Leslie Spindler “Pete” Clark, 89, longtime Osage County petroleum engineer and former member of the Pawhuska City Council, died June 23, 2014, in Belleville, Ill., after a short illness.
Born May 11, 1925, in the Pennsylvania borough of New Bethlehem, to Leslie Spindler Clark Sr. and Ida Mae (Somerville) Spindler, Pete moved as young boy to Arizona and then to Tulsa, where he attended public schools. He graduated from Tulsa’s Will Rogers High School and University of Tulsa, where he received a petroleum engineering degree. He then entered the U.S. Army Signal Corps in 1945.
After being discharged in December 1946, Pete began working for National Associated Petroleum Co., primarily working oil wells and drilling sites between Wichita Falls and Vernon, Texas. He met and married Virginia Nell Patterson in 1948. He was promoted to National Associated’s district production superintendent in 1949. The young couple moved to Nocona, Texas, where their son Phil was born in 1954. One year later, the Clarks moved to Pawhuska; Pete, partnered with Bud Shewmaker, managed National Associated’s drilling and operations in Oklahoma and Kansas … working from a Triangle Building office. Pete’s second son, Tim, was born Feb. 22, 1960.
Pete was a 58-year Pawhuska resident, becoming an oil engineering consultant in 1974. Virginia was a teacher’s aide at the Pawhuska Elementary School and later became secretary at the Pawhuska Junior High. They were members of the First Baptist Church, Pawhuska, and avid bridge players. Pete enjoyed golfing and fishing, and he served on the Pawhuska City Council and later on the Pawhuska Zoning Commission.
After a 62-year marriage, Virginia passed away in 2010. Pete moved to Bartlesville’s Tallgrass Estates retirement community in March 2012 and then to the retirement community at the National Lady of the Snows Shrine, Belleville, Illinois, in September 2013.
Survivors include son Phil and his wife Wanda, of Brighton, Colo., and son Tim, of Belleville, Ill. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the Pawhuska Educational Trust, c/o Citizens Bank, P.O. Box 27, Pawhuska, OK 74056; the First Baptist Church-Pawhuska, 302 E. 6th, Pawhuska, OK 74056; or the Alzheimer’s Association, 2448 E. 81st St., Suite 3000, Tulsa, OK 74137.
Graveside services were held June 30, at the Pawhuska City Cemetery with the Rev. Jeff Laughlin officiating. McCartney’s Johnson Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.