Ron Clark: Family man, philanthropist, farmer

Ron Clark: Family man, philanthropist, farmer

June 12, 1941 – January 14, 2019

By Kaitlyn Clark

The Haldimand Press

CALEDONIA—Haldimand lost one of its best on Monday, January 14, 2019 as local businessman and philanthropist Ron Clark passed away at the age of 78. While he is gone, he certainly will not be forgotten, as Ron seemingly made it his life’s mission to do good in the world.

Ron’s family has a long history in Haldimand, with his grandfather Fred starting the family agricultural business, now known as The Clark Companies, in 1925 when it was just a hatchery in the basement of his Caledonia home. Ron joined the business in 1966, eventually becoming president before handing the reins over to his son, Jason, in 1999.

Never one to brag, Ron, along with his wife Nancy, could never completely stay out of the spotlight. In 2017 they were recognized with the Outstanding Philanthropists award by the Association of Fundraising Professionals for their donations through the Ron and Nancy Clark Foundation. The association described him as “unwaveringly generous by nature and humble by virtue”. In 2012 they were each recognized with a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. In 2013 they were recipients of the Honour Roll Award, the highest award given by the Grand River Conservation Authority, for their contributions to redeveloping the Caledonia Kinsmen Park and Taquanyah Conservation Area. They also contributed 75 kilometres of abandoned railway lines to be converted into trails.

Wayne Knox, who knew Ron through their work with the GRCA, said, “Most of us only see the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the positive impact Ron and Nancy and their family have made to just about all of us who live in this area … Their philanthropy extends across just about every level of a local community’s needs.”

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