LIVINGSTON, NJ – August 21, 2018 – On Friday, August 17, David William Clarke passed away peacefully, with his wife of 22 years, Kathy, at his side while they were on vacation in Maine. He was 59. Kathy grew up in Hermitage, Arkansas, where her parents, resided, with many other family members.
Born in Cleethorpes, England, Clarke began his career in plastics, in Grimsby, England at age 17. His experience, amassing more than four decades in the industry, extended to the United States, where he made his home in Mt. Juliet, Tennessee. Since having joined Inteplast Group in November 2015, Dave served as president over plants in the Inteplast Engineered Films (IEF) business unit, with locations in Dalton, Ga.; Garland, Texas; Orlando, Fla.; Prattville, Ala.; and Westborough, Massachusetts. Throughout these facilities, Clarke sought to continuously improve operations, safety culture, and sustain morale with a collective focus on excellence.
President of Inteplast Group Dr. John Young recognized that Clarke had an impactful career and was a leader in many aspects. “Dave will always be remembered as someone who thought outside the box, who did not take anything for granted. He was technically competent, perhaps more knowledgeable and experienced than anyone I know in engineered films, and he was a great cheerleader for those around him,” Dr. Young said. “He had a formidable task in his hands, that of unifying multiple legacies we inherited through each plant site into one coherent whole, towards which he worked day and night. What impressed all of us is that he looked at his team as family and was always able to look at the positive in everyone he led.”
Clarke will be remembered for his encouraging stance. In reference to a milestone achievement at the IEF-Orlando plant, he said, “Changing the culture at any facility can be a difficult task. It takes leadership, a clear focus, and total dedication along with a ‘can-and-will do’ attitude across the board. It is the responsibility of our management team to empower our employees to take ownership of every aspect of their day-to-day responsibilities.”
While working at Essex Plastics in Pompano Beach, Florida, Clarke met his wife, Kathy, who credits plastics entrepreneur Aubrey Strul for being the catalyst for what she calls, their “love story.” Of her late husband, she says, “He was a perfectionist. If he saw a drop of resin on the shop floor it was unacceptable. If he saw scrap that was good material he wanted to know why it wasn’t being used. If he saw sloppy work on the extrusion line he went to the operator on that line to give him advice on how to make it better, and every one of those employees respected him for that.”
Dave leaves behind his loving wife, Kathy; his son, Nikolas; stepson, Jonathon; and two grandchildren, Zoe and Nik, Jr., and a very special niece, Jenna Civita, whom he walked down the aisle on her wedding day. Kathy’s brothers, sisters, and extended family in Hermitage will miss him dearly. According to Mrs. Clarke, on a date soon to be determined, there will be a celebration of Dave’s life at Hermitage Funeral Home and Memorial Gardens at 535 Shute Lane in Old Hickory, Tennessee. “Everyone is welcomed. The plastics industry has lost a very good man,” she said.
About Inteplast Group
Established in 1991, Inteplast Group is a leading integrated plastics manufacturer founded on the ideal of American manufacturing. Our products support diverse markets including healthcare, foodservice, packaging, building products, grocery, retail, sanitation, industrial, and graphic arts industries. Headquartered in Livingston, N.J., Inteplast Group is now over 7,000 employees strong and operates over 50 facilities including our flagship manufacturing complex in Lolita, Texas. Our dedicated and experienced people are committed to delivering quality products and partnering with our customers to enable their success. Visit https://www.inteplast.com for more information.