Ken Clarke was born in 1938 in the town of Aldershot, in Hampshire England on July 4, Independence Day in the United States. When he was 3, his family moved to Bodmin in Cornwall. He felt a lifelong attachment to Cornwall, about whose history he wrote many times. Ken attended the School of Navigation in Plymouth. At the age of 17, he graduated as an apprentice officer and spent seven years in the Merchant Navy. His book, Seven Years a Mariner, is a testament to his many adventures on land as well as at sea.
In 1962, he married Lise Godbout. After moving to Montreal, Canada, he started a business buying and leasing shipping containers world-wide.
Influenced by the writings of Rudyard Kipling, he was a voracious reader and researcher of history, which led him to write books on such varied topics as the Holy Grail and the British Invasion of Afghanistan, which he made factually accurate by basing it on personal diaries. He moved to Ajijic in 1999, where he joined other writers. On June 20, 2012, Ken and Lise celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary.
He suffered a fatal heart attack in Ajijic and passed away on the morning of September 16, Independence Day in Mexico. He is survived by his wife, Lise, their son Steven, and a brother, David. Two daughters, Linda and Diana, tragically preceded him in death. His booming voice, his many talents, and his poignant wit will be sorely missed.
Submitted by Mel Goldberg
(Ed. Note: With Ken’s passing, this magazine has lost one of its finest writers, and I have lost an irreplaceable friend. Bon voyage, Ken.)