on December 9, 2013 - 9:48 PM
, updated December 10, 2013 at 12:08 AM
Nov. 29, 1932 – Dec. 8, 2013
Gerald N. Clark, owner and president of Twin City Ambulance for almost 50 years, died Sunday in DeGraff Memorial Hospital, North Tonawanda, after a short illness. He was 81.
A pioneer in the emergency services field in Western New York, he purchased Twin City Ambulance with partners in 1955. Known for his support and mentoring of emergency medical technicians, he was succeeded as president of the company by his son, Terence, in 2004.
The company noted on its Facebook page that “despite being the owner of our company, Gerry was often right in the trenches with his employees. Even through his later years, he could be found cleaning the station, sharing a coffee and a chess match with the on-duty medics and EMTs, or telling one of his myriad stories about the early years of EMS.”
Born in Niagara Falls, he was a graduate of Niagara Falls High School and took EMT training at Erie Community College.
He began his career in the ambulance business in the mid-1950s when he was working at a factory and looking for a part-time job. He found one with a start-up ambulance service, purchased it and in the 1960s became the sole operator.
“He worked seven days a week, 24 hours a day,” his wife of 48 years, the former Patricia Castilgione said. “He did that for more than 20 years.”
Twin City Ambulance was based until the 1980s at DeGraff Memorial Hospital, a few blocks from Mr. Clark’s home.
Since then, it has expanded from the Tonawandas to cover many communities in Niagara County and northern Erie County. It also provides emergency medical service for the University at Buffalo, the Sabres and Bandits, Coca-Cola Field, Shea’s Performing Arts Center and numerous special events.
Mr. Clark continued to come to the office on a daily basis in retirement to do odd jobs and talk with the staff. He moved from North Tonawanda to Pendleton three years ago.
In addition to his wife and son, survivors include a daughter, Victoria M. Prince, and five grandchildren.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 9:30 a.m. Friday in St. Christopher Catholic Church, 2660 Niagara Falls Blvd., Town of Tonawanda.