BIRMINGHAM | Otis Manson Clarke Jr., age 99, of Birmingham, passed away April 26, 2014. Services will be 2 p.m. Thursday, May 1, 2014, at Memory Chapel Funeral Home. Burial will follow in Memory Hill Gardens with Memory Chapel Funeral Home, a Dignity Memorial Provider, directing. Visitation will be one hour prior to service at the funeral home.
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He was preceded in death by his wife, Flora Mayo Clarke; his parents; and his two sisters, Alice Clarke Crutchfield and Nell Clarke.
He is survived by his son, Charles Kendall Clarke (Carolyn); and his daughter, Carolyn Clarke Jackson (Jerry); five grandchildren, Valerie Clarke Berger (Scott), Matthew Clarke Jackson (Alice), Cynthia Elaine Jackson, Joel Walter Jackson, and Sarah Frances Jackson; seven great-grandchildren, Anna Carolyn Berger, Robert Clarke Berger, Lydia Elizabeth Berger, James Fletcher Olson, Gabrielle Wren Olson, Ann Monroe Jackson, and Alexander Ottewill Jackson; and numerous nephews, nieces, and other relatives.
He was born October 7, 1914, to Otis Manson Clarke, Sr. and Nellie Jones Clarke. He graduated from the Virginia Tech School of Engineering in Mining Geology in 1936. He worked over 50 years in mineral exploration, research in geochemical exploration, and applied geology in mining and engineering. His professional work involved projects in North America, South America and West Africa, with projects that ranged from working as a junior mining engineer in gold mines two miles high in the Argentine mountains to conducting mineral exploration for bauxite in the jungles of the Amazon.
He ended his career working for many years as a project geologist for the Alabama Geological Survey, located on the University of Alabama campus. He was a member of the Society of Economic Geologists and the American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical and Petroleum Engineers, a Fellow of the Association of Exploration Geochemists, and a member of the scientific society Sigma Xi (for which he served a term as president of its local chapter in Tuscaloosa). Also, he was a charter member of the Alabama Geological Society. He published over 30 scientific articles and had many more unpublished papers preserved in the Hoole Special Collection of the University of Alabama.
He and Flora were long-term residents of Tuscaloosa and members of Trinity United Methodist Church. After retirement, he remained active in various volunteer capacities and was a longtime member of the Tuscaloosa Sailing Club, of which he was a charter member. He became an avid artist and creative writer and was active in the West Alabama Art Association and the Guild of Professional Writers for Children. He remained engaged in these artistic endeavors for the remainder of his long and productive life. He lived his last years at Town Village in Birmingham and made many friends there. He was loved by all his friends and family and will be greatly missed.
Published in Tuscaloosa News on Apr. 28, 2014