Elmer Clark’s name has been in my contact list for years, but he always deflected my calls to Norene Beatty. Both are synonymous with neighborhood activism and their activism has been for love of Elliott.
Elmer died in December as president of the West End-Elliott Citizens Council. His daughter Kelli Detwiler is serving out his term.
On Monday at 7 p.m., his friends and neighbors will honor him at the West End Elliott Overlook, and the city is presenting a plaque to be placed on the pavilion to recognize the role he played in the renovation of the park, attending construction meetings, suggesting uses of the park and the pavilion.
The renovation stalled for lack of funding for several years, but it was Elmer who, though an unassuming man, worked doggedly for his neighborhood.
Norene wrote a tribute, of which Walkabout would like to share an abridged version:
“Elmer was determined to see the building finished and made available to the public. He convinced then Councilman Dan Deasy that the building could serve as a pavilion that the city could rent out for small parties and special events.
“Elmer saw that the building was open for the community celebration on the 4th of July, Light Up Night and other important events. He worked to see that the Movies in the Park included the West End Elliott Overlook.
“As much as many think and associate Elmer with the West End Elliott Overlook, that was just a small portion of his endless hours and devotion to his community.
“Elmer was retired from the grocery business. That is why the council was always able to give the children in the community such great fruit in their gift bags from the citizens council at Christmas.
“Elmer was a timid person who always shunned the spotlight. He did his talking where he felt he could make the greatest impact for the coummunity.”
If you visit the citizens council website at weecc.org you may read more about Elmer.