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4376 Corporate Square, Suite 1
Naples, FL 34104
Phone: (239)-659-2009
Fax: (239) 659-2013
William Clinkenbeard William Clinkenbeard William Clinkenbeard William Clinkenbeard William Clinkenbeard William Clinkenbeard William Clinkenbeard William Clinkenbeard William Clinkenbeard William Clinkenbeard
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Memorial Candle Tribute From
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"Dreadfully sorry to learn only today of Clink's recent death. Clink and I serv"
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Condolence From: Tom Lloyd
Condolence: What a lovely tribute to Bill (or Mr. Clinkenbeard, as I usually called him, even though he insisted that I use Bill). I sense the touch of more than one of the Clinkenbeard children in it.
I knew Mr. Clinkenbeard…er Bill through his daughter Carol. Carol & I have known each other since high school (how many years ago I won't say!). Carol was a wonderful, supportive friend who I leaned on during a challenging time in my life… I was discovering I was gay and was cautiously coming out (sort of) in the late 70s, when it wasn't OK to be gay, especially in South Florida/Miami (think Anita Bryant and the "Save Our Children" campaign).
When I first met Carol, I sensed that I could trust her, so she was one of the first "straight" people I came out to. I don't remember whether I told her Dad or she did, but he knew and was tremendously empathetic and supportive—more so that my own folks. He had this amazing quality of making me feel at ease with his gentle demeanor and disarming sense of humor. I'll never forget that about Bill… and how much it meant for someone my parents age to accept me the way I was.
The tribute mentions that Bill taught his children to dance, and that came in handy in my friendship with Carol. This was in the late 70s, when John Travolta and "Saturday Night Fever" were big. I had learned the New York Hustle (a “couples” dance style, with lots of spins and complicated, choreographed steps and moves) at some point, and taught it to Carol. She & I would practice after school and occasionally trek up to The Copa in Fort Lauderdale (a gay discotheque) on the weekends and show off our NY Hustle moves into the wee hours of the morning. (Straight women are typically welcome at gay dance clubs.) I trusted her, she trusted me, and Bill trusted both of us without question. My folks needed a little bit more encouragement, but "since I was going out with Carol," it was OK. (I believe at that point I had been "outed" by my mom, who found incriminating magazines in my closet, but my dad still was in the dark about my homosexuality.)
My point in relaying this story is not only to provide a (hopefully somewhat amusing) anecdote that illustrates the kind of guy Bill was, but also to pay my respects to a man who left an enormous impression on me— a shy, unsure-of-himself, just-coming-out gay teen. Bill was the way parents were *supposed* to be: non-judgmental and accepting. Put another way, he showed his children—and even me, as a friend of his daughters—unconditional love.
In knowing Carol over the years, and having the opportunity to visit Bill, Carol, and some of the rest of the Clinkenbeard clan at Christmas in Naples in recent years, I could see how much Carol loved, admired, and respected her Dad. And unlike so many of my friends' relationships with their parents, Carol & Bill not only loved each other, but obviously LIKED each other, too. I don't know what better a tribute a parent can ask for: to be not only loved by your child, but to be LIKED by him or her as well… to be someone whose company was actually sought after.
That's the kind of relationship that Bill and Carol had. And it was wonderful and inspiring to witness.
To Carol and the rest of the Clinkenbeard extended family: please accept my most sincere condolences on your loss. You already know this, but your Dad was one-in-a-milion… and he will be missed by not only you and me, but by the multitude of friends and colleagues his kindness, generosity, and humor touched. My thoughts and prayers are with you.
Monday July 02, 2018