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Obituary of Clarke Vernon Single
On the morning of Friday, June 11th, the world lost an amazing human being. On the same day he married the love of his life, Shirley, 44 years ago, Clarke Single peacefully passed away. Dad fought the devastating diagnosis of Glioblastoma for 8 hard months, and never gave up. While Clarke didn’t want to say good bye, he know it was time, and his family gained a guardian angel. Clarke gave his family the greatest gift of love, and until his final breath, his bravery inspired his family to get through this difficult time. Anyone who knew Clarke knows what a caring, generous, sensitive, humble and kind person he was. While he never wanted to be the centre of attention, he made sure not to miss out on any of life’s experiences. You could always count on Clarke, who was always available to lend a helping hand at a moment’s notice. Dad’s smile was infectious—even more so, his laugh will be a fond memory for us all. While kindness is always attributed to our dad, his sharp sense of humour and dry wit stayed with him into his last moments, and for that, we are grateful. Clarke grew up in St Vital and throughout his life, shared so many fond memories of growing up through sports. He was an avid baseball, hockey, and football player throughout his childhood, and a die-hard Jets fan throughout his entire life. Clarke had so many amazing experiences on a variety of baseball teams, including the Norberry Community Club, The Legionaires, finishing up with the Carmen Goldeyes and Winnipeg Police teams. Clarke’s hockey days included community club hockey at Norberry, progressing to the Riel’s, and many memorable tournaments and Florida trips with the Winnipeg Police hockey team. Mustangs football was another very important experience in Clarke’s formative years, where he captured a city title in his final season. Participating in these sports paved the way for Clarke to have opportunities for many memorable experiences at The Police and Fire Games, volunteering at the World Hockey Championships and caddying at the Manitoba Open for a number of years. He felt very lucky to have been able to play many of these sports well in to his 40’s. Sports was in Clarke’s blood, and a major part of the fabric of who he was. This was important for him to pass on to his children and grandchildren as sports, to him, were a vehicle for so many life lessons. Clarke’s passion for golf began in his 20’s at the Canoe Club. As a member at Southwood for the past 34 years, Clarke made many life-long friendships. This includes golfing with his son, sons-in-law, nephews, brothers, friends, Shirley and anybody else that showed an interest over the years. The “Panthers” and “The EDGE” groups at Southwood provided Clarke with many fond memories of the game he loved so deeply. Clarke built a career as a proud member of the Winnipeg Police Service in 1978, a year after he and Shirley wed. In retrospect, Clarke was too nice to be a police officer. He gave everybody the benefit of the doubt, and only ticketed the people that really deserved it. Over his time of service, he served 3 terms in the Child Abuse Unit, where he was very well-respected, and his empathy and kindness were a true asset. There he made an unbreakable bond with his “sister” in the service, Arlene Kramble-Krasnesky; this bond extended to their entire families and throughout his entire life. The countless friendships he made through his time on the force are something he truly cherished, which was evident in his final days of life. Retiring after 31 years of service in the force as a Detective Sargent in 2009, Clarke was not quite ready for retirement. After taking Super Bowl weekend off, he joined MPI for 8 years as a Special Investigator, where he made more friendships. This position led to his final retirement in 2017 when he could finally take time to relax with Shirley in Arizona. One thing that was undeniable about our dad was the pride and joy he felt towards his family. So many people have reached out with touching anecdotes and stories Clarke has shared over the years; all with one common thread—a deep love for his loved ones. He and Shirley were always quick to volunteer to help their children with the simplest of tasks. This was never a chore, as helping his children was a pleasure. His presence will be greatly missed by his children: Brett (Richelle), Erin (Chris), and Kristyn (Chris). Clarke and Shirley always insisted they began with 3 children, and ended up with 6, as they never considered their children’s spouses as in-laws, but additions to their family. This also went for their extended family, as dad had only wonderful things to say about the Hearn’s, Enns’ and Pereira’s. Clarke’s ultimate pride and joy was seeing his children become parents, and watching his grandchildren grow and learn. He will be deeply missed by them all—Leighton, Brynley, Asher, Story, Leo and Max. Clarke also had two great younger brothers, who he cherished deeply, and have been incredibly supportive and helpful through this difficult journey. Thank you to Drew (Cindy), for his amazing support and selflessness in Clarke’s final days, and Cole (Julia), for always being there when he was needed to support in any way. Since the ages of 20 and 17, Clarke and Shirley have been inseparable. He was the love of her life, and her best friend. She will fondly remember their amazing one-of-a-kind relationship. Shirley was the ultimate cheerleader for Clarkey; her real-life Superman. In the early years, she could often be found scorekeeping at baseball games or screaming her heart out in the stands. One trait that she’s always admired about dad is his sensitivity and his empathy for those around him. She has fond memories of him tearing up watching sappy movies, or even a moving story on American Idol; Clarke always wore his heart on his sleeve. Mom and dad were always on the same page about the important things in life—driving each other crazy on the details, but always a united front. In his last days, dad so eloquently said that “he would be nowhere without mom, and all he would do is follow mom’s lead, because that’s all he knew how to do”. Together they built a family they are so proud of, and one that mom will continue to support in his legacy. Clarke always made sure to spoil mom, like she did him. Right up to his final days, she promised him that she would take care of him so he could stay home and pass on surrounded by the love of his family, in comfort. Our family would like to extend thanks to the people who made positive contributions to Dad’s life, especially in recent years. Thank you to the countless coaches, teammates and the St. Vital sports community for giving dad all the fond memories and experiences through sport. Thanks to his life long friends, Darcey Jones and Brad Chalmers, for all the memories they made over the years that dad held in such a high regard. From childhood buddies, to golf partners to Arizona retirement, you have made such an impact on Dad’s life. A special thank you goes out to the angels of MAID; you will never know the depth of our gratitude for the gift you provided to Clarke and his family.