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Tree Planted in Remembrance of Former Kearns Custodian

About 25 people attended a ceremony to honor the memory of Aden Clark, who passed away unexpectedly last month.

Aden Clark, the former head custodian of the F.M. Kearns School in Granby, was described at a ceremony at the school Tuesday afternoon as a gentle giant who loved to ride his motorcycle and always had a kind word for the children and members of the staff.

Clark, a Simsbury resident who worked in the Granby school system for 30 years, including the last seven as head custodian of Kearns, died unexpectedly on Sept. 4. He was 57 years old.

“He was a free spirit,” Joslyn said. “He loved motorcycles. He always had a kind word in the hallway. He was a gentle giant who was supportive of the kids and the staff.”

To honor his contributions to the school system, the Kearns staff and children donated a hydrangea tree, which was planted just outside the school.

Members of Clark’s family, his friends, the Kearns staff and Superintendent of Schools Alan Addley attended the ceremony to commemorate the tree’s planting.

“Deep in his heart, he truly cared about us and the kids,” Kearns Principal Kim Dessert said. “He was quiet, but he really cared about us.”

Second grade teacher Cathy Joslyn read two poems; the first was by Sara Coleridge, entitled “Trees.”

The second poem, the text of which is featured below, was written by Joslyn, which draws comparisons between a tree and Aden’s character.

Like this hydrangea,
Aden was our tree,
Like roots, he was grounded;
Like a trunk, stable and sturdy in the wind.
Like branches, supportive of the Kearns
community
Like blossoms, developed his unique presence
in the world.
We remember Aden’s goodness,
and wish him perpetual peace.

Clark’s family members were deeply touched by the outpouring of support from the Granby school district.

“I want to thank you all so much for this,” said Clark’s sister Diane Rood. “Aden meant so much to us. It just really shows that [the school community] cared about Aden. That this is a living thing to represent by brother [is special].”

Lee Harlow, Clark’s longtime friend, agreed.

“On a scale of 1 to 10, this was a 10,” Harlow said.

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