to St. Mark's Anglican Church, Orangeville or a charity of your choice would be appreciated by the family.
A tree will be planted in memory of Andy in the Dods & McNair Memorial Forest at the Island Lake Conservation Area, Orangeville. The next annual dedication service will be held on Sunday, September 12, 2021 at 2:30 p.m. Condolences may be offered to the family at www.dodsandmcnair.com