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Glen was born in Sharon on Aug. 20, 1951, to Nathan and Ruth Tevendale Clark. He was an arrestingly beautiful child and modeled in charity events as a toddler. He was also enterprising and curious, poking forks into electrical outlets and, on one memorable occasion when a workman left a ladder leaning against the house, climbing up onto a second-story roof. He was two years old.
The family moved to South Pymatuning Township, and Glen graduated with honors from the Sharpsville school district in 1969. In high school he wrestled, took college classes at the local Penn State campus, performed in plays, was a Westinghouse Scholar, and editor of the newspaper. He was also an avid water skier and played a mean piano.
His early "experiments" with electricity foretold his earning, at the age of 15, an FCC Commercial radio license which he maintained throughout his life as an active member of the amateur radio community, where he was known by his call sign WA3BBJ and later W3JL. His first professional job was as an announcer at radio station WGRP in Greenville when he was 16; later he maintained the transmitter at WPIC.
Glen studied engineering at Purdue University but a collision of circumstances caused him to lose his student deferment during the Vietnam era and he was always grateful to a local friend, Bill Perrine, who helped him secure a slot in an Army Reserve unit. Glen took readily to Army life and soon rose to the rank of Sergeant. Deployed in the Scranton-Wilkes-Barre region after Hurricane Agnes in 1972, he was tasked with getting radio stations and other vital communications back on the air during the critical early days of disaster recovery.
When he was barely 21 years old, Glen became the Assistant Chief Engineer at legendary radio station WLS in Chicago, such a dominant power in broadcasting that its ID was, "From Chicago - to the North American Continent!"
Returning to college, Glen received a degree in Electrical Engineering at Penn State. Expanding on a concept from a student lab project he formed a company, Texar Inc, near Pittsburgh to produce his design for a breakthrough piece of audio technology known in the broadcast industry as the "Audio Prism". Engineers at almost every FM radio station in the country installed this signal-enhancing device in their transmitter feeds to boost their stations' competitive standings.
Some of those Audio Prisms remain in revenue service, 40 years after their introduction. In the world of electronics, few inventions can make that claim. A quick internet search reveals that there is still, to this day, a cult following of the device that was born in Glen's mind and made him famous.
The Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. is currently in talks with his family to acquire an Audio Prism for inclusion in the permanent collection of the Technology Division of The Museum of American History.
Around the time Glen was making a name for himself professionally, he was surprised and amused to be chosen for the 1981 publication of "Pittsburgh's Most Eligible Bachelors". Several years later he gave up that status, sold the company and moved to Atlanta.
Returning to Western Pennsylvania, Glen made his home in a century-old farm house in Neshannock Township where he enjoyed the serenity and wildlife. He operated Clarkcom Inc., a highly successful consulting firm that specialized in using fuzzy logic to computer-model radio transmission patterns. He presented his designs on behalf of clients before the FCC and then oversaw antenna installations for 50,000-watt stations in major U.S. markets. Here his willingness to climb tall structures, first demonstrated as a toddler, came in handy.
He wrote a college textbook, technical articles for professional journals, and continued to apply his intellect and creativity to prototyping inventions until the day he entered hospice. After his passing, his family was surprised and gratified to learn his professional peers described him as "a wizard" and "a genius".
But Glen was not just brainy. He was playful, mischievous, had a phenomenal wit, and was capable of astonishing kindness. He was a patient and entertaining teacher, simplifying complex ideas without patronizing.
His success was in spite of significant challenges including being, as so many intelligent people are, on what today is known as the autism spectrum. In his later years he lamented what he might have accomplished with better social skills and once remarked, ruefully but with humor, "I was such a dork, it's amazing that my classmates let me live."
He was preceded in death by his parents. His final illness was mercifully brief; he was diagnosed only weeks before his passing.
In addition to a loyal circle of friends and colleagues, a large extended family mourns his loss, including many cousins and a beloved aunt, Frances Pratt of Hadley. Also bereft are two sisters, Marty Clark (Marc Rich) of Los Angeles; April Clark (Jim Hanus) and their son, Mike Hanus, all of Lenexa, Kansas; and a brother, Nate Clark Jr. (Christine) and their children Preston and Katherine of Greenville and Jonathan Clark of Superior, Wis.
At Glen's request there was no funeral; he chose to be cremated and laid to rest with generations of Clark ancestors in the family plot at Hubbard Union Cemetery.
Anyone wishing to make a memorial gesture is invited to consider a contribution to: Lawrence County Habitat for Humanity, Suite 201, 708 Highland Ave., New Castle PA 16101.
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