In Loving Memory of Alfred Francis Clarke
February 7, 1926 ~ June 8, 2017
Long time Mission resident, 91 year old Alfred F. Clarke, passed away at the Menno Home in Abbotsford with family members present. Alfred elected to participate in the UBC Body Donation Program, and has requested no memorial service be held. Alfred Francis Clarke was born in Bombay, India to Alfred and Elsie Clarke. He attended Bishop Cotton Boarding School in Bangalore, India. At the age of 17, Alfred joined the British Merchant Navy and sailed to Scotland. Alfred apprenticed as an Aero Engine Mechanic for Rolls Royce in Nottingham, England. Alfred enlisted in the British Army in October 1944, where he served in the United Kingdom, India and Singapore. Lieutenant A.F. Clarke was discharged from duty in February 1948. Alfred worked briefly at Northern Electric Telephone in Toronto, Ontario in 1948, until his return to England in 1949. Alfred got involved with Thoroughbred horse racing during this time in England. Alfred then took a job escorting imported Thoroughbred race horses to Canada in 1952. Alfred hired on with CP Rail Coquitlam Yard in 1955, where he worked 30 years as Switchman, Yard Foreman and Conductor. While escorting the imported horses by railcar to Vancouver, BC, Alfred met his future wife Bernice June Coles. They married October 15, 1955. In 1957 Alf and June purchased their first home in Mission, BC. While in Mission they started hobby farming and raised their family of four children. They owned property on Cedar St., Cherry St. and finally their dream acreage on Olson Road. Alfred started as a trainer, then owner, and breeder of his beloved Thoroughbred race horses. During the horse gap years, Alfred took on roles such as Scout Leader and Soccer Coach. He was also briefly involved with Mission municipal politics. Alfred loved reading, poetry writing, listening to music and the companionship of his dogs. Alfred invented his beloved steeplechase board game, and enjoyed hosting many game nights with family and friends. Alfred resided on the Olson Road property well into his retirement years. Alfred went on to enjoy the comforts and service of Assisted Living at The Cedars in Mission and then Extended Care at The Menno Home in Abbotsford. The Clarke family wishes to thank The Cedars and Menno Home staff, for their years of kindness and service. Alfred was predeceased by his wife June in December 2013. Alfred is survived by his sister Margaret (Maggie) Sayer his sons Alfred R. Clarke and David Clarke; his daughters Beverly Banfield and Carol Cole; 10 grandchildren and 8 great grandchildren. The Clarke family invites those wishing to honor Alfred’s memory to donate to the British Columbia 4-H Foundation BN:886318807RR0001 Donations may be made on line via www.canadahelps.org or via mail to: 2743 – 30th St., Vernon, BC V1T 5C6. Alfred Clarke’s family will be gathering at Neilson Regional Park (Edwards St. East, Hatzic) on Sunday July 2nd, 2017 12:00 – 3:00 pm for a potluck picnic. Guests and children are welcome to attend. Please bring lawn chairs and potluck item. Condolences may be mailed to Beverly Banfield, PO Box 3460, Mission, BC V2V 4L1.