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Herbert Edward Clarkson, Jr.
August 5, 1932 ~ May 25, 2023 (age 90) 90 Years Old
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Herbert E. Clarkson passed on to a new life on May 25, 2023 in Rancho Palos Verdes, California. Herb was preceded in death by Dorothy "Dodie" Ellsworth Clarkson, his beloved wife of 52 years, in 2011. He was also preceded in death by brothers Richard, Robert, Raymond and John and by sister Raylene. He is survived by his sister, Barbara, and by several nieces and nephews.
Born in Newburyport, Massachusetts, he was educated in local schools. With the outbreak of the Korean War, Herb enlisted in the Air Force and was trained in electronics. After completing training, Herb was transferred to Japan where he served for three years performing electronic maintenance on reconnaissance aircraft supporting Korean War efforts and performing special unique operations. Discharged in 1954 with the rank of Staff Sergeant, Herb was awarded, in addition to normal service awards, the Air Force Commendation Medal for his efforts. Returning to the United States, Herb entered Worcester Polytechnic Institute. He graduated in 1958 with a degree in electrical engineering. Upon graduation, Herb married Dodie and joined the Hughes Aircraft Company in Los Angeles. For the next six years, Herb and Dodie lived in various states and in Iceland while he supported Air Force organizations using Hughes Aircraft radar systems. Returning to California in 1964, Herb helped initiate Hughes' work in Training Simulators, first in design work and gradually moving into program management. He worked on various programs, completing his work career in program management on the B-2 bomber radar development. In 1989, Herb accepted early retirement at age 57 after 31 years with the company. Concurrently with his work in California, Herb was awarded a Master of Science in Industrial Engineering from U.S.C. and obtained a Professional Industrial Engineer license. He also received a designation from U.C.L.A. in Financial Planning. During these years, Herb pursued his large hobby interest in backpacking, where he hiked in the Sierra mountains as well as the local San Jacinto, San Gabriel and Los Padres mountains. He climbed Mt. Whitney several times. Following major surgery for a life-threatening condition in 1995, he ceased hiking larger trails and had to "settle" for hikes on the many local trails on the Palos Verdes Peninsula. In 1967, Herb received an aircraft pilot license and flew with Dodie all over the country-he made trips to New England, Florida, the Northwest and many places in between. As a licensed aircraft ground instructor, he taught aviation ground school for several years. After retirement, Herb also developed a hobby interest in Amateur Radio, with the call sign KM6DD. This activity quickly led to a specialization in emergency communications via the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department and Fire Department. He assisted in the development of an emergency radio communication network for the Palos Verdes Unified School District.
Herb was also a longtime member of St. John Fisher Parish, where he was involved in Bible studies and other parish activities. In his later years, he served as a volunteer at Torrance Memorial Medical Center.
A memorial service for Herb was held at 11:00 am on Saturday, July 1, 2023, at St. John Fisher Church, 5448 Crest Road, Rancho Palos Verdes. Consistent with his wishes, Herb's remains will were interred in Newburyport, Massachusetts, alongside Dodie after a private graveside service with military honors.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Herb's memory to the charity of your choice.