November 24, 1949 – October 17, 2019
Clark Newell, only child of Shirley Clark Newell Lauffer of Wellfleet, died at Brigham and Women’s hospital of acute myeloid leukemia on October 17. This disease, with no prodromal symptoms, had a sudden onset and with devastating speed, shut down major organs starting with his kidneys.
Upon hearing his diagnosis, he requested his tablet, read quietly, then said, “Who would believe ¬I have cancer? I never smoked, drank, used a microwave, didn’t eat any sugar and went outside to get vitamin D each day.” He paused and said, “Well, I’ve had a good life”. Considering Clark’s distrust and fear of people and places in the medical field, he showed great courage, stoically experiencing multiple difficult procedures in the last days of his life in a great effort to help him.
Clark was born in Cambridge, MA on Thanksgiving Day, 1949. The environment and magic tricks were life long interests. He loved being on his bunk room roof at night, watching the moon and stars. He enjoyed magicians and puzzling out how tricks worked and if he could duplicate the materials and craftsmanship. Three long time friends have made his biodegradable casket. His needs were simple and minimal. He loved his little home in Yarmouth, a location that earned him several offers through the years to sell it and live easy, but he would never trade his beloved home for money, no matter how much.
Clark could see below the surface and could repair almost anything. He once had a job as a caretaker at a property with very old steam boilers in the basement. He went to the library and taught himself to keep them running, much to the delight of the grateful tenants.
Clark was predeceased by his father Dwight Newell, of West Yarmouth MA, whose ashes are to be buried with his son. Dwight was a conscientious objector during WWII who worked his service through the Heifer Project, taking shiploads of farm animals and tools to Europe, eating and sleeping with the cows and pigs below deck. After his service he worked at the Harvard Psych Lab until he fulfilled a lifelong wish to become a teacher. He taught English, as did his parents.
Clark was extraordinarily principled. Honesty was central in all his dealings. He was concerned with racial justice. He often spoke of the current ill treatment of underprivileged people. He kept fond thoughts of his visits to Jamaica, the people, the food (bread especially), and the land. He often cited examples of cruelty in war and cruelty to animals. He had recently buried two rabbits which caused him great distress.
Lovingly called Thumper after Walt Disney’s rabbit, Clark was kind and gentle. He was a strict vegetarian who loved pizza.
A service of remembrance will be at Oakdale Cemetery in Wellfleet, weather permitting, or Nickerson Funeral Home on Main Street in Wellfleet, on Saturday, November 2 at noon. Pizza at the Flying Fish to follow.
Please, no flowers. Remembrances may be made to CASAS Cat Shelter in Provincetown in memory of Clark and his cat Roger.
- CASAS Cat Shelter
- Graveside Service Saturday, November 2, 2019
November 5, 2019
Clark and I worked together at Paul's Mall on Boylston St. We shared an apartment in Cambridge. Clark was an amazing thinker. He was patient to a fault. We shared ideas about gadgets and video recording in the seventies that are now commonplace. We met alot of jazz greats and shared some good laughs. Last week I thought to look him up and tell him I moved south. I should have thought sooner.
November 2, 2019
"Thumper" would stand by the stage grinning from ear to ear as The Band That Time Forgot played songs that he loved. For over 30 years he was devoted seeing us revive his favorites and we would always play his requests. Always quiet and unassuming, full of life and enthusiasm, people like 'Clark' (though we never knew him by that name) are a rare gift.
He will be missed and thought of and talked about for many, many years to come.
We have put an 'In Memorium' on our page. He would have liked that. https://www.thebandthattimeforgot.org/
Rest easy -
'Stash' from the Band That Time Forgot
November 2, 2019
Thumper marched to a different drummer... living a simple and authentic life, staying true to his values and beliefs. I enjoyed watching his "magic shows" as a child. Rest in peace, Thumper!
October 31, 2019
One of a kind for sure. We had some great times in Cambridge and Brookline. Lived together for at lest 10 years. I don't know what to say , I can't believe you of all people got cancer. Crazy world..
Rest easy my brother, see you on the other side,
October 30, 2019
Goodbye Thumper, I loved you like a brother, more than that you were a great friend. I remember all the concerts we saw together, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin On their first American tour, And many more. I remember hanging around with Mike Hamalien And watching your magic tricks. So many good times. Will be severely missed. Goodbye brother.
Melony Zea Moore/Stewart/Swasey
October 29, 2019
I loved him dearly and have many happy memories of times we spent together over the years. We went to the arboretum and rode in the hearse. I haven't seen him in many years but will always hold his memory in love in my heart. One night when everyone had fallen asleep he explained to me in great detail how radios and tv worked. He told me and I've always marveled that the image on the screen was formed by one dot moving too fast for our minds to see it. We talked about color and vibrations and he really understood some amazing things about electricity and radio waves and light and sound. Love Always to dear Thumper!
October 23, 2019
Thumper has been family since Tom and I were 14 & 15 years old...we love him and will miss him so much. We had great fun driving around in his herse back in the 70s and have a million memories over the years...going to Jamaica...Chistmas nights at Shirley's...hanging out in Brookline....and our house...forbidden chocolate lava cakes from Trader Joes...