Henry Neal Clarkson

August 12, 1918February 23, 2013

Neal (H.N.) Clarkson of Austin passed away on February 23, 2013. He was born in Hutto, Texas on August 12, 1918, and grew up in Bastrop. He attended Schreiner Institute and then the University of Texas, where he earned a BS and then an MS in physics. He then taught at Texas A&I in Kingsville where he met and married Melba Gillespie. During World War II, he worked at the Naval Ordinance Lab in Solomons, Maryland and in England. During the war, he became a Naval Officer. After the war, he participated in testing the atomic bomb on Bikini Atoll. He then returned to Kingsville and taught physics at A&I and earned his PhD from UT in 1954. In 1955, he began working at LaCoste-Romberg making gravity meters. He continued working there until he was 86, and he greatly loved his many productive years there. The greatest love of his life, however, was Melba, who preceded him in death. Together, they raised three children and lived life with joy. Together, they forged many long, dear friendships and cherished them through all their 63 years. They traveled extensively, with family and as a couple, and they spent many of their happiest moments in Port Aransas. He is survived by his three children, Robert Clarkson (Peta), Terry Martinez (David), and Suzy Holstein (Jim), who will always be grateful for the love he showed them and the integrity he taught them. He was affectionately loved as "Papa Neal" by grandchildren Kim Vincent (Mike), Timaeus Martinez, Sofia Martinez (David Blumenthal), Glenna Holstein, Matthew Clarkson, Rachel Clarkson, Melida Holstein, and Michaela Clarkson, as well as great-grandchildren Chris and Rachel Vincent and Mateo, Ilario, and Paloma Blumenthal. He is also survived by a sister-in-law, Dotty Carter, and two brothers-in-law Roy and Victor Gillespie. To honor his memory, in lieu of flowers, the family asks that contributions be made to Planned Parenthood or People's Community Clinic of Austin, 2909 N. IH-35, 78722.

A visitation will be held from 1:30 pm until 2:30 pm, Thursday, February 28, 2013 at Cook-Walden/Capital Parks in Pflugerville. The funeral service will begin following the visitation at 2:30 pm. Interment will follow at Cook-Walden/Capital Parks Cemetery.

Please visit Neal’s memorial page at


  • Visitation Thursday, February 28, 2013
  • Funeral Service Thursday, February 28, 2013

Henry Neal Clarkson

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jerry bishop

March 5, 2013


Col Georeg O Lewis, USAF (Ret)

March 3, 2013

Thank you, Neal, for your service to our country.

Tina Plowman

March 2, 2013

May Neal be in Peace and Light. So sorry for your loss, Terry.

February 28, 2013

Our reunions in December with Neal and Melba were highlights of the year for Olan and me Lucy Kruse

Reece & Darlene Simril

February 28, 2013

Our thoughts are with your family. Our memories sustain us.

Judy Morgan

February 28, 2013

Both Neal and Melba were two of the best people I every new. I am so blessed to have known them. Words cannot express how much they meant to me.

Meloise Capeheart

February 27, 2013

My Uncle Neal was an extrodinary man. He loved life but more than that he loved my Aunt Melba and my 3 cousins. I have many fond memories of staying with them during the summers as well as in Port Aransas. He will be greatly missed but I know he is with the love of his life Aunt Melba. I love you Uncle Neal!!