John S. Clark

Date of Death

July 20, 2015

Lifelong Santa Barbara resident John S. Clark passed away peacefully at Serenity House after a battle with cancer on July 20, 2015. John attended Santa Barbara and San Marcos High Schools and Long Beach State University. An avid car enthusiast, he worked for Dripcut; then ran his own auto shop, Performance Engineering, and worked as service manager for Butts Mercedes.

At the age of 19, John flew in the right seat of Caroll Shelby’s DC-3. His love of aviation and drew him to a career as a professional pilot and flight instructor. In 1987, John flew Twin Otters for Trans World Express, then in 1988, he flew with Wings West Airlines (an American Eagle commuter) where as Captain; he flew the Metroliner, Jetstream and Saab 340; retiring as chief pilot in 2001. John owned and flew his own Cessna 182 and RV-8 and was active in the general aviation community for decades.

John was Chairman of the Santa Barbara Airport Commission (2006, 2007 & 2012) and served on the board from 1991-1997; his tireless service helped create the new Santa Barbara Airport Terminal building and many other improvements to the Santa Barbara Airport.

He is survived by three cousins, Linda McGinnis, Loris Clark, and Linda Lee as well as many dear friends near and far. John will be remembered and missed for his laughter, passion for beautiful cars, fast airplanes, love of life and appreciation of beauty; and mostly, for his deep and abiding friendship, and for always taking the high road.


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