Clyde Edward Ten Eyck (Tink) passed away on April 24, 2021, at home, with his wife and children by his side. He was 89 and in the end stages of pulmonary fibrosis. Burial services will be held on Thursday, May 6 at 12:30 p.m., at the San Joaquin Valley National Cemetery in Santa Nella, Calif.
Clyde was born on Aug. 26, 1931 in Corning, to George and Estella Ten Eyck and grew up as the son of a wheat farmer in Walton and the youngest of six children. All had lifelong nicknames, so he was known to some as Clyde and others as Tink. He went to grammar school in Walton and graduated from Newton High School.
After serving in the Navy on LSMR 403 in the Korean War, Tink earned an A&P license from the Spartan School of Aeronautics and worked as an aircraft mechanic for United Airlines in San Francisco before starting a 23-year career as a flight engineer on DC-6, DC-8, L382/C-130, and Boeing 727 and 747 aircraft, logging over 18,000 hours on the C-130 Hercules. He worked most of his career for Saturn and Transamerica Airlines, which flew military cargo and charter passengers all over the world and throughout the United States.
Tink proposed to Judy Goldthorpe (Quincy) two weeks after meeting her in February 1968 in Sacramento. They were married on April 14, 1968, in the Little Wedding Chapel in Rough and Ready, Calif., and celebrated their 53rd wedding anniversary just 10 days prior to his death. After living a short time in Sacramento, Calif., Midwest City, Okla., and Smyrna, Ga., they had a chance to buy the home built in 1957 on five acres in Penn Valley by Judy’s parents, Lester and Alice Quincy. They moved there November 1970 and never left – Tink lived there for 51 years.
Tink loved gardening and with Judy, created a bountiful quarter-acre garden for many years. Each time he returned home from a trip, checking progress of the garden was a priority. He raised a few cattle and was adept at maneuvering them into the chute near the barn.
Tink’s forever favorite place to be was on a tractor…..he loved the “putt-putt” and working on equipment from his days on the family farm. He was also a meticulous mechanic and always available to help teenagers with their used cars. During his last months and despite the challenges of his illness, Tink began working with wood daily and made several large storage projects for his shop, including a complicated, detailed 4-door cabinet.
Tink had three friends who were very special to him — Russell Kirk (deceased), who grew up in Walton with Tink and was a lifelong friend. Tink and Russell spent hours working on machinery and regaling those around them with stories about the hard work of farming during their youth. Don Mack of Gardnerville, Nev., who is a fellow aircraft mechanic/flight engineer. Tink and Mack shared many special adventures while exploring Death Valley and the vast areas around Mack’s desert “camp” in Nevada. Ralph (Dean) Johnson of Aberdeen, S.D., who met Clyde while serving on LSMR 403. After their naval tour of duty ended, the two went their separate ways for most of their lives before reconnecting about 10 years ago, when they began many long talks on the phone, sharing old and new stories — a highlight in Tink’s life.
Tink was a man strong in spirit and body for most of his life. He teased his grandchildren with a sly grin and was the favorite lap for dogs. He and Judy travelled 50,000 miles in their RV through most of the United States, up to Alaska and Canada, including the Maritime Provinces and Labrador — and hauled all five grandchildren on trips to Half Moon Bay.
Tink was in hospice care for 10 months, although active. His last big effort was bush hogging the field on a tractor. After helping Judy with yard work the next day, activity was suddenly impossible. Tink then had four wonderful days in his living room surrounded by immediate family gathering to give care and say special words to him, sharing time with him during meals and playing the fun movies he loved. The presence and devoted care by his family was an unforgettable expression of love for him. God speed, our dear warrior – “well done,” indeed.
Survivors include his wife, Judy; daughter, Carolyn (Steve) Steele, sons, Joe (Veronica) Ten Eyck and Ed Ten Eyck; grandchildren, Daniel Steele, Elizabeth (Spencer) Perry, and Joanna, Joseph and Maddy Ten Eyck; sister-in-law Berta Stange and numerous nieces and nephews.
Clyde was preceded in death by his parents, George and Estella Ten Eyck; brother, George (Budd) Ten Eyck; sisters, Gail (Chubb) Boese, Ede (Possom) Hetzel, Delia (Punky) Moore and Jean (Teence) Tuttle; sister-in-law, Alice Ten Eyck; brothers in-law, Warren Boese, Charles Hetzel, Hugh Moore, Donn Tuttle and Larry Stange.
Memorial contributions may be sent to Hospice of the Foothills, 11270 Rough and Ready Highway, Grass Valley, Calif., 95945. Our family was blessed with their compassionate care, which most of all helped Tink to be able to work on his beloved projects and have purpose to the end.
Arrangements are under the care of Hooper and Weaver Mortuary in Grass Valley, who we thank for their kindness and help during this difficult time.