Scottdale man served with President Ford aboard USS Monterey
Bob Clark of Rostraver didn’t know much about his father Robert’s military service until he read about it in a book published by a local author.
“There was a high school teacher from Southmoreland who wrote a book about local veterans, and one of the chapters was about Dad,” Clark said.
That is how he found out his father had served as a Navy carpenter’s mate second-class aboard the USS Monterey alongside future President Gerald Ford during World War II.
“His ship had 11 ‘battle scars,’ which tells you they were in quite a few engagements,” Clark said.
Robert Campbell “Chalky” Clark of Scottdale died Friday, Feb 8, 2019. He was 94.
Mr. Clark was born July 30, 1924, in East Huntingdon Township, a son of the late John Lloyd and Mary (Campbell) Clark. He grew up in Scottdale and lived there his whole life.
Mr. Clark graduated from Scottdale High School in 1942, where he met his wife of 24 years, the late Gwendolyn (Ruth) Clark. The couple married Feb. 18, 1956.
Mr. Clark enjoyed hunting and fishing, as well as the outdoors in general.
“His favorite place was Deep Creek, Maryland,” his son said. “He and Mom and their good friends, Leo and Pearle Firestone, built a cabin together in 1953 down there that’s still in both family’s names.”
Clark said he has fond memories of traveling to Deep Creek “nearly every weekend in the summer.”
Mr. Clark worked for four decades as a member of the carpenter’s union, retiring in 1986 from the former Ross & Kennedy Corp.
During his time in the Navy, Mr. Clark’s ship took part in raids at the Mariana Islands and Caroline Islands, as well as northern New Guinea, before taking part in the Battle of the Philippines in June 1944.
Clark said like many veterans of that era, his father stayed rather silent about his wartime experience.
“That generation did not like to talk about it,” he said.
Mr. Clark was a member of Christ United Methodist Church in Scottdale as well as at the Brookman-Hernley VFW Post 7781 and the Thomas Lewellyn American Legion Post 240, both in Scottdale.
Mr. Clark is survived by his three children, Cindy Clark King and her husband, Michael, of McKees Rocks, Dr. Robert “Bob” Clark and his wife, Donata, of Rostraver, and Richard “Rick” Clark and his wife, Vicki, of Mt. Pleasant; two sisters, Maryann George of Twentynine Palms, Calif., and Patricia Harris of Belle Vernon; his brother, Dean Clark and his wife, Judy, of New Stanton; his sister-in-law, Mabel Clark; and four grandchildren.
Friends will be received from 2 to 8 p.m. Tuesday and noon to 1:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Robert B. Ferguson Funeral Home, 105 Spring St., Scottdale, where a funeral will be held at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday. Interment will follow in Scottdale Cemetery with full military honors by the Scottdale-Everson Honor Guard.
Memorial donations can be sent to Christ United Methodist Church, 201 Market St., Scottdale, PA 15683.
Patrick Varine is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Patrick at 724-850-2862, [email protected] or via Twitter @MurrysvilleStar.