Obituary: Clarke Allan Nelson
Clarke Nelson, Spot to his friends and Grandpa Spot to his grandchildren, died peacefully on March 31, 2019, on a beautiful, sunny day in his home in JacksonHole, Wyoming. He leaves us to join his beloved wife Betty who died in 1999.
Clarke, the eldest son of Carl and Della Nelson, was born into a farming family in Great Falls, Montana, and raised on ranches in Montana and Oregon. Clarke ventured from his family’s wheat farm in Pendleton to attend Stanford University in 1950. He was happy in the classroom, in the Beta House, and on the field where he played catcher for the Stanford baseball team. He graduated in 1954 with an AB in Far Eastern History.
At Stanford, Clarke met the love of his life, Elizabeth Ruble Stuart (Betty), and they wed in 1954. After serving as a first lieutenant in the Army and graduatingfrom Harvard Business School in the class of 1958, Clarke and Betty settled in Los Angeles. He began a long career at the Carnation Company and rose to senior vice president and director. He later acquired Landmark Genetics where he was president until he sold the company in 1995.
Clarke and Betty raised their four children in Los Angeles. He loved being a father to Chuck, David, Kent and Lyn. In 1991, Clarke and Betty moved to Jackson, Wyoming, where they settled into a happy mountain life complete with golf, fishing, hunting, ginrummy and close friendships.
Clarke was always active on boards and in the community. While living in Los Angeles, he was president of Los Angeles Country Club and served on the boards of the Boy Scouts, Future Farmers of America, Whitman College, Stanford Athletic Board and Georgetown University. In Wyoming, Clarke served on the boards at the Teton Science School, St. Johns Medical Center, The National Museum ofWildlife Art and the Jackson State Bank. In 2017, Clarke was proud to receive the Power of Place Award from Jackson Hole’s Chamber of Commerce.
One of Clarke’s lifelong passions was golf. He was instrumental in founding and growing Teton Pines Country Club where he served as president for almost 30years. Clarke could regularly be found holding court at his corner table in the Teton Pines bar, now named “Clarke’s,” presiding over gin rummy games, the Wednesday Lunch Group and the Friday Football Lunch.
Clarke was preceded in death by his wife Betty, his parents Della and Carl, and his sister Karen Applegate. Clarke is survived by his younger brother David Nelson of Pendleton, Oregon; his four children: Chuck (Jolie), David (Patricia), Kent (Ann) and Lyn Attaway (Paul); and his 11 cherished grandchildren: Julia, Brian, Jillian (Edwin), Zane, Spencer, Sarah, Charlie, Clarke, Chelsea, Chloe and Bud.
Clarke is remembered as a strong family man, a loyal friend, an honest businessman, a proud American and a darn tough card player!
A celebration of life will be held this summer at Teton Pines. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be sent to the Community Foundation of Jackson Hole, for the benefit of the Teton Pines Scholarship Program: P.O. Box 574, Jackson, WY 83001.
Obituary: Clarke Allan Nelson