action:article | category:SPORTS16 | adString:SPORTS16 | zoneID:40

Home » Sports » Sports Columns

November 08. 2013 11:47PM

John Habib's City Sports: Much-loved Lemire was dedicated to city's kids


Longtime superintendent of Manchester Parks and Recreation Clem Lemire, left, is joined by former Manchester Memorial High football coach Hubie McDonough Jr. at the 2009 Queen City Hall of Fame induction dinner. The athletics complex at Memorial is named for Lemire, the football field for McDonough and Bob Chabot, another former coach. (BRUCE TAYLOR/UNION LEADER FILE)

If there's one undeniable fact about Clem Lemire, it’s this: He had many friends who truly loved him.

In 1995, when Lemire stepped down superintendent of Manchester’s Parks and Recreation superintendent, a retirement banquet was held in his honor. The event may have set a record as the longest banquet in city history, with the last speaker to say a “few” words standing at the podium a little after 2 a.m., more than eight hours after the start.

“I was there, and I can tell you people spoke from the heart that evening,” said Joe Dutile, one of Lemire’s closest friends. “There were many stories told that night and lots of laughter, but deep down you could sense a genuine love for Clem.”

Dutile called Lemire “the best superintendent this city ever had, and he loved his job. I can’t tell you how many times I remember seeing Clem work with the kids on summer projects. Whether it was planting shrubs, laying sod or digging trenches, Clem would take his jacket off and work alongside the kids. His (late) wife (Lillian) wouldn’t be too happy when he came home with mud and dirt on him, but that was Clem.”

Dutile said Lemire never took shortcuts when it came to work.

“Clem came from a big family, and he came up the hard way,” said Dutile. “He understood what a hard day’s work was, and he never forgot it.”

Dutile, now retired after teaching industrial arts at Manchester Memorial High for more than 35 years, was instrumental behind the scenes in getting the school’s athletics complex named for Lemire.

“After all he did for the city, it was only fitting the city name a complex after him,” said Dutile. “I can tell you, he was thrilled when many years later the city named the football field after Bob Chabot and Hubie McDonough (Jr.) at the complex. Clem respected them a great deal.”

Chabot and McDonough coached Manchester Memorial to six state football titles including one in 1971, when the Crusaders defeated Trinity, 12-6, in the famed Snow Bowl on Thanksgiving Day at Gill Stadium.

“I don’t know for sure, but I would bet the house Clem was driving one of the snowplow trucks during halftime of that game,” said Dutile. “Clem will be surely missed, not only for what he did for the city, but how much he helped kids. He made sure the fields, the golf course, the ice rinks and ski slopes were in top condition for the kids.”

- - - - - - - - -

MANCHESTER High Central varsity wrestling coach Jason Cumming, an Air Force veteran, is hoping for a strong turnout today for the Wrestling for Warriors Tournament. Wrestling starts at 10 a.m. at Central, with tournament proceeds going to the Wounded Warrior Project and Liberty House shelter for homeless veterans.

Cumming, who also serves as director of the Manchester Police Athletic League’s Granite State Gryphons wrestling program, requests that anyone attending the tournament bring a non-perishable food item for donation.

“I’m an Air Force veteran and this is something near and dear to my heart,” said Cumming. “Wrestling is huge in the military, so the wrestlers always support the troops.”

In addition to the Gryphons, wrestlers in the tournament will represent Smitty’s Wrestling Barn of Danville, Mayo Quanchi Judo and Wrestling of West Warwick, R.I.; MetroWest United of Ashland, Mass.; the Gate City Wresting Club of Nashua; and teams from Maine.

“The top wrestlers from New England are coming to compete and support the troops,” Cumming said.

“City Sports” is published Saturdays in the New Hampshire Union Leader. Email staff reporter John Habib at jhabib@unionleader.com.


  • Which NH high school football team will remain unbeaten longest?
  • Bedford
  • 25%
  • Bow
  • 11%
  • Kennett
  • 10%
  • Pinkerton
  • 44%
  • Windham
  • 10%
  • Total Votes: 532
 NH Sports Angle more
Links to news and happenings around the world of sports with a Granite State connection, updated daily.

24 Hours of LeMons New England: The winners!

Kings use emergency-roster exemption before facing Penguins

NH man beat out 75,000 competitors to win $1M in fantasy football contest

Video: Exact moment NH man wins a million dollars on DraftKings

That 70s Line continues to work magic as L.A. Kings win sixth straight

N.H. Motor Speedway to become home of North East Motor Sports Museum

Keene pumpkin riot probe turns to technology inspired by Boston Marathon bombing

Riverside Speedway in Groveton on auction block Nov. 1

Former Monarch suspended from NHL after domestic violence arrest 58min

UNH research behind NFL crackdown on non-standard facemasks

Kings sign former Monarch to $20M extension

UNH's McDonnell seen as prospect to replace fired Buffalo coach

Republican candidate Scott Brown mobbed at UNH homecoming tailgate

Myrtle Beach Caddy Girls owner NH native Meghan Tarmey to be featured on ABCs Shark Tank

At Dartmouth, sidelines robot could be key to quickly diagnosing football concussions

Portland named best minor league baseball town in nation; Manchester #25

Hampton police: Motorist exposed himself to jogger

More than a decade in the making, motorsports-themed country club to open next September

Hampstead driver closing in on Whelen Southern Modified Tour championship

N.H. husband, wife coordinate, run Army 10-Miler Shadow Run

Seabrook's Charles Rosa steps up fighting game, signs with UFC

MORE

 New Hampshire Events Calendar
    

    SHARE EVENTS FOR PUBLICATION, IT'S FREE!

Upcoming Events

 New Hampshire Business Directory

  

    ADD YOUR BUSINESS TODAY!