2010: Two freshmen city councilors die of cancer
Editor's note: This story is part of the The Times' special series, "Decade in Review." This series features three stories that helped to define each year of the 2010s. These can retell single stories that captivated readers of the time, a saga that played out across many articles, and even stories that were crowded to the margins by other news at the time but have made a lasting impact on our region.
Two Washington County cities lost city councilors to the same scourge in 2010: cancer.
Del Clark of Sherwood and Bruce S. Dalrymple of Beaverton both died of cancer midway through their first terms on their respective city councils. Clark succumbed to brain cancer in September, months after Dalrymple died of lung cancer in April. Both lived less than a year after being diagnosed.
Dalrymple was first elected to the Beaverton City Council in 2006. He announced early in 2010 that he wouldn't seek another term, saying he wanted to spend more time with his family. Then, in late February, he announced he had been diagnosed with lung cancer.
"I thought I would have more time to concentrate on my family," he said. "Now I have learned that I will need to concentrate on something a little bit more."
Dalrymple, who had previously served on the Washington County Planning Commission and with the Tualatin Hills Park & Recreation District, had ambitions of one day becoming mayor of Beaverton. He was a Rotarian and active community member.
Dalrymple died April 7, 2010, at age 58. He was eulogized by fellow council members, Mayor Denny Doyle and his wife, Sandra Dalrymple.
"He was a man of action who enjoyed making things happen," Sandra Dalrymple said. "He would push for what he believed in."
In 2008, Clark won a tough City Council race in Sherwood.
Clark, who stood more than 6-foot-8 and worked as a tax attorney, managed to outdistance Sherwood's previous city manager, Ross Shultz. But less than a year into his council term, at age 40, Clark was diagnosed with colon cancer.
"As I started treatment for the colon cancer, they found out something else was wrong," Clark told the Sherwood Gazette, The Times' sister paper.
Clark had survived a battle with a brain tumor when he was just 19. As a roommate at Willamette University later recounted, Clark had collapsed during a basketball game, leading to the diagnosis. At the time, he was given just a 10% chance of survival, but he beat those odds.
He was shocked, he said, when he was diagnosed with another brain tumor in late 2009. He had been behaving oddly during a council meeting and was referred to a doctor.
"We were devastated," Clark said, referring to himself and his wife, Krisanna.
In a story in the February 2010 issue of the Sherwood Gazette, Clark expressed excitement about his work on the Sherwood City Council and optimism that he would, once again, beat cancer. He said he wanted Sherwood to hit a "home run" as it planned the redevelopment of Cannery Square — today, the city's premiere outdoor venue and public plaza — and was eager to see the city build a skate park, a long-running project that was finally completed in mid-2019.
But Clark wouldn't live to see those projects come to fruition. Not quite two years after he was first elected to the City Council, Clark died of complications from the brain tumor on Sept. 24, 2010. He was 41.
Clark was a "unique and amazing man," said Robyn Folsom, a friend and fellow councilor who was elected to the City Council at the same time as Clark.
"We were so grateful to know him," Folsom added.
Clark's legacy lived on in local government. Krisanna Clark, his widow, won a special election to serve out the remainder of his term. She was elected to another term in 2012, then was elected mayor in 2014. She served until 2017, when she resigned and announced she was moving across the state — but that's another story.
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