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Cal Clark dies in Minnesota



A Chadron native who developed a reputation as a leader in economic development, Calvin W. Clark, died in Minnesota on October 1, 2021, six days after his 83rd birthday. He was the son of Harold and Veree Clark, long-time Chadron residents and owners of Metal Products Co. for more than a decade.

Clark graduated from Chadron Prep, where he played football and basketball, in 1957 and earned both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree from Chadron State College. He initially taught government to high school seniors in Chino, Calif., and also served in the National Guard and as Peace Corps volunteer before settling in Minnesota.

He lived in Pine City, Minn., much of his adult life. He was president of a bank there before becoming the economic development director for a natural gas utility that served much of Minnesota. In that capacity, he wrote a weekly newspaper column and led seminars on various topics including establishing endowments to help fund community projects.

Some 15,000 copies of his book, “101 Ideas on Economic Development,” were printed, followed by a sequel “101 More Ideas on Economic Development.” He also served as membership and finance director of the Citizen League of Minneapolis that established a large endowment, and was described as an aggressive promoter of community service and charitable giving.

In the early 1990s, Clark led a couple of economic development programs at Chadron State, and in December 1996 was presented the college’s Distinguished Service Award during winter commencement. His mother’s brothers, Harold and Kenneth Thompson, also were Chadron State graduates and received DSAs from their alma mater in 1975 and 1980, respectively.

Survivors include his wife Phyllis, brother Franklin of Fairfax, Va., daughter Sara Koppe of Maplewood, Minn., son Brandon of Las Vegas, Nev., and four grandchildren.

A private memorial service took place on October 30 at the Cherokee Park United Church in St. Paul.

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