Bruce Ripley Clark


Bruce Ripley Clark died on March 18, 2019, in Knoxville, Tenn. He was born Aug. 27, 1941, in Deming, N.M., the third child of Jane and Herbert Clark.
Bruce was a lifelong academic and scholar who earned recognition as valedictorian of Madera High School and received the California Scholarship Federation Seymour Memorial Award in 1959. He holds an undergraduate degree from Park College, Parkville, Mo., where he met his first wife, Joy Jacobs, with whom he had his first son, Matt. Bruce continued his education at Stanford University where he received his Masters in 1964. He and Joy then volunteered with the Peace Corps to teach in Malawi, Africa. After a two year assignment, he joined the faculty at Saint Benedict's College in Atchison, Kan. He continued his education, moving to the University of Wisconsin in Madison. After completing his Ph.D. in Chemistry he married his second wife, Diane Holzmann, in 1974, and adopted her two sons, Jon and Peter. Bruce took a job at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee as an analytical chemist.
In 1989 after a 15-year career, he moved to Edmond, Okla., to work at The Kerr-McGee Corporation. Early retirement allowed him to return to teaching as an adjunct professor in chemistry at the University of Central Oklahoma. Bruce taught for seven years and during these summers he fulfilled his dream of hiking the Pacific Crest Trail. To continue his joy of hiking and fondness for the west, Bruce and Diane moved to Flagstaff, Ariz., but a stroke five years later necessitated a move back to Tennessee to be near family.
Bruce's talents were many and varied. From his complete woodworking shop he constructed a home in Tennessee, remodeled his home in Flagstaff, did cabinet work and built beautiful, heirloom quality furniture. His landscaping and hardscaping skills created beautiful rose gardens and outdoor spaces. He shared a passion for automobiles with his sons. Bruce was a generous spirit who routinely donated blood and helped friends with countless home improvement projects. He was equally as talented in the kitchen and enjoyed cooking and baking for family and friends.
Bruce is survived by his wife, Diane; sons, Matt (Susan) Brisch and their son Sam of Kansas City, Mo., Jon (Miranda) Clark and their sons, Anderson and Dane of Knoxville, Tenn., and Peter Clark and his daughters, Sadie and Greta of Seattle, Wash.; his brother, Jim; and sister, Kathleen.
Bruce's love of teaching and his generosity continue in the form of an anatomical donation to The University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis, Tenn.
Published on March 26, 2019
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