Half Staff – Thomas L. Clark

December 16, 2021
July 29, 1942 – December 16, 2021

Beverly – Thomas Laing Clark, 79, died in Beverly Hospital on December 16 after a 19-year battle with myelodysplastic syndrome. Born in Cambridge to John and Cherry (Nichols) Clark and raised in Providence, RI and Rockport, he was educated at Moses Brown School, Belmont Hill School and Miami University, Oxford, Ohio. In 1965 he entered the Army and was assigned to the 13th Aviation Battalion in Can Tho, Vietnam, where he served with a helicopter unit and volunteered to teach English at a Buddhist monastery. After a year he was transferred to Dachau, Germany. He concluded his tour of duty in 1966 upon receiving the Vietnam Service, Good Conduct, Vietnam Campaign and National Defense Service Medals.

After serving as an aide to Sen. John Chaffee in Providence, Tom became a reporter for Essex County Newspapers’ Beverly Times, first as a sports writer and then as a reporter. There he met Nancy Brewka, who became his beloved wife of 48 years. In 1978 he joined the reporting staff of The Salem News and spent the rest of his journalistic career covering local politics and the courts.

Tom served for many years on the Beverly Retirement Board. A patient advocate for the Aplastic Anemia and Myelodysplastic Syndrome Foundation, he was a powerful example of how to survive and thrive with a chronic illness. A member of the Guild of Beverly Artists, he was a founding member of the Lynch Park Advisory Committee which undertook the restoration of the carriage house, home to the guild for many decades.

In addition to his wife, he leaves two sisters and their spouses, Joanna and Joseph Swayze and Martha and Andy Rappoli of Rockport; two brothers and their spouses John and Mia Clark of Manchester, VT, and Charles and Heather Clark of Beverly; and numerous nieces and nephews; as well as his in-laws and dear friends Barbara Brewka and her husband James A Lee. In recent years he particularly enjoyed the company of his niece Joanna, her husband Chris McDonough and their daughter Lucy of Beverly.

A memorial service will be held in the summer of 2022 in the Lynch Park Carriage House. Donations in Tom’s name may be made to Beverly Hospital, 85 Herrick St., which provided unparalleled care over the lengthy course of his illness, as well as the Aplastic Anemia and MDS International Foundation, 4330 East West Highway Suite 230, Bethesda, Maryland 20814. Arrangements by Campbell Funeral Home, 525 Cabot Street, Beverly. Information, directions, condolences at www.campbellfuneral.com.