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Lincoln Clark Jr., a chemist and lifelong competitive skier whose wartime career path brought him to MIT's Radiation Laboratory and, later, to management positions at the Nuclear Reactor Laboratory, died in his Chelmsford home on May 4. The cause was pulmonary fibrosis. Clark was 86.
A native of Lowell, Clark earned the S.B. degree in science from Harvard University in 1941 after studying at Malvern College in Britain, perfecting his skiing in Austria, and maintaining hiking trails for the Appalachian Mountain Club in New England.
He worked as a metallurgist, testing armor-piercing shells at Crucible Steel in New Jersey until 1943, when he joined the U.S. Navy. His military service included top-secret radar research at MIT's Rad Lab, at Princeton University and at Bell Telephone Labs.
Despite the extreme sensitivity of his work, Clark communicated by daily letters throughout the war with his wife, Nancy (Parker) Clark, she told The Boston Globe. "Even when he was out on submarines, he would write two letters on one day," she recalled of Clark's tour in Pearl Harbor, installing radar devices.
Clark returned to MIT in 1958 to work as an associate director and, later, as director of operations at the Nuclear Reactor Laboratory. He received the S.M. degree in nuclear engineering from MIT in 1962.
Clark retired from MIT in 1988. He served as an advisor to the arm of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission that reviews reactor safety regulations and as an expert to the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations in Atlanta. Clark also served as a trustee emeritus to Lowell General Hospital.
Besides his wife, Clark is survived by two sons, Lincoln III of Chelmsford and Allan Douglas Park of Charlotte, N.C.; two daughters, Constance Clark Gagnebin of Cambridge and Nancy Clark Tose of Rockland; a brother, Victor F., of Concord; a sister, Phyllis C. Nininger of Woodbury, Conn.; seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held at the Central Congregational Church in Chelmsford on June 4 at 2 p.m.