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Russell, Flemming Clarke
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Flemming Clarke, commonly known as Clarke, was born to Ernest S. Russell and Jenny Brown on March 8, 1903 near Palmyra, Ontario.
As a young adult, Clarke was a talented musician and taught Hawaiian guitar to a variety of pupils. In 1923, he gave guitar lessons to a young lady named Dorothy. The two developed a relationship and married on July 2, 1924 in Guelph, Ontario. The couple lived with Dorothy’s uncle Franklin Schantz in the family home at 43 Schneider Avenue, Kitchener, Ontario immediately after they wed.
During the first few years of their marriage Clarke worked in a music store in Kitchener, Ontario and continued to give guitar lessons. He taught pupils in Preston, Ontario and he also taught at the Kitchener Music Conservatory. Clarke also occasionally played music on the radio.
In 1927 Clarke accepted a position as a traffic officer with the Ontario Provincial Police. Initially, he patrolled the Toronto Exhibition area but was later stationed to Oakville on the Toronto-Hamilton Highway Two. In 1928 Clarke was stationed to Chatham, Ontario.
On February 24, 1929, Clarke and Dorothy’s first son, Donald Richard Russell, was born.
Around 1933, Clarke resigned from the Ontario Provincial Police force due to his ailing back. Clarke moved to Toronto to pursue his music career once again.
On September 14, 1935, Clarke and Dorothy’s second son, Harold Clarke Franklin Russell was born.
In Toronto, Clarke established the Artistic Recordings studio for musical groups. The studio rooms were located on the 7th floor of the Heintzman Building on Yonge Street across from Eaton’s.
On March 18, 1954 Clarke died suddenly of a bowel obstruction at Toronto’s Mount Sinai Hospital.
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Revised by NM in 2019.
Dorothy Russell: A life in the Twentieth Century: It Was The Best Of Times, It Was The Worst Of Times, Dorothy and Clarke, 1923-1935 by Harold Russell. SCA118-GA391-2-46