It is with great sadness, that we announce the passing of David Ernest Clarke. David died peacefully, at the age of 80 on Easter Sunday April 12th, 2020.
David leaves behind his loving wife of 26 years JoAnne Monty, and sons Sean, Christian and Ryan (Lindsay), children to Margaret Clarke. He was also proud stepfather to Mark (Tara), Matthew (Danielle), and Christopher (Kathleen) Chapman, and extremely proud of grandsons Ben, Will, Graham, Luke, Tim, Alex, Jack and Drew. David loved all his sons, extended family, friends, colleagues, and everyone he befriended unconditionally.
Predeceased by his parents Gerald and Aloysia (MacKasey), older brother Thomas, and nephew Michael, he also leaves behind sister in-law Sheila (Walker) and nephew Paul.
Born July 9th, 1939 in Halifax Nova Scotia, David moved to Ottawa as an adolescent with his parents. After graduating from St. Pat's high school, he returned east to study at St Francis Xavier University. During this time he developed a keen interest in the law inspired by his many visits with his uncle Win who practiced in St. John N.B. David went on to complete his law degree at the University of Ottawa and was called to the bar in 1966.
David was an associate and then partner at Gowling & Henderson and its successor law firms for almost 40 years. He was a leader in the trademark profession in Canada and around the world, having served on the Board of the International Trademark Association and many of its committees. David was an icon at the Gowlings firm during the 1970-2000’s when it became one of the most successful intellectual property practices in the world.
One of David’s greatest joys was teaching the trademark course at the University of Ottawa, where his passion for the law, his practice, and his clients’ interests inspired thousands of law students during his tenure. Years later, on many occasions, David’s former students would approach him to express their gratitude.
Clarkie, as he was called by his friends, was a true renaissance man: a chef and connoisseur of food and wine, a lover of fine art, and a flamboyant dresser (oh, those socks!). He will be remembered lovingly and respectfully by so many of the lawyers, agents and in-house counsel whom he mentored, many of whom have followed in his footsteps to become leaders in the trademark profession. David was a good friend, colleague, teacher and partner who brought a smile and selfless humility to all of his relationships in which he offered the same unvarnished openness regardless of position or title.
A natural at making friends, as children, his boys referred to Dave admiringly as the “King of Elgin Street” when out walking as he seemed to have a hello and handshake for so many people. This carried on throughout his life, and he will be missed by so many from shopkeepers, restaurant owners, booksellers, bank tellers, and pretty much everyone he met in his daily travels.
David cared about his community and understood that giving back was important. For many years he led Gowlings’ United Way campaign, growing their contributions diligently while building awareness of needs in the community. In 2008 he was given the “Community Builder” award by the United Way Ottawa, presented by the Mayor.
Our family would like to thank the many wonderful health care professionals who visited our home and cared for David over the past weeks. A sincere thank you to Dr. Pierre Juery, David’s family physician who cared so deeply for David and visited at home. David was truly grateful for the level of services and in true fashion, enjoyed meeting and chatting with each and every one of you.
A private ceremony has been held by the family with a celebration of life to be announced at a later date. We look forward to gathering with family, friends, colleagues and acquaintances to share our beloved stories and memories.
In lieu of flowers, we would encourage you to make a donation to the Ottawa Heart Institute, United Way Ottawa, or charity of your choice in David’s name.
When asked a few weeks prior to his passing if there was anything he would want to say in that eventuality. His response was, “I had a good run”. He certainly did.