10th Mountain Division leader

Passing Date: 
Sunday, December 28, 2014

Earl Ervin Clark, who served in the 10th Mountain Division from its inception, died at home on Dec. 28, a day after attending a 10th Mountain reunion luncheon. He was 95.

Clark was born in Londonderry, Vermont in 1913, and learned to ski while growing up in Wisconsin. After graduating high school in 1936 he moved west to climb and ski in Colorado and Wyoming. He joined the Army in March, 1942, volunteered for the 87th Mountain Infantry, and attended Officer Candidate School. As a lieutenant, he led training exercises at Camp Hale, and often told the story that, at 118 pounds, he had to lead marches carrying a 90-pound pack. He commanded troops in the Aleutians and Italy, notably at Riva Ridge.

After the war he graduated from the University of Denver with a degree in business, and began a thirty-year career with the Penn Mutual Life Insurance Co. He joined the National Ski Patrol and supervised patrol work at Arapahoe Basin, Loveland, Berthoud Pass and Winter Park. He also joined the Colorado National Guard, rising to the rank of lieutenant colonel.

In 1971, Clark was elected founding president of the 10th Mountain Division National Association, and in 1979 helped to organize the International Federation of Mountain Soldiers, incorporating former mountain troops from Germany, Austria, Italy and France. He was inducted into the Colorado Ski Hall of Fame in 2001.

Clark is survived by his son Craig, and his grandchildren.


Photo courtesy Denver Public Library 10th Mountain Division Collection

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