Robert Vaughn “Bob” Clark, 86, of Mechanicsburg, passed away Monday, Oct. 23, 2023.
He was born in New Castle, Pennsylvania, and was adopted by the late Walter R. and Anna Belle Aikens Clark, formerly of Shippenville, Clarion County, where he grew up on the family 300-acre farm.
He was married to Thelma Ann (Thomas) Clark, the love of his life, and they celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary after dating since the age of 13. Bob and Thelma graduated from Annville High School in 1955. He left East Stroudsburg College to serve his country and joined the U.S. Marine Corps. He achieved the rank of Sergeant at age 21 and served two tours in the Mediterranean.
He resumed college for a semester and returned to Annville to establish his family and begin his career. He was employed by the PA Auditor General for 10 years as a special investigative auditor. Bob and Thelma welcomed their first son, Robert, in 1960, followed by their son, Michael, in 1965.
He became executive director of the PA Jaycees and created Apple Butter Sunday. The state-wide project raised more than 3 million dollars and sent thousands of physically disabled children to summer camps.
In 1973, he became executive director of The Pennsylvania Forestry Association for 14 years, organizing the 100th Year Anniversary, and was editor of Pennsylvania Forests magazine. He was elected president of the National Council of State Forestry Associations in 1976 and 1986. He retired from there in 1987. He is also a retired Pennsylvania Deputy Game Protector.
All his life, Bob was involved with many outdoor wildlife and hunting non-profit organizations, many times in leadership positions. He chaired the 2nd National Wild Turkey Federation Convention, winning outstanding state president. He was also elected to its Board of Directors and named to the PA Chapter Hall of Fame with Life Membership. As a renowned hunter, he wrote two books on wild turkey hunting and produced a video.
Of all his awards for conservation, he is most proud of his 1980 Pennsylvania Game Commission Senior Commission Conservation Award and his life membership in The Pennsylvania Outdoor Writers Association.
He was a member of Robert Burns Masonic Lodge No. 464 Harrisburg Consistory, Zembo Shrine Police Unit and Legion of Honor, and The Tall Cedars of Lebanon-Harrisburg Forest No. 43. He was also a 50-year member of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, Harrisburg Lodge No. 13. He was a member of the Annville United Methodist Church for over 50 years.
He is survived by his wife, Thelma, of Mechanicsburg; and son, Michael, of New York City. He was preceded in death by his son, Robert Steven Clark, in 1991. He is survived by a sister, Virginia Ann Clark Hummer, of Texas.
Funeral services will be held on Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2023, at 1 p.m. from Kreamer Funeral Home & Crematory, Inc., 618 E. Main St., Annville. Interment will follow at Indiantown Gap National Cemetery. A viewing will be held one hour prior to the service at the funeral home. A Masonic Service will be held at 12:45 p.m. in the funeral home.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be sent to the Kidney Foundation of Central PA.