Kim Clarke

Member, Board of Directors, Estrella Warbirds Museum

Kim Clarke

Born in Naperville, Illinois, on July 25, 1955, Kim spent the first 9 years on the family farm learning farming and how to run John Deere tractors at the young age of five. On his 9th birthday, his father packed up the family and moved to a ranch outside of Camp Verde, Arizona, where for a boy of nine, ranching and exploring Indian ruins was everything. The family eventually moved to the town of Paradise Valley, Arizona where Kim went to Judson High School, then on to Phoenix College, and finally to Universal Technical Institute.

Kim Clarke

Kim Clarke

Even though cars and motorcycles were a major part of his early years, which included winning his class at the 1974 NHRA Winter Nationals drag race, Kim’s roots in operating equipment left from the farm days were still there. When an opportunity to operate earthmovers and heavy equipment presented itself Kim took it, rising from an operator to the Vice President of a 365 employee, Sixty million dollar a year Phoenix based grading, paving and concrete company in 8 years.

As with all things, change is necessary and when the opportunity to try something new appeared, Kim like his father packed up his family, his wife Marianne and his daughter Danae, and moved to Templeton in 2003 where long time Arizona friend Scott Stelzle was already living. Kim has remained in the Civil Construction industry but now spends a portion of his time working on car and motorcycle projects and tending to the family’s west side / dry farmed vineyard.

Kim’s initial interest in the military came from his father who served in the South Pacific in the United States Army Signal Corps as a Master Sergeant, and his interest in airplanes came from his brother who learned to fly when they still lived on the Illinois farm. Having always been interested in both, it was inevitable that when Sherman Smoot became his first local friend he would eventually get involved in the Estrella Warbird Museum. The newest military attraction in Kim’s life is his son-­‐in-­‐ law David who is in the 82nd Airborne and stationed at Fort Brag, NC. Kim is a member of the Gooney Bird Group and actively participated in the purchase of the T-­‐34, which can be seen on display at the museum and in the skies of the surrounding area.

Kim was< elected to the Board of Directors in 2016 and is looking forward to, “Giving Back” and helping with the development of the existing campus and the new campus expansion. Kim serves on both the Use Committee and the Construction Committee.

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