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Obituaries

BRUCE CLARK

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A long and happy life ended at peace and at home on January 14th for Bruce Clark, a resident of Los Altos for over fifty-years. 

Graduating as an Electrical Engineer from Cal in 1942, his professional career spanned seven decades, beginning at Harvard during WWII, where his team developed radar technology.

After the war he worked at the AEC Cyclotron and Stanford. In 1951, he became part of the Digital Development Group at SRI International, working on projects as varied as “ERMA” (an early vacuum tube computer and the forerunner of e-commerce) and the Pioneer 10 space probe. These successes helped infuse him with an unflagging optimism.

In retirement, Bruce continued consulting work for SRI until the age of 92. He was an avid tinkerer. A true progressive, he read widely and until his last months, he gleefully debated current events, always with facts at the ready. He spent many days at the library training people in computer and internet literacy.

A proud, Calistoga-born native Californian, Bruce was the third child of Melcina May Baird  and Joseph Reece Clark, themselves children of pioneers who travelled the Oregon Trail. In 1953 he married Ilene Sandberg Clark, a co-worker at SRI.

Bruce and Ilene were among the first Los Altos Lutheran Church members. Ilene was active with music in the church while Bruce often helped with building upkeep and was a regular member at the men’s breakfast. As a father, Bruce has given his children an enduring bequest: abiding love, humor, the confidence to figure things out on their own and the drive to never stop learning. 

Bruce was predeceased by his dear wife Ilene to whom he was married for fifty-three years; by his sister Florence Hensill; and by his brother Wayne Clark. He is survived by his four children, David Clark, Jim Clark, Mae Clark, and Laurie Clark Bryson and his loving niece Joan Clark Brown.  Bruce has seven Grandchildren.

The family extends their deep appreciation to his hospice caregivers. A memorial service and celebration of his life was held at Los Altos Lutheran Church on Saturday, January 24th.

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