Tributes to
J. Desmond Clark


When I went to study Anthropology at Berkeley in 1993, I was asked which of Berkeley's star-studded cast of characters I most wanted to meet. My answer was Desmond Clark. A few weeks into my first semester he gave a brown-bag talk on the stone axe makers of New Guinea so, dewy-eyed with excitement, I went to hear my idol speak. After it was over, I plucked up the courage to introduce myself - a fellow Brit in a foreign land. He was utterly charming and we became friends. When we discovered that my mother was a friend of his sister, we became kin. I lost my father a year ago and feel now that I have lost him again. Desmond was above all a gentleman and incredibly kind and generous. Even when he was ill during the last few years, he was always more concerned for the comfort of his guests. His knowledge was staggering - I would ask him questions about Egypt, about World War I, about Arthurian legends, about all manner of topics, and he always had something to tell me.!

Together we would research things that he didn't know and he took as much joy in it as I did. He was kindness itself and I mourn his passing. My loving condolences to Betty, John and Liz.

-Di Beach