In his 89th year, on May 6, 2021 at home with his family, following several years of declining health. He leaves his beloved wife, Judith, married 58 years; daughter Catherine (Stephen Crosbie and grandchildren Sarah and John); daughter Sandra (Richard Kupferschmidt and grandchildren Alexandra and Griffin); and son Michael. He was predeceased by his eldest son Charles (2007). Clair also leaves behind his furry friends, Lucy, Arthur, and Winnie.
Born in Hamilton in 1932, Clair attended Central High School before heading to Queen's University, from which he graduated in 1956 with a BSc in Civil Engineering. His greatest passion while at Queen's, however, was playing Centre on the varsity Gaels football team. With friends Ron Stewart and Al Kochman, and under the winning tutelage of coach Frank Tindall, the team was the Yates Cup champion for 1955 and 1956. Such was Clair's prowess on the gridiron that, following graduation, he was offered a slot with the Hamilton Tiger Cats, but chose instead to join his brother, Morley, in operating the family's Ford automotive dealership, Sellens Motors, in Hamilton. Seeking a greater challenge (and having a phenomenal aptitude for numbers and finance), Clair left the dealership side of the industry and established his own business in the novel field of automotive leasing. Incorporating as "Wheeling World Ltd" in 1965, he was the first to offer leases on all makes and models, and his successful enterprise continued as a driving force in leasing for decades to follow.
Clair's other consuming interest was the island cottage on Lake Muskoka, which he designed and built, with the (conscripted) help of family. Perhaps his favourite days were spent either closing the perfect, impossible deal, or roaring across the water in his prized 1976 'Cigarette 28-SS' racing boat, but certainly his most cherished moments were those listening to the water lap against the dock as he gazed down the lake with Judy by his side. It is toward an eternal lakeside sunset that we choose to see him now venture.
Special thanks to Dr. Stephen Zizzo's office, Dr. Greg Curnew, St. Elizabeth Home Care, our incredibly helpful PSW, Desiree, and the VON Palliative team.
A private family funeral will be held. Arrangements by M. A. Clark & Sons Funeral Home, 567 Upper Wellington St., Hamilton. In lieu of flowers, donations to Hamilton Health Sciences 'General Hospital Cardiac Unit', or a charity of your choice, would be appreciated.
Famous Clair Quotes: "It's only a weekend project!" "When you amortize the cost over a lifetime of happiness, it's only pennies a day." And, perhaps most significantly, "It's the journey, not the destination."
To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.