Condolence & Memory Journal

Ted Clarke was a wonderful close friend over more than 3 decades. It didn't start out that way--when we both ended up in Peace Corps/Niger training, he thought I was arrogant and selfish and I thought he was a freeloader. Then we ended up "neighbors" just a horrible 2-3 hour trip over sand dunes (no real road) from one another, but the closest American to one another. We spent many a desert evening telling stories and getting to know one another, communicating by letter often, and by visits as often as possible. And the friendship got deeper and deeper, and carried on through Ted's many years in Niger after I left. When he came back to the States, we continued to see a lot of each other socially, and even worked for the same office for many years. Ted was amazing with students of all ages. In Niger, it was young students; in the U.S. he dealt with students at university and grad school level. And they loved and trusted him; he loved and did his best by them. When Ted was viciously attacked and badly injured in DC, his whole life changed, and he was never quite the same again after. But we stayed as close as possible over the years, despite there being thousands of miles between us for the last 20 years or so. I last saw Ted in Boston a few years ago, and it was as if we'd never been a part. More warm friendship and stories. A truly wonderful human being, an exceptional friend. May he rest in peace.

Posted by Arlene Mitchell - Friend   September 06, 2021

Ted lived in N'Guigmi, the furthest eastern city in Nige. After teaching English in there in the mid 70s, he continued at College Mariama in Niamey, a girls' school sponsored by the Catholic church. The nuns adored him. The students were enthusiastic. His lessons were smart and current. His teaching was thoughtful and seemingly effortless, and he cared that he was teaching thinking' about the content, not just English vocabulary and syntax. He was gifted at that.
I hadn't seen Ted since the early days of training but we were roommates for a while in Niamey in 1979 or so. He would chide me on my baguette, cheese and tomato sandwiches for lunch. He would always have a change of clothes for lounging in. He knew lots of people and spent a lot of time socializing. We were the lingerers those who were not ready to leave Niger. And we became good friends.
In DC at the same time in the early 90s, he was Uncle to my daughter, the first to offer peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on the floor in front of the TV. He let her be herself and didn't hover; I learned a little more about parenting.
Reading the comments of friends and family, I realize I am one among many who consider Ted a good friend over the years. To be a good friend to so many what a legacy. Ted, ikoy m'ir cebe cere.

Posted by Christy Collins - Washington DC, DC - Friend   September 02, 2021

To All of Ted's Family, please know that you are in my thoughts and prayers. Ted will be missed by so many, but not forgotten. We must remember, as long as we keep Ted in our memories, he will always be with us. I know I will cherish all my wonderful memories and times with Ted since I first met him 55 years ago when we were in the Statesmen of Everett Drum & Bugle corp.
Ted & I remained friends and stayed in touch while he was in College, Africa, and Washington. We would always get together on his trips home. When he moved back to his home state Mass, it was.great to be able to see him more often and have wonderful times and make more memories.
One of the Irish Emblems is the "Claddagh" which is a Heart, Hands on both sides of it & a Crown above the Heart, it represents Love, Friendship, & Loyalty, it also represents my "Special Friendship" with Ted.

Posted by Mary Curran Forgione - Tewksbury, MA - Friend   September 01, 2021

Ted was the sweetest, gentlest, most supporting classmate in a time where there could be such bullying, at a time where we didn't even define bullying. He was always open, smiling and welcoming to all. He was a rare bright spot in my high school time. Rest well, Ted, you made the world a better place

Posted by Tom Shea - ma, MA - Classmate   September 01, 2021

I was very saddened to learn of Ted's passing. We were fellow Peace Corps Volunteers and friends in Zinder and Niamey, Niger.

Posted by Joel Mayer - San Antonio, TX - Friend   September 01, 2021