Published in the April 17, 2017 edition.
WAKEFIELD — Joseph W. Clarke, a Wakefield resident, and formerly longtime of Melrose, passed away peacefully on Friday, April 14, at Melrose-Wakefield Hospital, at age 73.
Joe was born in Boston on October 1, 1943, son of Bernice (Flynn) Shay and the late Harold E. Clarke. He was raised in Malden where he graduated from Malden High School. On May 7, 1966 he married Susan J. Taylor and they settled in Melrose to raise a family of three children. Joe was a hardworking, honest man who loved his family, and was well-liked by all who knew him.
Joe worked as a foreman and warehouse manager at Oak Roofing in Woburn for over 15 years. He later was a self-employed roofing contractor and completed many area projects for residential and commercial customers in the Melrose area. After retiring from roofing, Joe found work as a livery driver where he enjoyed being part of the annual team of drivers for the Boston Marathon elite runners.
Joe was a sociable, outgoing and funny guy. He worked hard to support his family, but was always smiling and laughing with his family and friends. With one liners, and a witty sense of humor, he was always making his family laugh.
In his younger years, he enjoyed fly fishing with his father, brothers, and children on Baker River in New Hampshire. Later in life he became an avid and passionate gardener. He grew vegetables and flowers at a large garden in Woburn that he cared for and had other gardens around Melrose. Joe got his family involved with growing the best tomatoes, rose bushes, dahlias, and tulips for Sue.
Most of all, Joe was a family man who cherished anytime with family especially his beloved grandchildren.
Joe was the beloved husband of Susan J. (Taylor) Clarke with whom he shared nearly 51 years of marriage. He was the devoted father of Jeffrey A. Clarke and his wife Alicia of Billerica, Jodi L. Manchester and her husband Vance of Wakefield, and Kristen A. Clarke of Stoneham. He was the dear brother of Linda Jean Haley and her late husband Fred of Tewksbury, Stephen Clarke and his wife Janina of Melrose, Thomas Clarke of Tewksbury, and brother-in-law of Janice Clarke of Stoneham. He was the cherished grandfather of Jessica and Kelsey Manchester, and Emily, Jacob, and Jared Clarke. Joe also leaves his treasured English bulldog, Bubba, who provided great companionship and comfort these last few years.
Relatives and friends will gather in honor and remembrance of Joe’s life during visiting hours at the Robinson Funeral Home, 809 Main St., Melrose on Tuesday, April 18, from 4-8 p.m., and for his funeral service at the First United Methodist Church, 645 Main St., Melrose on Wednesday at 10 a.m.
For directions or online tribute visit Robinson