Jan. 13, 2003 — The family of Charles Evans Clarke (Charlie), 96 years, of Estate Wheel of Fortune, Frederiksted, St. Croix, Virgin Islands, mourns his passing at home on January 6, 2003. Services will be held at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 15, at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Frederiksted, with internment at the Frederiksted Cemetery. In lieu of flowers donations can be made to the Herbert Grigg Home for the Aged and forwarded to the Clarke Family at P.O. Box 706, Frederiksted, St. Croix, V. I. 00841.
Charles Evans Clarke was born to William H. Clarke and Violet Amelia Gomes Clarke at Estate Two Williams in Frederiksted, the third of ten children. Although his birth certificate gives his date of birth as July 1, 1906, he has always celebrated July 16 as his date of birth.
Since his father was an estate manager, the family lived at many of the island estates including Enfield Green, Anguilla, Concordia, Diamond, St. Georges, and Bethlehem. In 1921, the family finally settled at Estate Wheel of Fortune. His continued involvement in the upkeep of the estate led him to be affectionately known as "Master."
Charles Clarke received his schooling under the Danish system at the Dane School in Frederiksted. In school, he excelled at math. Though he had a strong interest in pursuing further education, at that time he was only able to complete his schooling through the ninth grade. He subsequently entered the work force.
His employment was diverse, including positions at the Finance Department, Office of Pricing Administration (OPA) during World War II, where he was promoted through the ranks from clerk to the territorial rationing executive, and the Housing Department, where he was the director.
During this period he also ran his own business, a successful bus transportation service on St. Croix. Some people may still recall the names of his buses, the Excelsior and the Majestic.
His last full-time employment was as Postmaster for the Frederiksted Post Office. After completing his term at the Post Office, he returned fulltime to cattle ranching and farming, a vocation in which he was involved throughout his life. He was an integral part of a group who established the Senepol breed of cattle on the island. He also took great pride in the establishment of a local fruit orchard. Many islanders may be familiar with the grafted mangoes grown there.
In 1930, Mr. Clarke was first united in marriage to Sylvia Todmann. This union produced two children. His second marriage, to Audrey Vialet on Jan. 4, 1946, was blessed with six children.
His interests included music, politics and his family. As a musician, he played the clarinet and was one of the founding members of the St. Croix Community Band. His political activity included being an active member of the Republican Club. He always promoted education for his family. He was a man before his time, as he advocated equal opportunities for all of his children. When it came to work and education, gender made no difference, as he promoted them equally for his sons as well as his daughters.
Family and friends fondly remember his ability to "talk" for hours on end on a wide variety of subjects. His recounting of the olden days in St. Croix is particularly treasured by everyone.
Charles Clarke is predeceased in death by his parents, all of his siblings and his son Roy Halvor Clarke. He is survived by his wife, Audrey Vialet Clarke; his children, Gwendolyn B. Clarke Blake, Charles Kenneth Clarke, Raymond E. Clarke, Winifred Clarke Hardy, LaVerne Clarke Russell, Audrey Lynelle Clarke Johnson and William D. Clarke; numerous in-laws, grandchildren, great grandchildren, nieces, nephews, other relatives and close friends.


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