Clark David Zelmore passed away peacefully at Morristown Memorial Hospital on March 30, 2020 at the age of 91 of a “broken heart”. Clark was born on August 9, 1928 in Smithfield, PA to Florence Lavina Swaney and August Zelmore.
Clark was the oldest of 4 siblings and lost his father when he was a teenager. After his father’s death Clark sacrificed for his family and worked full-time as a laborer in the Gilmore Coke Company, Fayette, PA, putting his schooling on hold. When he turned almost 18, he made the decision to enlist in the Army to serve his country during the end of World War II from 1946-1950. He served his 4 years and was honorably discharged as a Corporal.
While he was in the Army, he was stationed at Camp Kilmer and Fort Dix, but was deployed for some time to the Philippines. While driving a bus to dances at Camp Kilmer, we would meet his future wife, Kay. They dated a while before they married in 1956 and moved to McKeesport, PA.
When the coal mines closed, Clark and Kay returned to New Jersey and Clark took a temporary job at Ciba Pharmaceutical in Summit, as an Animal Caretaker which turned into a full- time job, due to his work ethic. After many years there he switched to Schering-Plough as their Animal Caretaker and retired in October, 1990.
They started their family in New Jersey, with the birth of Carol, then twin boys William and David and then Gary. Kay and Clark moved to Reinman Road in Warren, NJ in April 1960.
Clark provided for his family by working 3 jobs concurrently for much of the time:
He was at Ciba or Schering; was an owner- operator truck driver; and worked at ShopRite in Stirling working from his 70’s and finished at age 85.
Clark was a sweet man of few words and had a sense of humor.
The children fondly remember their Dad enjoying cooking and grilling and loved Holiday meals with and for the family. Memories include special dinner menus for each of their birthdays; he made the best home-made potato-chips and strawberry shortcake with biscuits; and enjoyed camping. Each summer they took the family to many state parks camping to see the country he was so proud of.
He helped those less fortunate when he could, that included taking in his youngest brother to live with them when he needed a place. Clark was a great humble man and he will be missed.
The children were blessed to have him so long. Clark and Kay lived their life with love.
He was predeceased by his devoted wife Katherine of 63 years; Surviving are daughter Carol Reinecker and her husband Erich, Wilmington, DE, William of Bridgewater, David of Warren and Gary of Warren as well as 2 grandchildren Stacey Zelmore and Michael Zelmore. He was also predeceased by his parents, his sister Yvonne Jordan, Brothers Albert Lee and Arthur William Zelmore and his sister and brother in laws Fred J. and Mary Thompson and Theodore and Margaret Shephard.
Private viewing at Higgins Funeral Home, Watchung, NJ on Thursday, April 2, 2020
Private family visitation and funeral service on Saturday, April 4, 2020 at 1 – 2pm at Dean Whitmarsh Funeral Home, 134 West Church Street, Fairchance, PA with Pastor Michael Lyons officiating. Private family burial with Military Honors will follow in Mount Moriah Baptist Cemetery, Smithfield, PA.
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