Class Of 1964 USAF Academy

Clark's History

Gone But Not Forgotten

CraneSm.jpg Doctor Clark Allan Crane, United States Air Force Academy Class of 1964, died in his San Diego, CA, home on September 15, 1984. He was a licensed physician and surgeon at the time of his death.

Clark started on a serious quest for knowledge when he graduated as a National Merit Scholar from Highland High School in Salt Lake City, UT, in 1960. He had already accepted a scholarship to Harvard when he received the appointment to the Air Force Academy. He turned back the National Merit Scholarship to attend the Academy at the age of 17. He graduated with a double major in engineering science and basic science.

The following year, Clark earned a master's degree in electrical engineering. He served as a regular officer (to captain) in the U.S. Air Force working for the Air Force Satellite Control Facility from 1964 to 1968. He also worked part-time as a scientific programmer for the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center from 1965 to 1968. Clark served as a member of the Technical Staff of Hughes Aircraft Company in Fullerton, CA, from 1968 to 1972.

Clark was still reaching for higher goals when he received his Ph.D. in computer science from Leland Stanford Junior University in Palo Alto in 1972. In 1979, his dissertation was published as one of “The Most Outstanding Dissertations in the Computer Science Series.” He then served as an assistant professor of Information and Computer Science at the University of California at San Diego from 1972 to 1974.

After becoming interested in computerized medicine, Clark applied and was chosen as one of 29 out of 5,500 applicants for a University of Miami School of Medicine Program called “Ph.D. to M.D.” He received his M.D. in 1976 and interned at Mercy Hospital and Medical Center in San Diego, also serving his residency there.

Clark was a member of the 18th Cadet Squadron while at the Academy and his “Third Lieutenancy” was with the 192nd Fighter Squadron in England. He loved music and sang in the Protestant Choir and Cadet Chorale for four years. Prior to his death he was singing with the San Diego Master Chorale.

Clark was born in Salt Lake City, UT, to Clifford E. and Alice Lillberg Crane on Oct. 6, 1942. He married Valerie Krug in 1968. They were later divorced. He is survived by a daughter, Sarah Crane; his parents and a brother, Ross; a sister, Mrs. Karl (Phyllis) Brueckner and a niece, Tanya; an uncle, John E. Lillberg; an aunt, Mrs. Roy T. (Arlone) Newkirk; and several cousins.

Memorial services for Clark were held on October 6, 1984 (his 42nd birthday) at Zion Lutheran Church, 1070 Foothill Drive, Salt Lake City, UT 84108. Clark was cremated and buried at sea off the California coast in an impressive and inspiring ceremony.

Clark was very proud of the Air Force Academy and grateful for the superb education and training he received there. “Ichabod,” they called him. We will miss this gentle, kind, and brilliant son who did it all on his own with scholarships and fellowships. He had a great sense of humor to go along with his intellect. He had so much to offer mankind.

(Submitted by his parents, Gone But Not Forgotten, Checkpoints, Winter 1984)
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