Col. William Adams Clark, USAF (Ret): May 24, 1918-Nov. 8, 2016

William “Bill” Clark died in Seattle on Nov. 8, 2016 at the age of 98. He was born May 24, 1918 in Philadelphia, Pa. to Louis and Rose Adams Clark. Bill attended St. Joseph’s High School in Philadelphia, and then moved to Bay Head, N.J., where he attended Point Pleasant High School. Bill then enrolled in Williamson Free School for Mechanical Trades in Media, Pa., where he played football and earned his degree in power plant engineering.

Following graduation from Williamson, Bill enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps and began flight training at Maxwell Field in Montgomery, Ala., where he received his pilot license on March 15, 1941. He was then transferred to Cochran Field in Macon, Ga. as a flight instructor. While in Macon he met his life companion Jean Smith, whom he married on April 17, 1942. Very shortly thereafter his unit, the 347th Bomber Squadron, was transferred to Algeria where he flew fifty B-17 bomber missions over Italy and Axis Europe. Then after returning to the States for a short respite he was assigned to the 483rd B-29 Bomber Squadron stationed in Saipan. From there he completed additional bomber missions in the Pacific and Japan. One of the most moving war-time experiences for Bill was flying aid supplies to the American servicemen held in the Japanese POW camps following the signing of the Japanese surrender. For his service in WWII he received the Distinguished Flying Cross.

By the end of the war, Bill was promoted to major and was part of the transition from the Army Air Corps to the United States Air Force. Bill served with the Air Force during the Korean War and was at duty stations at Panama City, Fla., Wright Patterson AFB in Dayton Ohio, Farmingdale, N.Y., Maxwell Field in Montgomery, Ala. and the Pentagon in Arlington, Va. His final tour of duty was as the Air Force Plant Representative to the Boeing Company in Seattle. Bill Clark retired from the US Air Force on July 31, 1962 as a colonel with 22 years of military service.

Following his retirement, Bill began a second career as a private contractor for the Boeing Company in Philadelphia. He was assigned to the Vertol Helicopter program developing the CH-47 Chinook helicopters. Following completion of that assignment, he was transferred to New Orleans to work on the Saturn V booster rocket for the Apollo Space program. At this point Bill and family moved to Columbia, Md., where he worked for Singer Company, Link Systems. Link Systems developed flight simulators.

Finally, in 1981, Bill decided on his second and final retirement when he and Jean returned to the Northwest. After exploring the Puget Sound area they settled on building a house on the prairie in Coupeville where they have remained for the last 35 years.

Bill was a member of St. Mary Catholic Church, the Military Officers Retirement Association and the Gallery Golf Course. He was a master woodworker and made many beautiful gifts for his church, his family and his friends.

Bill is survived by his wife Jean, at the family home in Coupeville and by five children: William Clark Jr. (Sandra) of Oak Park, Ill.; Paula Warme (James) of Longview, Wash.; Carol Smith (Frederick) of Oak Harbor; Susan Wilvert of Haymarket, Va.; and Jeffrey Scott Clark (Terry) of Kirkland, Wash. He is also survived by 19 grandchildren and 31 great-grandchildren.

A vigil service was held on Thursday, Nov. 17 at 7 p.m. at St. Mary Catholic Church in Coupeville with the rosary being led by the Knights of Columbus, Bud Dorr Council. Funeral Mass will be celebrated at St. Mary’s on Friday, Nov. 18 at 10 a.m. with Rev. Paul Pluth, JCL as celebrant. Interment will follow at Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation for the children of Haiti in Cite Soleil attending Jehovah Nissi School where Bill’s son, Jeff, and daughter-in -law, Terry, have founded a school and medical clinic for maternal/newborn care over the past 6 1/2 years. Online donations to this project can be made at allowing space for comments. Also at the website where projects can be viewed. Checks can be mailed to: AFF – Haiti School Project, PO Box 611, Bothell WA 98041.

Please visit Bill’s page in the Book of Memories at to share memories or condolences. Arrangements are entrusted to Wallin Funeral Home &Cremation, LLC, Oak Harbor, WA.