Neil Clark Passed Away
June 21, 2020

Article by Lynette Coil

We thank Ray Dolan for letting us know that past Handler, Neil Clark passed away in 2019 at the age of 82.  Neil ran his dogs under the kennel name Hawkeye Beagles and his home club was Frontier Beagle Club.  He took care of his Mom til her journey ended and still cared for the cats.  Not many beaglers have cats, which was just another way that Neil was unique.

Neil started in beagling under the guidance of Oscar Swanson around 1955 and helping Oscar dragging dogs to the field at the trials.  There were no golf carts back then and dogs were walked to the field and people helped in holding the dogs.  When Oscar passed away, Neil went on in beagling handling hounds.  There were many handlers back then and many dogs.  Neil was supported by the late Jim Watson, Jimmy Hairford, many beaglers throughout New York state, Pennsylvania, Ohio, NC, SC, TX, LA etc.  Neil was very successful and handled many hounds to their championship.  Back then some of the handlers were Bob Post, "Squirrelie" Gardner, Snake Wilson, Francis Barret, Bill Chiquette, Slim Bowers, Digger, Glen Hamrick, Fred Eurick, Joe Smith, etc and they all had dogs.  

I remember one year we called the handlers that supported us and asked them not to come, as our rabbit supply was not good that year in New York state.  Well low and behold they all came and we had over 60+ little males.  Guess everyone thought the other one wasn't coming.  Needless to say, it took a couple of days to get through the class.  Neil Clark was a big asset to our sport and helped many clubs to continue on; as it was nothing for him to have 40-50 hounds when beagling was at its peak.  Neil handled all 15" classes.  As the federations were ending, Neil would come to the Eastern or IBF and pick up dogs for his upcoming string.  He worked very hard and was very successful.  Many clubs would not have survived if it wasn't for Neil's support.  He ran in a couple of small pack license trials through the years and supported beagling in every way he could.  Neil was a true asset to our sport and was definitely missed when he retired.

Neil worked on a farm down the road after he retired.  He always worked hard at everything he under took.  His devotion, support, and dedication has been greatly appreciated.  There is no more pain and he can run all the dogs he wants and visit with the many beaglers that have crossed over to the light before him.  You will forever be in our hearts and remembered through the many cherished memories in years past.  Rest in Peace my dear friend and Soar With the Eagles!  It has been quite a journey

Soaring so free,
Over water and land,
My Spirit Guide gently
Takes me by my hand.

He shows me what was
And what's meant to be
And why my life
Is so important it seems.

Back on the land,
Across from the trees,
I began to realize
What healing means.

To take the strengths
And apply them to life
Is a valuable lesson
I've learned this flight.

Alone in the sunset,
I watch it go down,
When I finally realize
What peace I have found.


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