|In Loving Memory of my Father, submitted by Judy Madsen
Fondly remembering my father, Johnson Berton Clark, husband, father and grandfather, who passed away three years ago, April 16, 1999, after many years of heart trouble. He was only 79 years old.
My father, Berton was the son of Helen Alberta Lockhart Clark and Johnson Wilmot Clark, and grandson of Charles Berton Lockhart and Theodosia A. Hartt. He was born in Vancouver, B.C., but traveled to his motherís birth home in Saint John, New Brunswick many times during his life.
My father attended the University of British Columbia, with the intention of studying medicine (his motherís desire). But quickly found out that this field was not for him, when he passed out at the sight of blood, trying to assist with a medical emergency in his neighborhood. He eventually studied aeronautical engineering in California in his early twenties and joined Trans Canada Airlines (presently Air Canada) as an aircraft mechanic after the Second World War ended. During the war he served one year in the Navy aboard a minesweeper out of Halifax, Nova Scotia, on convoys.
In 1947, my father met my mother Rosalind Mary Thompson of Vancouver and they were married the following year at the home of his maternal grandparents, Charles Berton Lockhart and Theodosia Adriana Hartt, in St. John, New Brunswick. He was now planning on attending Dalhousie University for a career in Pharmacy (at his Aunt Alice Lockhartís persuasion), and decided to do his practicum in a drug store, prior to entering University. He found that he preferred working mechanically with airplanes and at the first opening at Trans Canada Airlines, couldnít get back to Vancouver fast enough to take up the position. There he worked at Air Canada, until his retirement in 1985.
I remember my father as Mr. FixIt. He could always repair anything; needless to say he never hired any one. He owned every tool and piece of equipment imaginable, industrial strength (as he always professed Ė you get what you pay for). We are just now finally cleaning out the basement and garage at my parentís home, and now I really know the extent of his collection! We kids used to refer to all his tools as his toys.
My father worked for Air Canada all those years, with numerous travel passes available to him, yet never traveled much. I once asked him why? All he replied was that he had everything here at home, why travel.
I remember him as enjoying all the family gatherings that we would have, especially the grandchildren in later years. When my father was departing from my home or I was leaving his, he always had to give us extra hugs Ė something which I now miss.
We never did meet many of his workplace friends, but upon celebrating my parentís 50th wedding anniversary, a few of his friends attended. It was then that I realized the respect and admiration he had attained at Air Canada. At his funeral, I remember all these men showing up, about 20 or more, whom we didnít recognize. It wasnít until the reception following the service that we realized they were all from Air Canada.
My father was different, lived in his own world sometimes. But I admire him for all his accomplishments. I am writing this on April 15 th, and tomorrow, April 16th will be the third anniversary of his death. I think about him often, miss him, and am looking forward to meeting him again, somewhere up in the heavens.
Contributed by Judith Madsen|