Wickett, Clarence #458 *

Honoured by Karen & Murray Wickett and Rod & Lynda Wickett.

Clarence (Charlie) Wickett

Better known to family and friends as “Charlie”, Clarence Nathaniel Wickett was an extraordinary man who lived an ordinary life.  Born in Cobalt, he grew up in New Liskeard, the oldest child of seven.  Charlie’s father cooked in lumber and mining camps and was away for long periods of time, so Charlie was his mother’s main helper.  In fact, helping others became the central theme of his life.

In banks and brokerage houses, Charlie trained to become an accountant and as a young man, married Alice McNeill in 1936.  By 1944, with two sons, Rodney and Murray, the family moved to North Bay where Charlie worked for National Grocers as the accountant for the next thirty-three years.  When he reached the age of sixty-five, he was offered the position of provincial auditor, but only agreed after he was given approval to bring his wife, Alice along.  For the next six years they travelled the province so Charlie could audit the books.

For more than fifty years of marriage, Charlie cared for his semi-invalid wife, handling not only his full time career but also raising his two sons and dealing with all the usual household challenges.

It was important for him to teach his sons financial responsibility, so when Rodney wanted to buy his first set of drums at age fourteen, his dad marched him down to a bank to set up a loan.  A few years later, Murray made the same trek with his father to arrange the financing for his first car.  In later years, Dad Wickett became the bank for his children and grandchildren, loaning out money, at a very low interest rate, and recording everything in his little black book.  Nuggets of financial advice were free.

Capturing the essence of Dad Wickett in a few words is very difficult.  Honourable, compassionate and wise, everyone relied upon him.  Even as a child, his mother, brothers and little sisters all called on Clarence for support.  For the other employees at the National and for the owners of the small grocery stores that they serviced, Charlie Wickett became the man to go to when help was needed.  Always willing to stop in when required, it was his immediate family who benefited the most from his generosity.

His oldest grandchild, Shannon, lived with him for a year after Alice died.  She was attending college and “Grandpa Wickett’s” house became the place to hang out and eat the homemade pizzas that he created.  Brent, his youngest grandchild, remembers the love he always felt from his grandfather, and Erin and Derek, his other two grandchildren, treasure memories of confiding in him.  When troubled, Grandpa Wickett was a safe refuge.

Honourable, kind and loving, Clarence Wickett was a hero in his family’s eyes.  A gentle soul, yet the devilish glint in his eyes bespoke of his quiet humour.  He worked hard, raised a family, contributed to church and community:  A man to be emulated.