ROBERT V. CLEMENT
Robert V. Clement (Bob), 67 of Avondale, PA died Friday, November 18th after a brief illness. He was the second child of Shirley Gillett and Paul Clement of El Paso, TX. An electrical engineer by profession, Bob’s greatest passion was music. He started piano lessons at age 5 and on a visit to the US Air Force Academy Cathedral at age 17, he discovered the pipe organ. He immediately began lessons and continued to play at churches, weddings, and other services throughout his life. He went on to study Electrical Engineering at the University of Texas at El Paso, and moved to South Carolina after graduation to work for the DuPont Company in the Fibers Division. DuPont moved the family around several times during his professional career, and each time he would always find a new church in which to play. He played Sundays for 25 years ending at Hanover Presbyterian Church whose ministries held a special place for him.
Bob retired in 2011 after 38 years with DuPont/INVISTA. This allowed him the time and energy to focus on his beloved music. He married his interests in designing, model building, and music by building his own Hauptwerk Organ in the basement of his home. He became Treasurer of the Albert Schweitzer Organ Festival, joined the Board of the Delaware Chapter of the American Guild of Organists, and became the Director of the English Cathedral Tour, which offered the chance to play pipe organs in famous cathedrals around the United Kingdom. In these positions, he savored the opportunity to both meet his pipe organ heroes and foster the love of the instrument in aspiring artists, all the while continuing his own private study and practicing his craft in his basement studio.
Other than the pipe organ, Bob filled his time with other hobbies. In his 20s, he loved architecture, and designed two homes that were built in Lugoff, SC. He became interested in home computers, and purchased his first PC in 1981. He was an avid reader and found a deep interest in learning about the Titanic. One of his lifelong dreams was completing a trans-Atlantic crossing by boat, which he did in 2012 during the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic. He and his wife, Karen, enjoyed many Caribbean and other cruises during their marriage and included his son with them on their 2003 Alaskan cruise. Bob was fascinated with London and its history and cathedrals, often making it a vacation destination and was pleased to show his daughter the wonderful sites.
After he married in 1996, his wife’s cats convinced him to become a cat lover. Their cats became his children; Smokey was his favorite and slept at his feet at night for 17 years. He also had a special place in his heart for babies, and relished the time spent with his grandchildren, Davis and Maggie. Finally, Bob made a valiant effort at golf, living on the fairway at Hartefeld Country Club, and even beat Karen at the game…once.
Bob is survived by his wife Karen Hudson of Avondale, PA, his son Chris Clement of Newark, DE, daughter Renee and husband Dan Roush of Haymarket, VA, grandchildren Megan Diehl, Davis Roush, and Maggie Roush, his mother Shirley Fouts, and his siblings Brian Clement, Carol Abraham, and Rosemary Schultz.
A celebration of Bob’s life will be held Friday, December 2nd at 11am at Hanover Presbyterian Church, 1801 N. Jefferson St. Wilmington, DE 19802. In lieu of flowers, donations in Bob’s memory may be made to Hanover Presbyterian Church or Planned Parenthood of Delaware.
The family would like to thank the staff at Christiana Hospital for their sensitive support and to Denise, Zee and Keith at Hockessin Athletic Club, who kept Bob moving forward.