In Memoriam: clacko

Don Clark was known as clacko on FlyerTalk. Photograph courtesy of Carol Clark.

The last time FlyerTalk member clacko posted on FlyerTalk, he wrote “mid jan thru feb can be good…..” in response to a question posted by FlyerTalk member BradnerBoy: “For those that have been at this for a long time, any guesses as to what we can we expect for the first few months of 2014 or do most good MRs deal come about in the last quarter of the year?”

Don Clark — the actual real name of clacko — was apparently doing what he enjoyed to do the last time he participated on FlyerTalk on October 19, 2013 at 6:27 in the evening Eastern Daylight Time: he assisted a fellow FlyerTalk member before succumbing to esophageal cancer on Wednesday, December 18, 2013.

Although I know many FlyerTalk members personally, I sadly cannot recall ever meeting clacko in person — and that is unfortunate on my part — so I have no words to personally honor his memory. However, I reached out to Carol Clark — who is the daughter of clacko and posted the somber announcement — to send to me some photographs and information about her father as a tribute to him; and here is what she had to say in her own words:

“Dad was a frequent flier for such a long time. He visited over 100 countries, I am not sure of the exact number, including Antarctica and above the arctic circle. When I was in college, I remember that several times he took 4 or 5 short flights in one day to add segments. Dad served in the Air Force as a young man. My mother says in the early 60s he started flying lessons, but work and family never allowed him to get his pilot’s license. He traveled a great deal all over the United States for his work at EDS. After he retired, my parents took many cruises and numerous trips all over the world where often my father would hunt or fish. As he got older and it was harder to get around, he seemed to enjoy his time on FlyerTalk even more. If he wasn’t working out mileage runs for himself or his family, he had fun helping others get the most miles they could. Dad enjoyed puzzles, like sodoku and the New York Times Crossword, he enjoyed flying and he really enjoyed a good deal–making FlyerTalk a perfect place for him! It was only in the last few months of his illness that he logged on less. We are still finding pieces of paper around the house with notes like ‘DFW-HKG-MNL 9502 19001’ and ‘DFW-LAX-RAR, TBU-SYD-MEL, AKL-LAX-DFW’.
“His family would like to thank the community at FlyerTalk for remembering Don ‘Clacko’ Clark in their thoughts.
“His daughter, Carol Clark”

Carol, thank you for providing me with this touching tribute to your father.
It is apparent that clacko was respected by his fellow members of FlyerTalk, as evidenced in this discussion where condolences to his loved ones are offered. I chose the photograph above to honor clacko based on what FlyerTalk member Fitch7600 posted:

“Despite his self-proclaimed grouchiness, he was always a gentleman and always worth reading. Sail on Don!”

You will be sorely missed, Don — as well as remembered fondly by your fellow members of FlyerTalk. My condolences and thoughts are with your daughter Carol and your wife, as well as the rest of your family and friends. May you rest in peace.

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