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Eight Bells: Robert Munro Clarke

Published on June 30th, 2019

Bob Clarke, 86, passed peacefully on June 22, 2019 in New Bern, North Carolina.

Bob was predeceased by his brother Fred and daughter Martha in 2009, and daughter Jolie in 2003 —losses that devastated him.

He is survived by his admiring wife, Jinny, of New Bern, NC; son Bob Clarke, Jr. of Jamestown (Barbara); brother-in-law Rick Coburn of Poway, CA (Lori); two sons-in-law Andy Kinnecom of Saunderstown (Margaret), and Kevin Coleman of North Kingstown; five grandchildren: Katie (Doug), Kimberly, Kelly (Mark) and Abby and Amy; six great-grandchildren: Amalia, Violet, Maeve, Jude, Jolie, and Marlie; nephews Steve, Tom and Matt Clarke, their sister Susan Clarke Murray, and many friends.

The son of Betty and Fred Clarke, Sr. of Jamestown, Bob was born in Arlington, MA in 1933 and grew up in Jamestown where his ancestors were among those who bought Conanicut Island from the Narragansett Indians. He graduated from Tabor Academy in 1953. Bob enlisted in the US Navy. He was Machinist Mate First Class on the USN CROSS DE 448 and could fix anything mechanical. Bob was an ardent proponent of the Navy, its schools and the opportunities the Navy offers to young people.

Bob spent a year each at Babson College and the University of Rhode Island. He studied finance and business. He was employed by the sales department of American Boat Builders in East Greenwich. He insisted he start in the mold room so he would know how the boats he would be selling were built. Bob was also in sales with Bristol Yachts, Pearson Yachts and Freedom Yachts.

Bob eventually left the boat business and was a residential building contractor, ultimately developing Conanicut Reserve on Beavertail. He and Jinny later lived out Bob’s long-standing dream of a life on a boat, doing crewed charters for over 20 years between Jamestown and the Bahamas on S/V MAI LING. As US Coast Guard Licensed Captains Bob and Jinny enjoyed and felt very useful sharing their love of the sea and nature nature with others.

Bob made many great friends, told superb stories, and had an exceptional interest in his family and friends. He was an excellent storyteller, was quickly able to answer any question put to him, and when necessary would convincingly make up an answer. Bob was a good listener. He was humble, kind, loving, able, patient, understanding, loyal, imaginative, funny and a resourceful person.

A celebration of life will be held on July 14th at 2pm at Beavertail State Park, Jamestown.

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