On Tuesday, February 25, 2020, Tony Franklin Clark, loving husband and father of two children, passed away at the age of 81. He will be dearly missed by his many friends and family.
Tony was born on February 11, 1939 in Raeford, NC to Heman Glenn Clark and Vivian Hester. He was the youngest of 6 children. (predeceased siblings: Jean, Shirley, Hal, Alton, and Kenneth.)
He was reared in Lumberton, NC, and attended Lumberton High School. On October 18, 1958, he married his high school sweetheart, Margaret (Peggy) Allen, daughter of George and Margaret Allen of Lumberton, NC. They raised two children, Angus, an Electrical Engineer, and Kimberly, a freelance Art Director. Angus and his wife Lisa of Raleigh; have raised two sons, Brandon, Houston and a daughter, Cameron. Kimberly and her husband Colin, also live in Raleigh.
Tony was drawn to action, adventure and loved nature; with the support of his close and loving family, he led the way for a full and exciting life outdoors. He always had a deep and abiding love for the sea, and stayed close to it in his studies, his personal interests and his brilliant career. He felt a deep affinity for his Scottish ancestry and enjoyed researching the connection between North Carolina and Scotland. He traveled to Scotland several times. He was proud of his farm and enjoyed his hummingbirds. He was very quiet about his many honors and achievements. A fiercely independent man of few words, when he did tell a joke or a story, people leaned in to hear. He was a keen observer of life and human nature and would completely throw you off-guard with his wonderfully snarky sense of humor.
Tony attended UNC-Chapel Hill; and received his undergraduate degree in Geology in 1962, and his PhD in Oceanography in 1974.
Tony served in the US Navy (1962-1969), attained the rank of Captain and remained involved the Naval Reserves after he retired from active duty. He was recalled to active duty in 1985 for a thrilling special assignment in the Arctic. He proudly reported directly to the Oceanographer of the Navy for that assignment.
In addition to his military career, Tony had a varied and interesting civilian work life. He was employed by the great state of North Carolina in multiple capacities over the years, he was proud to be named the first Director of the three Marine Resource Centers, which are now known as the beloved NC Aquariums. He also worked in the UNC university system; at East Carolina University as an Assistant professor, and NC State as assistant to the Dean, and as a professor. He held positions with AT&T in Greensboro, as a research scientist, studying underwater acoustics, worked for the CIA as a physical scientist and in 1981, he taught for a semester at the Navy Postgraduate School in Monterey CA. He enjoyed working with SAIC, and Marine Acoustics on naval research projects later in his career.
The Memorial Service with a visitation will be held 11:00AM on Saturday March 7th, 2020 at Donaldson’s Funeral Home, 396 West St. Pittsboro, NC.
An Internment Service is postponed indefinitely.
In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to the Captain Tony F. Clark Oceanography Award Fund at UNC-Chapel Hill. Please send checks by mail to the UNC Arts and Sciences Foundation, 523 East Franklin St., Chapel Hill, NC 27514, with a note in the memo line (or attached correspondence) that the gift is for the Captain Tony F. Clark Oceanography Award Fund (108031). Gifts may also be made online at: http://giving.unc.edu/gift/custom/?f=108031.
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Captain Tony F. Clark Oceanography Award Fund at UNC-Chapel Hill
The UNC Arts and Sciences Foundation: 523 East Franklin St., Chapel Hill NC 27514