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York Clamann '76 November 16, 2015 1:56 PM updated: November 16, 2015 2:00 PM

Beck Funeral Home obituary
5709 Ranch Road 620
Austin, Texas 78717

York Hilmar Clamann
September 24, 1942 - November 11, 2015

York Hilmar Clamann

Hans Jorg Hilmar Clamann, was born in Berlin, Germany on September 24, 1942 to Drs Hans Georg and Maria (Mueller) Clamann. Having prevailed through difficult times, Maria and her sons Hans Jorg and Hans Peter arrived in America on Thanksgiving Day, 1947 to join her husband who had been sent ahead six months earlier. It was then that Maria changed young Hans Jorg’s name to York in order to preserve the phonetic pronunciation of his name in this new land. The two brothers were joined by baby sister Carin in November 1948, completing the young family. York attended school in Converse and Schertz-Cibolo, graduating high school the same year he became a citizen in May, 1960.

York met the one and only true love of his life, Andrea Mary Ryza in 1963 when she invited him to speak at her High School science club. York graduated college in 1964 with a BA from St. Mary’s University. He taught science at John Nance Garner Junior High (1964) and biology at Robert E. Lee High School (1965) in the Northeast ISD in San Antonio. In 1966 he earned a Master’s of Education from Incarnate Word College and taught biology and chemistry at A. N. McCallum High School (1967) in Austin, Texas.

York married Andrea in June of 1967 in San Antonio but the honeymoon would have to wait because he was drafted and sent to Fort Bliss, or as York called it, Fort Piss. York was a Specialist E-5 at the U.S. Army Medical Field Service School (1967-1969), where he taught clinical chemistry to enlisted men who were training to become army medical laboratory technicians. Following two years in the Army, York returned to San Antonio with the first order of business: starting a family. Daddy’s little girl, Christina Marie, was born to York and Andrea in April 1969, and the new family moved to Bryan, Texas, shortly thereafter as York began his Doctoral work at Texas A&M University. The family was completed in August of 1973 with the birth of their son, Andrew. York was graduated from A&M in 1976 with a Ph.D. in Science Education.

The family was lured to West Texas with an opportunity to start his professional career as the Science Supervisor for the Abilene ISD (1976-1997). Their roots grew fast in a small ranch-style house on Crescent Drive. The happy family blossomed in the small town and enjoyed many vacations across the country as well as throughout Europe.

York was a “big fish in a small pond” and was well known in the community as the on-hand expert for all things science. Local news crews would frequently use him as a resource, interviewing him when science topics such as Halley’s Comet and the Space Shuttle were front-page news. York’s career was diverse and lauded. He was the President of the Board for the Abilene Zoological Gardens, an adjunct professor at McMurray University (1977-1995), Our Lady of the Lake University (1990-2000), Abilene Christian University (1996), and Texas State University (2001). He was also instrumental in CAST, STAT and many other science organizations.

By far the job for which most people know him was his position as the director of the Morgan Jones Planetarium (1980-1997). It was here in the lecture room and the dome room that York’s passion for science education flourished. Donned in a white lab coat, with arms waving and voice booming, York imparted a contagious love for science to all who listened.

After retiring in 1995, York taught science at St. John’s Episcopal School and then became a consultant for Pearson Education. Shortly thereafter, Andrea and York moved to Round Rock, Texas to be closer to their children and grandchildren. York enjoyed traveling around the United States attending conferences and giving lectures for the advancement of science education. Over the next few years, Andrea and York traveled frequently, taking cruises to various exotic ports and visiting family and friends.

York was widowed in 2008 but continued to be active in his children’s and grandchildren’s lives. He was preceded in death by his parents. He is survived by his daughter, Tina Risinger and husband Ronny, of Round Rock; his son, Andrew Clamann and wife Amanda of Austin; his sister, Quinn McDonald and husband Kent; one brother, Hans Peter and wife Eva; and 4 grandchildren: Thane, Emily, Erin, and Eric.

Visitation will be held from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. at Beck Funeral Home, Austin, TX on Tuesday, November 17th with a recitation of the Rosary the begin at 7:00 p.m. A Funeral Mass will take place at 10:00 a.m. at St. William Catholic Church, Round Rock, TX, on Wednesday, November 18th. A private burial will take place in Converse, TX.

Arrangements under the care of Beck Funeral Home, Austin/Round Rock, TX 512-244-3772

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