US Coast Guard

Donald J. Clarke

January 27, 1938 ~ June 3, 2023 (age 85) 85 Years Old


Donald Jay Clarke of Sturgeon Bay, WI.  passed away on June 3, 2023, due to multiple complications stemming from cancer. 

Don was born to William James (Jim) and Blanche Clarke on January 27, 1938, in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan.  Growing up he was an avid hockey player.  From 1951-1955 his teams won city, upper-peninsula, and Michigan State championships.  In 1954 they competed in the National Championship.  At one point during his hockey days, he was invited to try out for the Chicago Black Hawks.

The majority of his career was active duty in United Status Coast Guard.  He served his country from January 30, 1955 - June 30, 1978.  He enlisted in Green Bay, WI, and served as a swimmer, an enlisted Engineman and ended up retiring as Chief Warrant Officer 03.  He served at sixteen different locations, on six different ships, and various shore duties, as well as a one-year assignment in the Marshall Islands on Kwajalein.  Upon retiring from the buoy tender Mesquite in Sturgeon Bay he was hired as the Superintendent of Machinists at Bay Ship Building where he worked from 1979 to 1994.  He and his wife Jane also owned and managed the Westside Tap in Sturgeon Bay for many years.

When he left the shipyard, he worked numerous jobs at Cherry Hills Golf Course & Lodge ranging from mowing, to running the “Halfway House”, with his wife Jane.  Golf was his passion and it drove him to stay in good health.  He started playing when he was 42 and fell in love with the game.  He played all through the 2022 season and was working all he could to hit the course this year.

Don and Jane were married for 40 years.  They were very active in the Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Sturgeon Bay.  They assisted with services, functions, and were key volunteers.  Don was a strong believer and read, studied, and shared his faith, as well as demonstrated it in his compassionate care and help for others.

Don is survived by his wife Jane, his son Vance and his wife Pam Clarke, Rockwall, Texas, his daughter Shawn Clark, Green Bay, WI and his son Dwayne and his wife Missy Clarke, Scottsville, Kentucky.  He was also proud to have seven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

He is predeceased by his parents and his son William “Bill” George Clarke who passed away in August 31, 2017.

Funeral services will be at 11:00 a.m. Thursday, June 8, 2023, at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church with Rev. James Gomez officiating.  Burial will be in St. Peter’s Lutheran Cemetery in Forestville.  Visitation will be from 9:00 a.m. until the time of services at the church on Thursday. 

In lieu of flowers please consider charitable donations to the American Cancer Society – Kidney Cancer or the Wisconsin Humane Society Door County Campus.

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June 8, 2023

9:00 AM to 11:00 AM
Prince of Peace Church
1756 Michigan Street
Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin 54235

Funeral Service
June 8, 2023

11:00 AM
Prince of Peace Church
1756 Michigan Street
Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin 54235


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