MONTCLAIR, N.J. — Leonard Johnson Clark Jr. of Montclair, N.J. and Woodstock passed away peacefully on March 27. He was predeceased, six months prior, by his loving wife, Lee Potter Clark. Clark was truly a renaissance man; football quarterback, Dartmouth grad, Navy pilot, business executive, alpine skier, avid fly fisherman, talented artist and most importantly, a loving, caring and kind person.
Clark was born in Brooklyn and his early years attended Verona High School where he was class president and captain of the football, basketball and track teams. Like his father and much of his family, Clark joined a Dartmouth College legacy where he played football, worked on campus publications and was president of Beta Theta Pi fraternity. He graduated in 1956 and shortly after married Lee Potter, his love since seventh grade. As member of ROTC, Clark went onto Navy flight school in Pensacola, where he flew jets and eventually became a flight instructor. Daughter Shelley was born on the base. From there, they moved west so Clark could spend time at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, Calif. honing his artistic skills. They returned to their families in Montclair and Verona and became active members of the community volunteering with the Montclair Red Cross and coaching his son, Scott, in junior football. The couple enjoyed an active social life as members of Bradford Bath and Tennis and Montclair Golf Clubs. Clark’s accomplished business career began at J. Walter Thompson Advertising Agency as an ad executive and eventually transitioned into a successful executive recruiter, earning managing partner roles at both Ward Howell International and Boyden Associates.
Throughout Clark’s life, he pursued his interest in painting oils and watercolors, showing his works in galleries in New Jersey, Vermont and Montana as well as being publishing in Fortune Magazine. Clark and his wife’s interests in travel brought them to Europe, Asia, Africa, South America and Indonesia. Since the 1960s, they maintained a residence in Woodstock, where they spent much of their free time enjoying the outdoors, painting, hiking, fly fishing and skiing.
Clark will always be remembered for his passion for life and his love of family and friends. He was truly a gentleman’s gentleman.
Clark is survived by his daughter Shelley Clark Ott, son, Scott Johnson Clark, sister, Ginger Clark Keare, son-in-law Robert Ott, granddaughters , Courtney and Lauren Ott, brother-in-law, Bruce G Potter and Scott’s fiancee, Kimberly Scary.
A celebration of life ceremony, “It’s a Wonderful Life,” was held in November at the Montclair Golf Club for Lee and Len, honoring both. Private family ceremonies will be held in Vermont and California. Donations in lieu of flowers may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association of NJ at 400 Morris Ave. Suite 251, Denville, NJ 07834. Condolences may be left at www.LenClarkArtist.com under “Contact” and “Visit Guestbook.”
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