Claro M. Ortega was born on Oct. 29, 1921 and passed away on May 16, 2017. Claro Ortega died at home in Neosho, Missouri. He was 95 years old.

Claro M. Ortega was born on Oct. 29, 1921 and passed away on May 16, 2017. Claro Ortega died at home in Neosho, Missouri.  He was 95 years old.  
He is survived by daughter Tania and Kevin Bowman of Joplin, son Dana Ortega and fiancée Angel Curtis of Neosho, and daughter Kristen Ortega of Joplin, as well as four grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.  He is also survived by one sister and two brothers.  He was preceded in death by his parents and nine siblings and by his wife and eldest son.
“Clark” was born October 29, 1921 in the Paco district of Manila, Philippines, to Candido Ortega and Miguela Manapat Ortega.  He was the third child of thirteen and the eldest son.  He simultaneously attended night classes at National Radio College and graduated from Araullo High School.  In May 1940, he enlisted in the Philippine Army Off-Shore Patrol (USAFFE) where he served in the 1st Q-Boat squadron aboard the 112 Abra.
He was 20 years old in December 1941 when the Philippine Commonwealth Army entered WWII under the command of American General McArthur.  Claro’s OSP unit patrolled Manila Bay and the coast of Bataan Peninsula.  In April 1942, he was captured by Japanese forces and survived the Bataan Death March and six months in O’Donnell POW camp.  Upon release, he joined the guerilla resistance in the mountains of Negros in cooperation with the Allied Intelligence Bureau.  Missions included covert deployment of radio relay stations.  After the Philippine Liberation, he was honorably discharged in 1946 as a 1st Lieutenant with the 1st Signal Corps, 1st Signal Operation Battalion.  In 1948, Claro was invited to Oklahoma City University to attend a communications training program jointly sponsored by the U.S. and Philippine governments.  
It was there that he met Wyvetta Forga.  She admired his intelligence and skill on the dance floor.  He fell in love with her green eyes and sweet gentle nature.  They were married February 16, 1949 in Avenal, California.  Claro became an American citizen in 1956.  They had four children and lived 25 years in southern California before moving to Neosho in 1976.  They celebrated sixty-six years of marriage before her death in 2015.
During his career as an electronics engineer, Claro’s work transitioned from vacuum tubes to semiconductors to thin film technology to computer hard-drive design.  In 1974, he was part of a 4-man team that invented the electrode assembly which greatly improved response time on liquid crystal display (LCD) for digital watches.  His name was officially registered on the patent. He retired in 1986 from Seagate Magnetics.
He was a unique and complex man, staunchly self-reliant and ‘tough’ in the truest sense of the word.  He wore his WWII Veteran hat proudly.  His fascination with history, science, and technology never waned.  In death, he is reunited with his beloved wife Wyvetta and eldest son Randy.  He will be greatly missed by all those who loved him well.  
A celebration of his life will be held Saturday, May 20 at 3:00 at Clark Funeral Home in Neosho.  Flowers should be sent directly to the funeral home.
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Services are under the direction of Clark Funeral Home, Neosho.