Frank Clark - a Remembrance - by Bob Husson

I was overjoyed when I heard that the 2012 Frank Clark Meet was going to be held at the new Greensboro Aquatic Center. His many friends looked forward to joining him at that competition in a facility that lived up to his contributions to Masters Swimming.

We had just emailed him at the end of January to say we hoped he was well and looked forward to seeing him. But alas, it was not to be. Frank left us on February 4, a mere thirty days before the meet that has been named after him since 1988.

Frank was a pioneer of Masters Swimming and one of its biggest supporters. He began in late 1972 in Washington, DC, when he met with a few people and started DC Masters, combining a variety of swimmers from Olympians to novices into a strong regional team that would win a number of AAU Masters and USMS National Championships over the next fifteen years, including 1984 Long Course in Raleigh.

I had the privilege of working with him on meet management and team activities. We always gathered in his basement to sort entry cards for the DC AAU Masters meets. His late wife, Nancy, was the real swimmer in the family, winning many National and a few World Championships. He only swam in one meet himself, the 1973 Long Course Nationals in Chicago, after which he announced that he was retiring from swimming. But that didnít stop him from continuing to help with every meet in the DC area, no matter which organization was running it. We were quite dismayed when his employer, Western Electric, transferred him to Greensboro a short time later.

But our loss was North Carolinaís gain, as Frank and Nancy wasted no time in starting a small group that would grow into Triad Masters Swimming, longtime sponsor of the Frank Clark Meet. Several members of that club have told me they are Masters Swimmers because of him. He was a volunteer coach for the first ten years of the team, leading to the naming of the meet after him. And now the Triad has developed a world-class facility that will host many prestigious meets in the years to come. It is a fitting memorial to his legacy.

Frankís whole life was a series of volunteer activities: YMCA, Boy Scouts, church, schools, United Way, etc. He and Nancy qualified together as Red Cross Water Safety Instructors and spent a number of years teaching swimming and lifesaving, including teaching swimming to blind youth and adults.

He always had a smile and a kind word for everyone and he will be greatly missed. And I know he will be looking down on us as we take to this marvelous pool for the upcoming meets.

Thanks, Frank, for giving so much of yourself to so many of us!