Source: Knoxville News Sentinel via | April 15, 2020
Grady Wayne Clark ObituaryGrady Wayne Clark, 97, of Oak Ridge, TN died April 12, 2020. Wayne was born in Candler, North Carolina, the son of William Frederick Clark and Lela Bennett Clark, and he grew up in Asheville.

After admission to the Naval Academy was denied because of color blindness, Wayne went to Clemson College (now university), graduating in 1944 with a double major in chemistry and physics. As cadet commander of the ROTC corps, Clemson was then a military school, he was issued a commission as 2nd lieutenant. He resigned the commission when his draft board indicated it was recommending that he be sent to the new science city in Tennessee. Having other ideas, the army sent Wayne instead to chemical warfare as a private. When he was scheduled for the European front with his unit, he was instead sent to Officers Candidates School, graduating as a 2nd lieutenant. With the war in Europe ending, he was sent to Japan in the occupation forces. In the fall of 1946 he was released from military service to return to Clemson to teach incoming freshman physics. In 1947 Wayne entered the University of Virginia to work on his graduate degree, and he graduated in 1951 with his PhD. He was a member of the Raven Society. The same week as graduation he married Patricia Pumphrey.

Several career opportunities took him from the university, where he was employed in the University of Virginia’s College of Engineering, to Tonawanda, New York, to work at Linde Air Products, a subsidiary of Union Carbide to continue work on crystal growth improving the asterism of the star sapphire perfected by Linde during the war. He also grew the synthetic star ruby. One of his stones was used in developing the laser. In 1955 he returned south to Richmond, Virginia, to conduct work at the Virginia Institute for Scientific Research. Finally, Wayne had a chance to get to that science city in Tennessee, Oak Ridge, where he was hired in 1958 as a group leader in crystal physics (1958-85).In 1976 he won an IR 100 award for directional solidification of metal oxide-metal eutectic composites as well as the Alvin Weinberg Award for Visionary Research. Wayne gave five invited technical papers, co-authored two invited technical papers and forty-six papers related to crystal growth. He had 39 patent applications, relating to arc torch-crystal growth, flame fusion burner-crystal magnetic oxides, and a method of varying the electrical conductivity of metal oxide-metal composites. Thirteen patent applications were withdrawn for corporate reasons. He retired in 1985 to set up a small lab to continue his work, receiving two SBIR (Small Business Research) awards, and he was part-owner and manager of Adroit Inc., an office supply and printing firm.

Always civic minded, Wayne served his community in a number of capacities. Upon coming to Oak Ridge he chaired the city council’s Human Relations Advisory Committee to help further integration in the city and was a founder and president of Grove Development Corporation, a local development corporation, which was a citizens’ economic development effort to create and encourage small businesses. He served on the governor’s Private Industry Council which operated the Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA) under the auspices of state and federal programs to aid needed unemployed persons to receive training and help in finding employment. He served on the Oak Ridge Committee for Higher Education (ORCHE), and with his wife, offered land for Roane State Community College’s Oak Ridge Branch Campus. Wayne was a member of Rotary, served as a University of Tennessee Chancellor’s Associate, and was active in the Chamber of Commerce. For several years he raised Angus cattle and was a member of the Anderson County Cattle Association. Late in life he developed an active interest in preserving and restoring the American chestnut tree. He was a member of First Presbyterian Church.

Wayne was an avid supporter of the high school’s Wildcat football team and with his wife attended every home game, and some away games, since their arrival to Oak Ridge in 1958. After retirement he made a number of international trips: to Australia and New Zealand, South Africa, South America and the Galapagos Islands, Italy and France, and cruises around the Panama Canal, Istanbul to Athens, and the St. Lawrence in Canada, and windjammer cruises off the coast of New England.

Survivors include Pat, his wife of 68 years, seven nieces and one nephew. According to his wishes, there will be no formal memorial service, but a small graveside service at a later date in the Memorial Garden at First Presbyterian Church followed by the receiving of friends in the Fellowship Hall of the church. In lieu of flowers the family requests memorials to First Presbyterian Church, P. O. Box 6106, Oak Ridge, TN 37831; to the Middle College Scholarship Fund, Roane State Community College, 276 Patton Lane, Harriman, 37748; or to an organization of the donor’s choice.

Published in Knoxville News Sentinel from Apr. 15 to Apr. 17, 2020