Robert D. Clark Jr. 81 ½, of Northville, Michigan, passed away on September 19, 2017 at his home.
Robert (Bob) was born March 23, 1936 in Geneva, Illinois. Bob attended Geneva HS '54 where he was a standout at basketball, football and track while working as a paper boy and attendant at his family's Pure Oil service station. After graduation, Bob attended Miami University (OH), was active in the Sigma Nu Fraternity and Navy ROTC. He graduated with a Marketing Degree. In 1958, he commissioned in the US Navy, to serve as a Deck Officer in Long Beach, CA aboard the mine sweeper USS Fortify (MSO-446). After active duty, he returned to Geneva to work for the Pure Oil Company, and to serve five years in the Naval Reserve. His sales position at Pure Oil afforded him the opportunity to work once more with his mother and father, who ran Clark's Service Station for 48 years. While he and his father anchored championship bowling teams, Bob enjoyed spending time with his younger siblings, Rich and Kathy. After a few tiring night classes at Northern Illinois University in Dekalb, Bob enrolled at Bradley University in Peoria and earned his MBA in 1965 with honors, Phi Kappa Phi. After grad school, he relocated to Dearborn, MI, and started his 26-year career with Ford Motor Company as an executive in sales, purchasing and quality control. It was in Dearborn where Bob met a local school teacher, Gail Drummy of Waupun, WI; they wed in 1967. While his career brought him to the Motor City, it was his growing family that brought him to Northville. Together they raised three children, all in Northville, where they have been residents for 44 years and his example instilled in them a love for faith, family, friends, and animals! Bob had a love for snowmobiling, golfing, trips to the Master's and jazz music. His children have fond memories of Dad helping them on daily paper routes, fixing mini-bikes, supporting his daughter's equestrian interests and helping build prize-winning soap box derby cars. Bob was active for many years as an adult leader for the local Boy Scout troop where both of his sons (Dan '84 and Rob '91) earned their Eagle Scout award. The entire gang looked forward to annual summer vacations in Illinois and Wisconsin to visit their grandparents and extended family. For the last 30 years, Bob's nostalgic pride of his days in the Navy on a mine sweeper seemed to be satisfied by watching freighters and sunsets on Lake Michigan from the deck of their summer home where he and Gail were always eager to entertain retired co-workers, fellow teachers and grandchildren. Now, as he himself begins a new voyage, his family remembers the words of Enoch Powell: "If my ship sails from sight, it doesn't mean my journey ends, it simply means the river bends."
Bob is survived by his beloved wife of 49 years, Gail; sons: Lt Col Daniel P. Clark, USAF (Retired) (Cindy Thompson) of Fairfield, CA and Robert D. Clark III (Marie Basbagill) of Long Grove, IL; daughter, Jennifer J. Watts (Ty) of Fowlerville, MI; brother, Richard D. Clark (Judy Goldblith) of Melrose, MA; sister, Kathryn Keller of Elk Grove Village, IL; and grandchildren: Daniel P. Clark II, Terrell J. Watts, Robert D. Clark IV, Emma M. Clark and Annie P. Clark. He is survived locally by his spirited cousin Robert Hartman (Kayleen), and their family, also of Northville. He was preceded in death by his parents, Robert and Emma (Roark) Clark and in-laws James and Minnie (Reifsnider) Drummy.
Visitation will be from 2pm to 7pm on Thursday, September 21, 2017 at the Casterline Funeral Home, 122 West Dunlap, Northville.
Funeral service will be officiated by his brother-in-law, Rev. Fr. John Drummy, Saturday, September 23, 2017 at Noon, instate at 11am at St. Joseph's Catholic Church, Waupun, WI and burial at Calvary Cemetery where Military honors will be conducted under the auspices of the US Armed Forces.
Contributions in Mr. Clark's memory may be made to Northville Troop 755, Boy Scouts of America per his request.