Posted on 7th May 2013
It has brought great sadness to hear of the passing of Marcel (Marc) Clemens. Marc was associated with Blatchford for 30 years, as a trials participant and as a popular demonstrator at shows throughout the world. He was a great ambassador for the P&O industry and a good friend to many within Blatchford.
We have paid our respects to Marc and his contributions (see below)
Our thoughts are with Marc’s family at this time.
Marcel (Marc) Clemens 1936 – 2013
Marc Clemens was a much loved figure in the Prosthetics Industry, living a full and active life that lightly encompassed disability. Marc made everyone he encountered feel special, valued and worthy of his time and interest and encouraged thousands of people to use their abilities to become mobile again.
Born in Meleghem in Belgium, Marc travelled widely throughout his life, but in recent years particularly with members of the Blatchford team with whom he worked tirelessly on Prosthetic training. Marc was proficient in 7 languages, but it was the warmth of his communication that made him a tour de force at the international shows, conferences and seminars in which he engaged with his Blatchford colleagues and the International P&O Community. Marc was beloved of clinicians and amputees around the globe for his thoughtful and incisive comments on the nature of prosthetic technology and techniques. His enthusiasm and engagement with the people he met on these occasions and his perspective, having a trans-femoral amputation, gave him great empathy in discussing matters of rehabilitation. He was not afraid to make a statement about inclusion and to demonstrate that a trans-femoral amputation was no barrier to mobility.
Marc’s link with Blatchford started at the Crystal Palace Clinic in London in the late 80s, he soon joined with the International Sales and R&D teams in Basingstoke as a trials participant and demonstrator, a role he would maintain for the next 25 years. His love of art, classical music, rare jewels and technology gave Marc an insight into the subtleties of interaction between man and machine. His observations when he tested prototype designs gave Blatchford engineers a rare opportunity to gain an insider understanding of how their creations actually felt and moved and worked with the human body, or otherwise! He softened every blow with a constant supply of delicious Belgian chocolates!
Marc’s inherent sense of justice and humanity gave him a rare ability to engage with people of different views and cultures, particularly those trying to regain confidence after disability. Marc had a way of gently drawing people into the gist of the matter, the detail of technical, aesthetic and emotional discussion. From this they would find both learning and comfort and a great deal more understanding of how technologies like microprocessor control and bio-mimetic design can make using a prosthesis a much more life affirming experience.
We have lost a good friend and ambassador for our industry. All of us who knew him feel a great sadness. His impact on the P&O industry is such that he showed amputees and industry professionals that openly being his own man, demonstrating and saying exactly what he felt about developments, engaging in lively discussion, and being Marc, enriched both our work and our humanity. We join with Madame Irène Zeltsman, Marc’s wife, and family in mourning the loss of one of our dearly loved friends.