With the passing of Clark
Roach in July 2000, the industry in Kansas and geologic profession lost
in both cases a member who was a true gentleman in every sense of the word.
Although he was born in 1914 in
Powell, Wyoming, Kansas can certainly claim him as one of its own as he
moved to Wichita with his family when he wa just two years old. The
family occupied a farm at what is now 21st and Woodlawn, later moving east
to a location Rock road and Webb on what are now the Bradley Farms.
From a one-room school near his
home he moved on to Roosevelt Junior High and then to East High Vocational
School. Following graduation from East High, Clark entered the Wichita
University with the goal of becoming an engineer. Employment with
Skelly Oil Company as a draftsman and guidance from Howard Bryant, Arch
Huffman and Harold Smedley, helped direct his career to geology as a profession.
A decision which he obviously never regretted.
With his new goal in mind, Clark
entered the University of Oklahoma in 1938. He completed his course
work there in 1941, but did not receive his diploma until after a period
of service in the armed forces.
He had commenced his employment
with Phillips Petroleum at Springer, New Mexico when the notice from his
draft board caught up with him. After induction, Clark was assigned
to an Aviation Engineering Construction Battalion and shipped to Melbourne,
Australia. During this period, he was involved in the construction
of airstrips for fighters. Later he was involved with airstrip construction
in New Guinea. After receiving his commission in the Corp of Engineers
in Brisbane, Clark returned to New Guinea. In 1944, Clark returned
to the United States and after service at Geiger Field in Spokane, Washington
he was discharged in 1945.
Clark resumed his employment with
Phillips Petroleum in their Wichita office and in 1947 he moved to Bartlesville
as Assistant Regional Geologist. That same year he married Judy Frentz
and they adopted a daughter, Karla now living in Topeka. Soon after
the adoption Judy passed away with leukemia.
Clark resigned from Phillips in
1948 and returned to Wichita with Amstuz and Yates as geologist and Vice
President. He worked on a variety of interesting projects with Amstuz
and Yates, and from conversations with Clark it was evident that this was
a particularly interesting and enjoyable period of his career. During
this period he remarried and to the union was born a daughter, Nancy who
resides in New Brunswick, New Jersey.
He left Amstuz and Yates in 1956
to co-found Roach and Licthy Drilling Co., which after a short existence
was dissolved. Clark spent three months as an independent geologist
before joining Stelbar Oil Company. After three years with Stelbar,
Clark once again became an independent, a status he maintained until his
He served his profession well in
many organizations. He was Secretary Treasurer of the KGS an organization
that recognized his service by presenting him with Honorary Membership,
Chairman of the Kansas Section of SIPES, and member of the House of Delegates
of the AAPG. Clark was always willing to help where help was needed,
serving just two years ago on the calling committee of the KGS. While
Chairman of SIPES and working with Bob Frensley, President of the KGS,
they successfully instigated the compulsory release of electric logs and
samples of great benefit to all individuals working on exploration in Kansas.
Thirty-four years ago, Clark married
Mary Nielsen and they enjoyed a good and active life together. Clark
will be missed, but not forgotten by his many friends and colleagues in
the industry and the profession.