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Col. Charles Vivian Clark

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Col. Charles Vivian Clark Obituary
Clark, Col. Charles Vivian USAF (Ret) ESCONDIDO-- Charles "Chas" Vivian Clark was born of British parents in Kingston, Jamaica (BWI), on August 8, 1918. As a baby, and with this family, he immigrated to New York City, but was schooled at the Shenandoah Academy in Virginia. As a young man, he worked as a chemist in his father's laboratory. In 1942, he joined the Army Air Corps, met his "dream girl" Phyllis Ann Ames in Laguna Beach, CA, and married. He returned to civilian life for a short time but in 1947, was recalled to active duty in the Air Force. After WWII, Chas spent the Cold War years as one of only a handful of individuals privy to the highest degree of security regarding U.S. nuclear weapons readiness. He had the honor of being a member of an elite operating unit that briefed the Joint Chiefs of Staff and an Inspector General at NATO, and inspected U.S. nuclear weapon sites worldwide, and was an attaché to the Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Atomic Energy. The young Clark family was stationed in England from 1955 to 1958, and Charles' work allowed him to travel the United States and the World. After 28 years in the U. S. Air Force, Chas and Phyllis settled in Escondido, California. During their 70-year marriage, they raised five sons; Michael, David, Gregory, Christopher and Charles, were proud grandparents to 10, and great-grandparents to 10. During his four decades in Escondido, Chas cherished his time spent helping his progeny in any way that he could. He was a true gentleman: he was a model of self- discipline, positive attitude, good health practices, and he never lost his great sense of humor. He enjoyed the opportunity of working side by side with all of his sons. Chas also enjoyed the adventures of world travel with his wife and friends. Chas devoted significant time to mentoring school children, providing encouragement, understanding and a path towards academic excellence. Ironically, after retiring from the military, Chas spent a great deal of time and energy working as an advocate for world peace. Chas was articulate and spoke on many occasions and in many venues in support of world peace. Among the organizations with which he was associated were, Amnesty International, Witness for Peace, the Peacemaking Program Office of the United Presbyterian Church, SEARCH for Justice and Equity in Palestine/Israel, and Habitat for Humanity. In addition, he served as an election observer during the February 1990, Nicaraguan elections. He concluded in the final line of his 2000 memoir, Keeper of the Keys, by stating, "Nuclear safety is a myth, and because small wars can grow into large wars, nuclear weapons have made warfare obsolete. Mankind must subscribe to the that maxim, now." Chas will be greatly missed by his family and his many friends who enjoyed his extraordinary breadth of experience, his gentle soul, and his humanity. Arrangements are by Alhiser-Comer Mortuary.
Published in The San Diego Union Tribune on June 5, 2014
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