Ronald Ray Clark
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Ronald Ray Clark, of Zionsville, Indiana, passed away on December 12, after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. He leaves behind his best friend and wife of 55 years, Claudia (Otten) Clark, as well as his three children, Carolyn Miner (Mike), Andy Clark (Laura), and Russell Clark (Stephanie). He is also survived by his sister, Susan Starkey; his grandchildren, Christopher Miner (Sarah), Courtney Campbell (Sean), Bennett Clark, Harrison Clark, Max Clark, Isabelle Clark, Alexis Clark, and Carter Clark. He was preceded in death by his parents, Ray and Marna Clark. Born on February 10, 1939, in Omaha, Nebraska, Ron grew up in Upper Arlington, Ohio. As a boy he was active in scouting and achieved the rank of Eagle Scout. Ron's senior year of high school he moved to Indianapolis, where he graduated from Broad Ripple High School. He played football at both Upper Arlington H.S. and Broad Ripple. Ron was very intelligent and always enjoyed learning. He earned a bachelor's degree from DePauw University in 1962 and both a bachelor's and master's degree from Purdue University in 1965. He was active in Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity at both Depauw and Purdue. After Purdue, Ron went on to earn another master's degree in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1966, followed by a PhD degree in Electrical Engineering in 1975 from Polytechnic Institute of NY. Ron worked for 39 years as a civilian engineer for the Navy department in Indianapolis at Naval Avionics and Raytheon. Ron always enjoyed working on old cars, especially his 1956 Packard which he refurbished and enjoyed driving into town to go to Dairy Queen every once in a while. He liked exploring new places and traveled with his family to many of our national parks. He and his wife went to Colorado almost every year to hike, often in the fall to see the changing leaves of the aspens. He insisted on driving as many back roads as possible to get there, sometimes stopping to picnic on the way. Ron was a member of the Indianapolis Hiking Club for many years, logging 3,688 miles hiked with the club. He led at least four hikes a year and often on Thanksgiving Day. A popular hike, which was also his favorite to lead, was on the east side of Eagle Creek Park where the lack of trails meant the hikes would include bushwacking and crossing creeks. In addition to hiking, Ron stayed active playing pickleball several times a week and participating in Rock Steady Boxing. Ron had a huge organic garden each summer. He created several of his own tomato varieties, including a heart-shaped one he named "Claudia" for his wife. Ron was a member of the Indiana Organic Gardeners' Association for over 20 years and served the club as both treasurer and newsletter editor. He was passionate about researching organic gardening and writing articles to share this information with others. Each year he also served as the auctioneer at the group's annual plant auction. Ron thoroughly enjoyed helping new gardeners learn to garden organically. Ron enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren, watching them participate in sports, listening to records and playing games with them, letting them help drive his tractor, taking them on wagon rides full of leaves they had raked, and even assisting his granddaughter Lexi with her cheer routines! Ron is much loved and will be missed for his kind and quiet manner and his wonderful sense of humor, which he held onto till the end. Family and friends will gather for visitation on Monday, December 16, 2019 from 12pm to 2pm at Simplicity Funeral & Cremation Care, 125 W. Sycamore St. Zionsville, IN 46077. A funeral service will be held at 2pm with burial immediately following the service at Indian Creek Hill Cemetery in New Market, IN. Because Ron was so passionate about the environment and climate change, the family is requesting memorial contributions be made to the Sierra Club (act.sierraclub.org OR 2101 Webster St. Ste 1300, Oakland, CA 94612) or the Nature Conservancy (support.nature.org OR 4245 N Fairfax Dr, Ste 100, Arlington, VA 22203)