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Kenneth F.  Clark, Sr.
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Obituary for Kenneth F. Clark, Sr.

Kenneth F. Clark, Sr. age 85 of Holmdel, passed away peacefully on January 26 at Bayshore Hospital.

He was born and raised in Jersey City to George and Florence (Cirone) Clark along with his older brother Ralph. He attended Schneider H.S. and enlisted in the U.S. Army and was stationed in Berlin, Germany for 2 years as part of the hospital staff. Upon discharge, he attended Jersey City State College where he pursued both music and science. He completed his bachelors’ degree at Fairleigh Dickinson University while working at Colgate for more than 30 years in R&D between his time at Jersey City and Piscataway. During that time, his work was celebrated for its ingenuity and problem solving resulting in more than 100 patents.

While in college, he also met his greatest passion, Virginia Gough whom he married on December 27, 1958 after a whirlwind courtship. They moved to Hazlet in 1961 where they raised their 10 children, loved through thick and thin times.

Dad tried to teach us everything ranging from science, nature, gardening, cooking and music and skilled craftsmanship. He got lots of ‘A’s on many of our school projects. Whether it was taking us to watch the sunrise at the beach on a cold spring morning, incubating quail eggs or looking at the night sky, he inspired our curiosity and wonder. He even found the time to volunteer as a soccer coach, choral director for several music groups, Meals on Wheels, Camp Happiness and rides for the elderly. He was so proud of both his Italian and English heritage.

He tried to teach us love, compassion and kindness. He was a man unlike most and leaves behind memories of thousands of diaper changes, hospital and doctors’ visits, 5 million stories and many heavy hearts. Heavy because we won’t hear the stories or jokes anymore. No more card games or birthday parties. But we take joy in knowing that there is no more pain for him and no more waiting to be with “Ginnie,” who probably wonders what took him so long. We are so proud to have called him our father.

He leaves behind his companion Joan Casazza, his children: Gina Woda (Jeff), Ellie Strbo (Joe), Laura Pederson (Bill), Kenny (Michele), John, George, Ralph, Kelly McQuillan (Antony), David, Christian (Dena), one adoptive daughter, Lainie Devlin, grandchildren: Ralph, Mackenzie, Katie, Kenny, Alyssa, Joey, Sebastian, John, Max, Dalton, Emilie, Connor, George, Zachary, Megan, Sofie, Sam, Alexandra, Dan, Christian, Gaby, Ryan, Zach, Morgan and Colby. Additionally, he leaves behind many loving cousins especially Anthony & Carol Degulis, Rose Vigilante, Dody McIlvenny and Ruthie Hawkins who were more like siblings than cousins. Services were private. If interested, a donation in his name can be made to either Smile Train or Wounded Warriors, two of his favorite charities.

To share a favorite memory or messages of condolence, please visit Ken’s Page of Tributes at www.holmdelfuneralhome.com.


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