Port Mourns Commissioner Tom Clure

Friday, May 28, 2010

It is with great sadness that the Duluth Seaway Port Authority acknowledges the passing of Thomas A. Clure, long-time maritime advocate and Port Authority Commissioner.  Son of original commissioner Arthur M. Clure (after whom the Clure Public Marine Terminal was named), Tom was first appointed to the Port Authority board by the Duluth City Council in June 2001 and was elected treasurer in 2007. He was an attorney with Johnson Killen & Seiler, P.A. - practicing in admiralty law, corporate and business law, real estate development, and financing. He was a member of the Maritime Law Association of the United States, had served as past president and board member of the Lake Superior Marine Museum, and had been a director on the boards of both Pioneer National Bank and GPM, Inc.

Tom is survived by his wife, Patricia, children Peter and Graham Clure and Cynthia Noble, and grandsons William Noble and Benjamin Clure.

"Tom Clure was a true gentleman in every sense of the word. He possessed that rare combination of being soft-spoken yet highly effective in board meetings, contract negotiations  and social settings alike," noted Adolph Ojard, Port Authority Executive Director.  "There was a countenance about Tom - a quiet strength, a principled perseverance that defined his character...and his involvement in this community. Our staff, our board and his waterfront colleagues will miss him terribly."

Despite the gravity of his illness, the Port Authority commissioners in a resounding vote of support had re-elected Tom to the office of treasurer in March.  At that meeting, Robert C. Maki, who serves as the Port Authority's legal counsel, remarked, "Tom Clure is the most honorable and skilled lawyer I've ever seen." 

Bill Kron, president of the Duluth Seaway Port Authority board, said of his colleague, "Tom brought insight, vision, attention to detail and civility to the board. In tense situations, Tom evoked a sense of calmness and thoughtfulness that kept us moving in a positive direction. During his courageous battle with cancer, Tom's commitment to the business of the board, his steadfast demeanor, his confident attitude and his subtle sense of humor never wavered. While he actively participated at the board level, he quietly demonstrated how to face life and death with grace and dignity. I am thankful for the good work and witness of Tom Clure."

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