Wayne M. Clinch, 62, Insurance Adviser

June 28, 1951 - Dec. 15, 2013
Wayne M. Clinch - June 28, 1951 - Dec. 15, 2013

       Wayne M. Clinch, a retired insurance broker and risk-management adviser with the Marsh & McLennan firm in New York City, died on Dec. 15 at Southampton Hospital after a brief illness. He was 62.

       Mr. Clinch and his wife, the former Carolyn Gay, lived in Brooklyn Heights before making their weekend house on Blackberry Drive in Montauk their permanent home. In Montauk, he was active at St. Therese of Lisieux Catholic Church, with the Montauk Community Garden, Montauk Library, Montauk Food Pantry, and the hamlet’s Lions Club.

        He spent 30 years with Marsh & McLennan, becoming a senior officer specializing in high-limits casualty insurance for domestic and global clients, and eventually being named a managing director. He retired in 2010. Ms. Clinch said her husband was a mentor to dozens of colleagues, whose careers he helped advance and whose friendship he prized.

       Robert Booher, a friend who worked with Mr. Clinch, said, “He handled every situation with competence because he was a very smart man, more importantly, because he was a very good man. Wayne was trusted for deals completed on the fairest and most ethical basis. His elegance was the combination of his honesty and his toughness.”

       Ms. Clinch said that from the first time he visited the East End Montauk “captured him entirely,” and he considered himself a Montauker from the start, becoming, with his wife, part of the fabric of the community. They began coming to Montauk in 1987. On one early occasion, she said, he and some friends were on line behind Mick Jagger waiting to get into the Shagwong Tavern. He laughingly told the story for years afterward that his group was asked for a cover charge while the Rolling Stones singer was let in for free. 

       Mr. Clinch was devoted to sport fishing and knew well those Montauk residents who perfected the sport. He fished with Rick Etzel aboard the Breakaway and with Mike Vegessi on the Lazy Bones, among others, his wife said. She said that work colleagues relied on him to introduce them to fishing and to “the rituals of the premier boats in the harbor, surviving summer, relishing the quiet season, knowing the good spots for sunsets.” Bill Becker, who is involved in the community garden, said Mr. Clinch was the best weeder ever, Ms. Clinch said, attributing that to her husband’s fastidiousness.

       He was born on June 28, 1951, in Byram, Conn., to James J. Clinch and the former Muriel Stokes. He attended St. Mary’s School in Manhasset, graduating in 1969, and Fairfield University in Connecticut, where he received a bachelor’s degree in 1973.

       Mr. and Ms. Clinch were married on March 20, 1982, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Roslyn Harbor. His wife was at his side when he died. In addition to his wife, a sister, Elizabeth De Rose, lives in Mountainside, N.J. He also is survived by many nieces and nephews. His parents died before him.

       A Mass of the Resurrection was celebrated for him at St. Therese last Thursday. Burial followed at Fort Hill Cemetery in Montauk. Ms. Clinch suggested donations in his memory to St. Therese, P.O. Box 5027, Montauk 11954, or the Montauk Library, P.O. Box 700, Montauk 11954.