December 6, 2020
1945-2020 ~ David Elton Clarke passed away peacefully in his sleep on December 6, 2020, at his home in Sidney, British Columbia.
Dave overcame many health challenges over the years, always with a positive attitude. From dialysis in 1991 and a subsequent kidney transplant in 1992, to congestive heart failure and bladder cancer in 2019, Dave remained undaunted, determined to pursue his passions. Ultimately, heart failure proved to be the mountain he could not conquer.
Dave’s friends knew him for his unconventional and adventurous spirit. Those adventures began at age seven, when he and his family immigrated to Canada from England, travelling aboard the Empress of Canada. Ten years later, after losing his father at an early age, Dave joined the Royal Canadian Air Force and found himself back in Europe for a four-year posting in Germany.
Upon his release from the Air Force, Dave’s search for new experiences took him to a hippie community in Vancouver and from there to a squatter community in the Yukon in the early 70s. In Whitehorse, he met his rest-of-life partner, Debby, and they continued their adventures together, living for seventeen years in the atypical stack-wall cabin they built together. His RCAF-acquired electronics background earned him his Yukon nickname of 12-Volt Dave, as he applied his skills to his off-the-grid lifestyle.
Following his kidney transplant in 1992, Dave and Debby moved to Vancouver where they opened Rampages, a computer services business. Dave’s self-taught computer skills and interest in technology took him into the Internet era as he moved from designing brochures and business cards to creating web pages. When Debby left the business to return to teaching, Dave continued with Rampages until they both retired in 2013 and moved to Vancouver Island.
Dave loved road trips, boating and camping, and early in their years together, he and Debby travelled for a year in Europe, on two motorcycles. This was the first of several voyages during their 44 years together, ranging from Sitka and Glacier Bay in Alaska, across Canada to Newfoundland, down to the States and Mexico, back to Europe, and finally to New Zealand and the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. This last bucket-list journey was fulfilled despite health concerns at the time. Sadly, he never got to take the ultimate road trip in his latest technological passion: his self-driving electric car, the Tesla Model 3.
Dave is predeceased by both parents and survived by his “flowerpot”, Debby Vollbrecht; his sister, Susan Clarke (Alan Dolan); his niece, Stacey Clarke (Joel Pennington) and her two sons, Austen and Caelen; and his nephew, Adrian Dolan (Shanti Bremer) and his two daughters, Arlea and Josefine. On Debby’s side, Dave will be missed by her eight siblings, 12 nieces and nephews, 14 great-nieces and nephews, and one great-great-niece. His dog, Jackson, the last of many dogs Dave cared for over the years, also misses him.
Dave passed away naturally, one day before his scheduled Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD). For memorial details, and to add your Dave story or pictures, go to davideltonclarke.ca. Or you can remember Dave by donating in his name to any charity, or to his favourite, Operation Smile.Obituary
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