Herbert H. Clarke, Jr.
Herbert H. Clarke, Jr., 94, died peacefully at home on December 13, 2012 in Santa Barbara, CA surrounded by three generations of family members and his dearly loved wife of 71 years, Margaret ‘Peaches’ Clarke. Born on a farm in Medford, OR he moved to the Tacoma, WA area as a child. He graduated from Stadium High School and studied chemistry at the University of Puget Sound. After high school, Herb spent two years working as a cook at a logging camp on the slope of Mt. Rainier. On one of his weekend breaks at home, he ran into Peaches Simpson – a girl he’d dated while at Stadium High. That ‘cute Herbie Clarke’ was charming and smart; Herb and Peaches married in 1941.
Herb enlisted in the Army Air Corps in 1941 becoming a specialist in military intelligence and graduating Officer Cadet School as a 2nd Lieutenant and serving in occupied Japan. His first daughter was born while he was stationed in Japan.
On his return from Japan, he and Peaches settled in the Seattle area and welcomed four more daughters. A sixth was born in Stamford, CT when the family moved east for Herb’s work with Borden Chemical Company in New York City. Returning to the West Coast in 1958, the family lived in Los Angeles for twelve years where the last two daughters were born. The family has lived in Santa Barbara since 1970. After a successful career in the chemical manufacturing industry, Herb spent the last 40 years of his career as an inquisitive entrepreneur and businessman in many fields. A consummate host, Herb had a sharp mind, a quick wit and loved to tell his mostly-true stories. He was an accomplished cook, loved to swim, and a voracious reader up until the end.
Herb is survived by his wife Peaches (the former Margaret Simpson of Tacoma), his eight daughters and their families including 17 grandchildren, 18 great grandchildren, and 2 great great grandchildren. He is also survived by his sister Marion Berge (Bill) of Snohomish, WA and their four children and their families. He was preceded in death by his parents Herbert H. Clarke, Sr. and Eleanor Merrill Clarke, son-in-law, Richard A. Lashar, and great grandson Sullivan Clarke Rich.
A memorial service celebrating Herb’s life will be held on Saturday, January 5, 2013 at 1 pm at El Montecito Presbyterian Church, in Santa Barbara with reception to follow. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Transition House or Visiting Nurse & Hospice Care, both of Santa Barbara.