On Saturday, a local World War II veteran started to make his new home at the Timbers of Shorewood – with a little help from his friends at the Joliet Fire Department.
Mead Clark is a 95-year-old Joliet resident and WWII veteran. During the war, he served as a forward observer on the outer edge of the Battle of the Bulge.
Joliet Fire Department Station 5 volunteer firefighters helped move Clark into the Timbers of Shorewood Saturday alongside his daughter, Betsy Denewellis, his family and his friend, Lou Smith.
“Betsy has been going with her dad to breakfast, lunch and dinner for the last five years,” Smith said. “She has ... taken care of his needs.”
At the Timbers, Clark will receive aid for memory loss. Smith has been a friend of Clark’s for 15 years, and reached out to the fire department to request their help for the move. Lt. Eric Mattson asked around and gathered the firefighters who could volunteer their time.
“Everybody wants to help the veterans; there aren’t too many World War II veterans left,” Mattson said.
Clark was a forward observer for an anti-aircraft battery during the second world war. His duties involved working ahead of the unit to spot enemy actions. After the war, Clark became a lifelong member of Cantigny Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 367 in Joliet, worked as a mailman and was one of the first members of the Joliet American Legion Band.
“He’s 95 now and comes every Friday for the fish fry at the post,” Smith said.
Clark lived in the same home for 50 years as he worked as a mailman and after he had retired. He regularly frequents the Silver Spoon restaurant and Donut Den.
“His silhouette is painted in a mural at the Silver Spoon, a booth named after him and they had a whole spread of him at the Donut Den,” his daughter said.
Clark also installed window treatments in homes around Joliet, enhancing his status as an active member in the community, she said.
“Everywhere we go, someone knows him,” Denewellis said.