By Wesley LeBlanc, Contributing Writer
Charlie Clark was best known as a world-class real estate consultant, but for those who truly knew him, he was so much more. A mentor, a leader and a friend.
In the 1980s, Clark put together a team of specialists to form a Sales and Marketing Council for the Northeast Florida Builders Association.
Unheard of at the time, those who agreed to join the council were met with life lessons from Clark they will never forget.
Naomi Lumley, one of the original council members, recalls her time spent working with Clark.
“He made all of us better. He pushed us,” said Lumley.
One of her favorite moments with Clark was when he challenged her to do more.
“One day he pulled me aside and said, ‘It’s time you got in the big leagues. It’s time you start doing more’,” she said.
For Lumley, the call to arms from Clark helped her reach new heights.
“Really and truly, he is the success of myself and so many of us,” said Lumley. “We can all go back and contribute our success to Charlie Clark.”
Clark was more than just someone with whom Lumley worked. The relationship she built with him lasted until the day he died in December.
“I never made a move without talking to my counselor, Charlie. I would not be where I am without him,” said Lumley.
After graduating from Emory University, Clark carved a path in the world of real estate that would solidify him as one of the most renowned in the business.
He traveled from state to state and country to country, consulting with those who sought him out.
Clark’s knowledge helped others in not only housing, but many areas that occur behind the scenes, such as forecasts, analysis and more.
While developing this influence in the world of real estate, Clark also was busy building a family, which began with Trudy, his wife of 45 years.
This marriage welcomed four children who went on to grant the couple six grandchildren. Clark’s family continued growing when he became the great-grandfather of four kids.
Before his passing, Clark wished his family love, happiness and success as they expand into their futures.
Lung cancer and brain tumors took his life, but it didn’t take away the impact Clark had on others.
Judy Hicks of Re/Max Unlimited, who also was part of the original SMC, can attest to this.
She was 26 when she moved to Florida and soon began working with Clark.
“The first time I ever heard ‘knowledge is power’ was from him in a meeting. I left that same meeting thinking, ‘I don’t know who this person is but I want to be like him’,” said Hicks.
For Hicks, Clark was a mentor.
“Charlie was bigger than life. He could motivate you with three or four words. He had so much integrity and so much knowledge,” she said. “He was one of those people that truly wanted to see you succeed in your career and he would help you do it.”
Richard Dostie of Dostie Homes forged a relationship with Clark that he never took for granted.
“He was my go-to person when I would have questions about certain areas in the market and by the same token, he would call me and pick my brain,” said Dostie. “It was a mutual back and forth. Less business and more of a friendship.”
Dostie said he could always rely on Clark.
“On a person level, there wasn’t a finer person. Whatever he told you, you could take to the bank,” he said.
Rose Bock, another of the original SMC members, said Clark was the “most inspiring person I’ve ever met.”
“He was that kind of guy,” she said. “He was knowledgeable, friendly and never imposing.”
Like others whose lives Clark touched, Bock laments an end to a friendship that started the day they met.
“Once you knew him, you were going to know him the rest of your life,” she said. “I’ll never forget Charlie.”
Many others feel the same.