Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Celebrating John Clarke

Yesterday morning, Officer John Clarke passed away suddenly and unexpectedly, following a workout at his fitness center.  I first met John when he was a University of Nebraska student, taking a criminal justice class I was teaching in the late 1980's.  John was a tackle on the Nebraska football team, and like every lineman who ever took one of my classes, he was a very bright and a conscientious student.

John joined LPD in 1991, while I was away at the Sheriff's Office, and I am certainly glad that he did.  For over 21 years, he brought the same dedication to the police department that he displayed as a student and Division 1 athlete. For most of his career, John served as a canine handler.  He and his latest partner, Remo, were quite an imposing team. You would find no Lincoln police officer more well respected by his colleagues than John Clarke.  He was even-tempered, reliable, polite, compassionate, and you could depend on him to do the right thing in all circumstances.  This was the man I want showing up at my own door in a personal crises. John set a tone that influenced all those who worked around him.

As tragic as his passing at such a young age, John Clarke had a tremendous influence on others, and in that respect his foreshortened life was still a full one.  Few people will ever have the opportunity to have the experiences, and to make the difference in the lives of others, that John did.  While we mourn with Lisa and John's family, we also celebrate his life, and the contribution he made to his community. May God grant him rest, and may his family and friends be comforted by One who lived life intensely in the service of others, as did John Clarke.


Anonymous said...

My thoughts and prayers to all who knew and loved him.

Steve said...

I wish the best to his family and friends.

Anonymous said...

I didn't know John but my thoughts and prayers go out to his loved ones.
Gun Nut

E Meyer said...

When someone passes, whom you have not seen for many years, you remember all the times you were blessed by sharing moments with him. I am doing this today with John. As I recall his gentleness, I cannot help but smile. When I first met John, I was intimidated upon his larger than life stature, however, that impression was quickly dispersed by his kind smile. I remember John asking me how I was doing when I first hit the streets and how this made me feel so good that a man of his presence took a moment for me. But that was John, never too busy to let a brother or sister know he cared. These are the moments I think of and forever will when I remember John.