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BENTZ---John Clark, 94, formerly of Geistown, passed away on June 11, 2022 at the Richland Care Center after a short illness. Known to everyone as Clark, he was born in Johnstown August 27, 1927. He was preceded in death by his parents Luther G. and Roda A. (Blackburn) Bentz, his brother Gale P. Bentz and his wife Doris (Benson) Bentz. An infant sister also preceded him in death in 1936. The oldest of four brothers, Clark is survived by Wayne A. married to Gail (Seaman) of Spring Grove and their daughters Terri L. (Barry Miller) and Wendi G. Dietrich both of York; and Ned L. married to Mary Ann (Pearson) of Bonita Springs, Florida and his daughters Katheryn Ann of Cincinnati, Ohio and Elizabeth Ann of Denver, Colorado. Clark and his wife had three children: Keith E. married to Pamela Parson of Harrisburg; Daniel C. married to Tina (Barr) of Dillsburg and Christine L. married to David Mulder of Auburndale, Florida. There are three grandchildren Steven of Virginia, Clark Mulder married to Whitney (Mathias) and Chandler (Mulder) married to Michael Stambaugh, both of Auburndale, Florida; three great-grandchildren Madden, Westin and Owen and two step-great-grandchildren Aidan and Elijah. Clark attended Dale High School, Johnstown, leaving before graduation to join the Navy at the end of World War II, and as was customary in that time, received his diploma in exchange for his military service. His time in the Navy was short, just a few months, and after discharge he returned to Johnstown, working as an airplane mechanic at the Johnstown Airport. This began his lifelong love of all things airplane including holding a pilot’s license, many trips to air shows, stacks of books and videos on planes and flight, and going up in the air any chance he got - including a memorable ride on a historic Ford TriMotor and an even more memorable barrel roll stunt maneuver in his mid-80’s. Holding a pilot’s license led Clark to his career at Otis elevator, as the story goes, he was flying an Otis executive who offered him a job after the trip. During his long career at Otis, spanning more than three decades, he worked his way up within the company from elevator mechanic to sales to service manager.
In addition to planes, Clark loved motorcycles nearly as much, often riding his cycle to Oshkosh, Wisconsin for their Air Shows. With a group of friends, including his brother Wayne, he rode his Honda Goldwing through many parts of the United States. When given a chance at early retirement, Clark took the opportunity. He and his wife Doris purchased a Motor Home and traveled extensively for several years. Sometimes it was short trips taking their children on a weekend trip or driving to Church of the Brethren Annual Conference and other times across the county to California, the Pacific Northwest and up into Alaska. Although sometimes pulling a car, Clark found he could trade his motorcycle for a motor scooter which became an easy mode of quick transportation when the motor home was parked in a campground. Clark was a fixer, a builder, and a jack of all things that needed repaired. He built two houses by himself, a boat, a boathouse at his father’s property at Deep Creek, Maryland and helped countless friends with building or fixing their houses. After retirement, Clark helped his children with their own house projects and was usually “on-call” with his church for whatever repair they needed be it plumbing or roofing. In his 80’s he acquired woodworking equipment so he could make and repair furniture, again delighting his family with his creations.
And then there were cars. He helped both his sons fix up their first cars, with son Keith’s Corvair being the most Challenging. Clark was most proud of helping a friend restore a Model T, another retirement project. Clark loved spending time with his family, especially when wintering in Florida with his daughter Christine. When he took a break from airplanes, he enjoyed reading biographies and memoirs, often while eating ice cream and drinking Pepsi. Next to family, church was the most important thing in his life, being a life-long deacon in the Church of the Brethren and serving many, many years as a Sunday School Teacher. An eternal optimist, Clark was certain that everything would work out for the best. He was strong in his faith and believed that everything happened for a reason. He never had an unkind word for anyone. Friends will be received from 1 p.m. until time of funeral service at 2 p.m. Friday, June 17th at the Harris Funeral Home, 500 Cherry Lane, Richland, with the Rev. Brad Griesheimer officiating. Interment will be at Richland Cemetery. The family suggests contributions be directed to Walnut Grove Church of the Brethren, 1068 Bedford St., Johnstown, PA 15902 in memory of J. Clark Bentz. Online condolences may be posted to www.wharrisfuneralhome.com.
Friday, June 17, 2022
1:00 - 2:00pm (Eastern time)
Friday, June 17, 2022
2:00 - 3:00pm (Eastern time)
Friday, June 17, 2022
3:30 - 4:00pm (Eastern time)
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