Walter Simeon “Skip” Clark Jr., 84, of Naples, FL and Hyde Park, VT, passed away on Tuesday, February 25, 2020. He had been a seasonal resident of Naples since 1992. He was born July 9, 1935 in Detroit, MI, the only child of Mae (née Hudson) and Walter Simeon Clark Sr.
Anyone who knew Skip knew that he lived life to its fullest and on his own terms. Skip was an individual from the very start. Visitors to his home in Hyde Park Vermont would have been greeted by a black and white boyhood photo of Skip with a giant marlin he had caught, a grin and open arms. This larger than life attitude is what defined his life and his relationships. Skip pursued many avenues throughout his life, receiving two masters degrees, teaching history to New York’s inner city youth and traveling to over 100 countries (of which he remembered the name of every single one and its capital). Often times, he recalled the name of a stranger he crossed paths with on his journeys and the names of each small village he happened upon. It was not unusual for him to be put up by a local family for however long he felt like staying. One of those stints” lasted nearly six months” he would recall with a look of pride on his face, yet humility in his eyes. He also took to the camera, photographing his journeys for the National Geographic among others. Above all, he was a pivotal figure in the life of his only daughter Emilie. Becoming a single parent, they were each other’s sole companions for many years as she joined him in his travels. He proudly succeeded in instilling the love of travel in her. Later in life he took joy in his two grandchildren, Gabriella and Miles (Coleson). He is also survived by longtime companion, Judi Pepper; her three daughters, France, Heather, and Tricia; and five grandchildren. He is also survived by his stepbrother, Sloane Barbour II and his family.
He leaves behind a trusted friend who in his later years was as much a son to him as he was a business partner, Alberto Hernandez, along with his wife Renata and their three children.
There is not space enough here to include the hundreds of people that Skip valued as friends- those who shared time, meals, voyages, and memories with this incredible person, and who now also share sadness and heartbreak at his passing.
Skip was active and curious to the very end of his life, learning to fly glider planes in his 60's, skiing into his 80's, and traveling around the world until he passed away peacefully in his sleep just a few short weeks ago.
Due to current health concerns, there will be no services at this time. A celebration of life will be announced at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that memorial contributions be made to the American Cancer Society, www.cancer.org.
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