Frederick W. “Fred” Clarke, 71, Watertown

WATERTOWN, NY — Frederick W. “Fred” Clarke, 71, passed away early Saturday morning, Dec. 8, at the Samaritan Medical Center after a short and valiant fight against cancer.

Fred, born Jan. 7, 1947, a son of Frederick W.G. and Florence Brown Clarke, was a lifelong resident of Watertown.

He married Jo Ann Munz on April 5, 1975 at Trinity Episcopal Church.

Fred graduated from Watertown High School, class of 1965. He continued his education at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, NC, with a bachelor’s of science degree. His continuing education studies were completed in the SUNY system.

Mr. Clarke taught 7th grade math in the Watertown School District, retiring after a 32-year career. He was an active member of WEA, NYSUT, Jeff-Lewis Council of Retired Teachers, and was a life member of the Watertown Elks where he served as Esquire for two terms.

He was a communicant of St. Patrick’s Church.

During his undergraduate years, Mr. Clarke was a percussionist with the North Carolina State Symphonic band. He was also a member of the NC State marching band, serving as drum captain during his senior year. He was inducted into the Mu Beta Psi music fraternity. At NC State, his participation and organization of intramural activities earned him the prestigious John F. Miller award in his senior year.

Rugby was a new activity on campus while Fred attended NC State.  He joined and soon his skill level developed to the point that he became an international selection to the United States Rugby Touring Side in 1969. Later, during his teaching days, he was an avid bowler and a member of the 1973 ASA Championship Slow pitch Softball team. He enjoyed the game of golf and played with his Dad in leagues. After retiring, he could be found mowing the fairways at Willowbrook Golf Course.

In 1990, Union College established the Gideon Hawley Teacher Recognition Award.  Mr. Clarke was nominated for the award by a former student. He was honored to be recognized as an initial winner of this student nominated award.

Fred is survived by his wife of 43 years, Jo Ann; a son Thomas and his wife Lori, Central Square; a daughter Kasie Clarke, West Seneca; two grandsons, Jonathan and Nathaniel Clarke; 2 brothers Gary and Maureen Clarke, San Diego, CA and Jeffrey and Carole Clarke, Ft. Worth, TX; a sister-in-law and brother-in-law, Paula and Bob Ingalls, Adams Center; several nieces and nephews.

He was predeceased by his parents and a brother Richard.

Services have been entrusted to the Reed & Benoit Funeral Home, State St., Watertown.  Calling hours will be held 4 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 12. The Elks will gather at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday to conduct a memorial service for Fred. The funeral will be 11 a.m .Thursday, Dec. 13, at the funeral home. Burial will be private.

To those who wish to make a memorial contribution in Fred’s name, The American Cancer Society and St. Patrick’s Church could be considered.

Online condolences may be made at