Doris L. Clark

Long time Niskayuna resident Doris L. Clark passed away at Ellis Residential and Rehabilitation Center in the early morning of April 15, 2018 while recovering from a fall at home. Doris was born September 26, 1922 in North Russell, NY and was the eldest daughter of Theron Clark and Leah Coon Clark.

Doris grew up on the family dairy farm near Canton, NY, where it was her job to tend the garden—weeding, hoeing, and picking vegetables. Doris graduated from Knox Memorial Central School and attended St. Lawrence University in Canton on a full, 4-year scholarship funded by Seymour J. Knox who was one of the early founders of Woolworth Co. At SLU she earned a BS in chemistry and minored in physics, graduating in 1943. While there she was a member of the Sigma Pi Sigma Honorary Physics Fraternity. Following graduation she was immediately hired as a laboratory chemist by Owens Illinois in Toledo, OH, where she researched metallurgic substitutes for tin in the canning industry (because tin was being requisitioned by the government for war purposes). She was then recruited as an “Engineering Assistant” by General Electric in 1947 where she worked in the engineering section of the Turbine Manufacturing (Large Steam Turbine) department of GE Power Systems, calculating balance data for turbine blades and wheels. Her title later changed to “Computer”. She was certified in data processing the first year it was offered by GE in the early 1960s. Doris ended her career after 40 years retiring from GE at the end of 1982.

In addition to her career, Doris belonged to the American Association of University Women as well as the Association for Computing Machinery. She was a voracious reader with wide ranging interests, from Adirondack Life to Physics Today to Bloomberg Index. Her love of learning continued as she attended UCall classes at Union College.

Doris was predeceased by her sister Barbara who died at birth, her parents, a nephew Robert L. Kiger, her sister and brother-in-law Elinor M. (Clark) and Lloyd L. Kiger. She is survived by her niece, Jeanette (Robert) Rosenberger of Columbia, MD, and her niece-in-law Brenda Smith Kiger of Potosi, PA, as well as 3 great-nephews: David Kiger (Meagan Van Orden) of Hamburg, Germany, and Tyler and Eric Rosenberger both of Columbia, MD.

Doris was a gracious lady with a ready, shy smile who preferred to stay out of the limelight even while breaking the mold as a “hidden figure” in her computing and engineering work.

A memorial service will be held on Monday, June 4, 2018 at 11:00 AM at First United Methodist Church, 603 State Street, Schenectady, where Doris was a 60-year member. The family would like donations in the memory of Doris Clark to go to First United Methodist Church, 603 State St, Schenectady, NY 12305 or to St. Lawrence University, University Advancement, Vilas Hall, 23 Romoda Drive, Canton, NY 13617.

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