Clarence Wade Jr.

December 13, 1925 ~ November 20, 2019 (age 93)


Clarence Lovell Wade, Jr. passed away in Arlington, VA on November 20, 2019 at the age of 93.  

Clarence was born in Clearwater, Florida to Clarence L. Wade and Johanna Dodl Wade. After moving with his family to Washington D.C. in 1934, he graduated from Anacostia High School in 1943, and Wilson Teacher’s College (Washington, DC) in 1947 with a B.S in Mathematics.


Clarence taught math at Kramer Jr High in Anacostia before being hired by the National Bureau of Standards in 1956.  Upon the establishment of NASA, he transferred in 1959, being one of the original employees at Goddard Space Flight Center.  As a mathematician and computer scientist, Clarence was involved in the development of numerical analysis algorithms and science data processing systems for scientific research for over four decades. He made significant contributions to the initial programs to determine the orbital characteristics of the Russian Sputnik satellite. In the 1960’s and 1970’s, he contributed to the development of orbit determination and particle scattering algorithms used by the Center’s Solar Physics and Astrophysics departments. In the 1980’s and 1990’s, he played a key role in the development and maintenance of the science data archives for the International Ultraviolet Explorer (IUE). This system provided astronomers access to the IUE spectra for subsequent comparison and analysis. In 2000, he continued to support the science data processing and science data analysis initiatives in the Laboratory for Astronomy and Solar Physics. Especially noteworthy were his analysis routines to predict solar irradiance variation over a complete solar cycle. In addition, Clarence worked with several NASA scientists on the Hubble Telescope and was one of the few programmers authorized to submit problems to the Cray Super Computer when it was first installed and activated at NASA. He stayed at NASA for over 46 years, and retired in 2005 at the age of 79, the longest career of any NASA computer programmer.

Clarence was preceded in death by his two brothers, C. Wallace Wade and Earl V. Wade.  He is survived by his sister, Ruth W. Taylor of Ocean Springs, MS, and nieces, Debra Trobaugh (Walt), Doria Taylor-Chang (Evan), Jennifer McLaughlin (Tom), Renee Sandstrum (John), Joanna Miller, Terri Elliott, Shannon Wade, and additionally, sister-in-law’s Geneva Wade and Eula Wade. Clarence belonged to the Christadelphian Ecclesia in Arlington, Virginia for 75 years.  A memorial service will be held on December 10, 2019 at 11:00 at Everly Funeral Home in Falls Church, VA.   

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Memorial Service
December 10, 2019

11:00 AM
Everly Funeral Home & Cremation Service
6161 Leesburg Pike
Falls Church, VA 22044

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