Capt. Susan J. Clark ’85

CAPE ELIZABETH — On Thursday, Sept. 6, 2012, Captain Susan J. Clark passed away after losing her battle with cancer. She was surrounded by her loving family and a group of wonderful, life-long friends who were always there for her as she bravely fought this illness.
Susan was born on Sept. 19, 1963, in Skowhegan. She was the daughter of Lester and Marlene Clark of Norridgewock. Susan attended Skowhegan Area High School where she formed friendships with an incredible group of people who would be with her for her entire life’s journey. She graduated in 1981 as valedictorian and class president. Susan earned her undergraduate degree at Maine Maritime Academy. During her time there, she literally sailed around the world as a cadet on a container-ship. Upon graduating at the top of her class, Susan sailed as a watch-officer on oil-tankers with Exxon Shipping Company. She later became the first woman to sail as captain with that company after earning her Unlimited Master’s license.

Susan attempted a life on land by attending law school at both Seton Hall and the University of Maine and received her legal degree in 1992. She accepted a position with the law firm of Verril and Dana in Portland and had the privilege of working alongside some outstanding attorneys. Susan enjoyed her brief career in the legal world, but sitting behind a desk couldn’t replace the bridge of a ship for her, so she went back to sea. Susan worked for Sea-River Maritime until 2001 and finished her shipping career there as Master of the AMERICAN PROGRESS motor-tanker. Susan then was lucky enough to become a Portland Harbor pilot, a job she had always wanted. She worked with the Pilot’s Association until her untimely death.

Though her career was very important to her, Susan’s true passion in life was for family and friends. In 1998, she married her beloved husband Glenn Daukas and they built a life together in the Cape Elizabeth area. In 2001, Susan began yet another career; this time as a mother! Glenn and Susan welcomed their first son Louis in to their world, later to be joined by their youngest son Rigel. As with everything else, Susan excelled at motherhood and realized that it was her true ‘dream-job!’ She always said that she loved her boys ‘To Infinity and Beyond!’

Susan loved to travel and she loved being active. She ran road races and triathlons and enjoyed simply working out and training with her friends. Her greatest joy however was just spending summer days on Sebec Lake with Glenn and the boys. In her hectic life, the simple pleasure of floating in an inner tube or sitting on the porch at camp and gazing out across the lake meant the world to her. 

Susan was very spiritual and active in her church. She was also very active in many professional organizations like the Propeller Club of Portland and was the first female voted into the Portland Marine Society since its inception in 1796. Susan was also a member of the Board of Trustees for Maine Maritime Academy. Susan was also very involved in the Portland waterfront community and was grateful to them for the respect and encouragement they showed her.

Susan lived her life so fully and touched so many other lives. With Susan, the words, friends and family, were pretty much interchangeable. She will be so very sorely missed by all. 

Susan is survived by her loving husband Glenn, and her sons, Louis and Rigel of Cape Elizabeth; her mother Marlene Clark; brother Joe Clark, his wife Lisa, and their daughters, Amanda and Lauren; sister Janey McGown and her husband Jeff; her sister Jill Alves, her husband Chris, and their sons, Christopher and Nicholas; and her brother Chris Clark; all of Norridgewock.

A service for Susan will be held at St. Bartholomew’s Catholic Church in Cape Elizabeth at 1 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 14. There will be a celebration of her life at the Ocean Gateway Terminal in Portland at 2 p.m. following the services.

Donations in Susan’s memory can be made to:
The Cholangiocarcinoma Foundation
5526 West 13400 South, #510 
Salt Lake City, Utah 84096