Colonel Raymond S. Clark, USAF, Ret., of Colorado Springs, CO and Sun City, AZ, known as "Bud" to his childhood friends, passed away peacefully at his Arizona home on February 2, 2014 after an illness of several months. |
He was born in Bath, Indiana on July 13, 1923 to Ruth and Ernest S. Clark. He graduated from Brookville High School, Brookville, IN and attended the University of Kentucky.
Col. Clark spent 33 years of his life in service to his country, having joined the US Army Air Forces during WWII and remaining in service as a MATS/MAC transport pilot during the Korean and Vietnam wars, including MATS Air Sea Rescue in Goose Bay Labrador in the early 50's and airlift support during the Congo Crisis of the early 60's. He received the Air Medal for returning his crew and damaged aircraft safely to base after multiple engine failures over the Pacific Ocean, the Legion of Merit for his service at the USAF Military Personnel Center, Randolph AFB, Texas, and another for his service at the US Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. He closed his military career in 1975 at the Academy as Deputy Chief of Staff, Personnel and it is there he will be laid to rest.
He had four children with wife Phyllis (nee Riedman), who predeceased him, Deborah (Gregg) Gregory, Brent Clark (deceased) (Gloria), Randall (Joy) Clark and Terrell (Gerrie) Clark; six grandchildren - Jessica, Amanda, Kristen, Catherine and Victoria Clark and Elizabeth Egan; and three great-grandchildren - Sloane and Sam Egan and Kaylee Weeks.
He was predeceased by his parents and brother Quentin and sister Marjorie Sheets. He is survived by a brother, Stephen, by sisters-in-law Lois Clark and Thelma Karbowski (Riedman) and brother-in-law Harry Riedman Jr, as well as his nieces and nephews.
Ray's beloved partner of 36 years, Susanne C. Carter, was with him at his passing, along with Susie's children who provided countless hours of support and love, for which the family is forever grateful.
If ever there was a man to whom the words dignity and courage could be applied, it was Raymond Clark. His fortitude, grace, and humor in the face of the physical adversity that befell him in his later years were inspiring to everyone who loved him. He was our hero and the person we looked to for strength and guidance. He led by example and he will be missed beyond measure.
A memorial service will be held at the USAF Academy Chapel at noon on Monday, February 10, 2014. Interment will follow at the USAF Academy Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the USAF Academy Endowment at www.usafa.org/Endowment.
Online Condolences: ShrineOfRemembrance.com
Published in The Gazette from Feb. 6 to Feb. 9, 2014