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Ronald Gilbert
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Ernest "Ernie" Eerkes
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Clarke George
B: 1941-01-10
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1811 NE 16th Ave #A
Oak Harbor, WA 98277
Phone: 360-675-3447
Fax: 360-682-2359
Clarke George Clarke George Clarke George Clarke George Clarke George Clarke George Clarke George Clarke George Clarke George Clarke George Clarke George Clarke George Clarke George Clarke George Clarke George Clarke George Clarke George Clarke George Clarke George Clarke George Clarke George Clarke George
In Memory of
Clarke Lee
George
1941 - 2018
Memorial Candle Tribute From
Wallin Funeral Home & Cremation, LLC
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Obituary for Clarke Lee George

Clarke Lee  George
CHIEF WARRANT OFFICER, W-4, Clarke L. George, U.S. Navy (Ret.) Jan. 10, 1941 – Nov. 20, 2018

Clarke Lee George was born in Kent Washington on January 10, 1941, where he grew up on his family dairy farm. By the age of ten his job was to get up at 4am and milk the cows, this habit of getting up early never left him. He would often be up with a cup of coffee in hand, writing in one of his many journals he kept throughout his life. After graduating from Kent-Meridian Sr. High School in 1959 his sense of adventure and wanderlust kicked in and he signed on board the “MV ALERT”, departing from McNeil & Libby pier on Lake Union, 8 January 1960…destination Galapagos Islands. By the end of 1960 he had enlisted in the U.S.N. and went to ADJ “A” school. He was then stationed at Naval Air Station, Alameda, CA where he was introduced to scuba diving and loved it. In 1963, he completed Underwater Swim School, Key West Fl. Completing Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) training in July 1964. It was during this time he met the love of his life Margie, after four months of dating they were married in her home town of Oakland, MD. Following qualification as an EOD Tech, he served aboard USS Coral Sea (CVA-43), an aircraft carrier, on an eleven month combat cruise to the Gulf of Tonkin in 1965. Upon his return from sea, he was met on the pier by his wife and baby girl, Christine. He was then assigned to EOD Unit One in Pearl Harbor from where he served in-country Viet Nam and on other missions in the Pacific. In 1968, his son, Wesley, was born. He got out of the Navy for three years (1970-1973) and attended Highline Community College in Seattle. He applied for admission to the University of Washington and was accepted as a Journalism Major. He never registered but opted to return to active duty in the Navy. When he returned to active duty, he attended EOD Refresher training which included qualifying with the Hard Hat, Mk V Deep Sea Diving rig. He also attended Parachute training at Ft. Benning, GA as a 35 year old Chief Petty Officer and later attended Navy Jumpmaster Training at Naval Air Station, Lakehurst, NJ. He was commissioned as a Chief Warrant Officer in 1977 and served as Officer in Charge of EOD detachments at sea and ashore. His last tour of duty was with the Mine Warfare Inspection Group in Charleston, SC. This assignment gave him the opportunity to visit and inspect every Navy EOD Detachment and SEAL Team, both within the United States and overseas. He retired after 24 years in the Navy on April, 1986. He was an Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Technician for nineteen of those twenty-four years and Master EOD Technician for eighteen of those twenty-four years.

After retiring from the Navy, he returned to Oak Harbor, back with Margie and the kids. He tried to sell Real Estate for about six weeks. In that time he learned that he was not cut out for the trade. He gave it up and decided to go to Horse Shoeing School. He chose the Oklahoma Farriers College in Sperry, OK. After working at Horse Shoeing, the next phase of his life was truck driving. A BIG Truck! He went to Driving School in Midway, WA in late fall of 1988. After completing school and getting his Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) he started working for J.B. Hunt out of Vancouver, WA. He had applied with Brownline Trucking in Mount Vernon as it was closer to home. When Brownline called wanting to interview him he quickly accepted. He was hired as a Second Seat, usually on an end-of-the-week run to Los Angeles. Their forte is hauling fish; fresh, frozen, boxed and loaded on pallets. After five months, the Brownline Safety Supervisor talked to him about taking first seat. That was unusual. They had an open first seat and it was his if he wanted it. It paid more money…he took it.

In 1992, he went to Kuwait on a thirteen month contract after the first Gulf War, clearing former fields of battle and minefields. That was followed by three years of work in the states, clearing bombing and gunnery ranges on military property, identified by the Base Realignment and Closures committee for deactivation. In 1996, he went back overseas working on Humanitarian Demining Operations. He worked in twelve countries over the next twelve years and spent one tour as an instructor at the U.S. Army Humanitarian Demining Training Center at Fort Leonard Wood, MO.

Clarke is survived by his wife, whom he loved so deeply Margaret “Margie”. Together they had a daughter, Chris; son, Wes; and daughter-in-law, Erin; grandchildren: Jolene and Sydney; and sister, Arlene Land. He was preceded in death by his parents, Roy and Rachel George, and sister, Eleanor Harvell, of Enumclaw, WA. He was a loving Husband, Father, Grandfather, Uncle, and Brother. A Celebration of Life will be held at the VFW in Oak Harbor on December 1, 2018 starting at 1200. On December 3, 2018, a graveside service will be held in Kent, WA at 1300 at Hillcrest Burial Park. In lieu of flowers, please make memorial contributions to the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America or the EOD Warrior Foundation.


Please use this link to see an EOD demostration video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xtczkXtxPlk







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Affiliations


Good Conduct Medal

National Defense Service Medal

Navy Commendation Medal

Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation

Navy Unit Commendation

Parachutist Badge U.S.

Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal

Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation

Sea Service Ribbon

US Navy

Vietnam Service Medal