It is with great regret and sorrow that we must notify you of the death of our
Classmate, Joe Clema, on 27 October 2017, at a hospital in The Villages, FL,
following a heart attack and battling Parkinson’s disease.
Joe is survived by
his beloved wife of 32 years, Esthella, and his brother and sister-in-law.
The funeral service for Joe is
scheduled for Friday January 26th, 2018 at 10 am at Florida National Cemetery in
Bushnell, FL, followed by his Celebration of Life at The Eisenhower Center, 3560
Buenavista Blvd. The Villages, FL 32163 (352 672-8390).
Condolences may be
sent to Esthella at 1121 Edgewater Lane, The Villages, FL 32162.
Donations in Joe’s
memory may be sent to the Parkinson's Foundation, 200 SE 1st Street, Suite
800, Miami, FL 33131 or online at
Well done, Joe.
Be thou at peace.
Class Memorial Pages\A-2 Joe
Dr. Joe Kotouc Clema
Kotouc Clema, 79, passed away peacefully on October 27, 2017 in The Villages,
FL. with his loving wife Esthella at his side. He was born in September 23, 1938
in Omaha, NE of Czechoslovakian heritage.
Joe was an extraordinary
patriotic man with strong values. After graduating from high school with
national awards in Science, he attended the United States Military Academy at
West Point and followed in his father's footsteps. As an Army Veteran and a
Military Scientist, he had a long career and life of achievements in Science and
Technology which started at West Point, Company A-2, Class of 1961.
After getting his Ph. D. at Colorado State Univ., he was assigned
to conduct chemical warfare research at Edgewood Arsenal in Fort Collins, CO.
This assignment also who took him to Germany and France for a couple of years. A
pioneer in the field of Artificial Intelligence, he was gratified to see the
benefits of his contributions into everyday life. His love and enthusiasm for
science led him to publish more than 45 professional papers, and serve as
Chairman of the Association for Computer Machinery. He was a Senior member of
the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. and the Armed Forces Communications and Electronic Association.
His expertise in Computer Sciences, as well as his experience in
the field of Technology, led him to the top post as Chief Scientist at Fort
Belvoir, VA, a position that he held until his retirement in 2012. While serving
as a National
Lecturer for the ACM, he was invited by the
University of Ottawa in Canada to a NATO Conference where he met his wife
His enthusiasm for life was not only contagious, but also inspiring. He
was a great, proud and a very humble man. He never relinquished his great sense of humor, which
everybody who knew him will long remember.
As a scientist, his legacy will be remembered because his complete
biography was chosen to be preserved and included in the White House Millennium
Time Capsule as one of the enduring items to represent America at the
Millennium. This is considered a great honor.
In 2016, he and Esthella moved to The Villages, where he joined the Parkinson's
Fight Club. There he made great friends that he enjoyed and cherished until his
last days. Joe touched and inspired so many people over the years, and
his legacy will be a treasured gift to those who knew him.
Joe was preceded in death by his parents Col. Joe A. Clema and Sylva Marie
Kotouc, and daughter Jennifer "Jen" Clema. He is survived by his wife
Esthella Clema of 32 years, his brother Bill Clema, Judy Clema, his sister-In
law, his nice Kristy Clema and his cousin Jon Clema. Memorial donations may be
made to the National Parkinson's Foundation (Parkinson.org) Online condolences
may be left to the family at
A funeral service with full military honors will be held at 10:00 am at
Bushnell National Cemetery, in Bushnell, FL. on January 26. A Celebration of
Life reception will follow at 12:00 noon at the Eisenhower Rec. Center,
3560 Buena Vista Boulevard, The Villages, FL 32163.
Joe K. Clema
Cullum No. 633018 | October 27, 2017 | Died in The Villages, FL
Interred in Florida National Cemetery, Bushnell, FL ____________________________________
Joe Kotouc Clema was born on September 23, 1938 in Omaha, NE (of
Czechoslovakian heritage) to Joe A. Clema and Sylva Marie Kotouc. Joe was an
extra-ordinary, patriotic man with strong values. As an Army veteran and a
military scientist, Joe had a long career and life of achievements in science
and technology, which started at West Point with the Class of 1961.
Joe was highly influenced toward West Point by his father’s life in military
service, which started during World War II when his father, Colonel Joe A.
Clema, joined Major General George S. Patton and the 2nd Armored Division in
In 1953, the family moved to Arlington, VA, where Joe’s father was assigned to
the Pentagon to work on the new space program, led by the highly recognized
scientist Walter Von Braun. His father’s assignment helped cement Joe’s early
interest in science. In 1957, Joe graduated from Washington Lee High School
with National Honors in Science
Following Beast Barracks, Joe and his two roommates took Russian, and the
authorities decided that their living together and speaking the same language
should be very beneficial; however, this language experiment failed. Joe
proved to be a chemistry hive. Prior education and high school projects served
him well, and he was top notch academically in his favorite subject. At West
Point Joe was a member of the Boxing Team and became an avid tennis player
Joe’s interests had always been science, math, and engineering, so he resigned
in March 1960 and went to the University of Nebraska, where he obtained a BS
in chemistry. He entered the Army and was assigned to conduct chemical warfare
research at Edgewood Arsenal at Fort Collins, CO. This assignment took him to
Germany and France for several years. After four years in the Chemical Corps
and Corps of Engineers, he left the Army and returned to college to get his MS
in industrial engineering (computing and math) at the University of Miami and
his Ph.D. in computer and software engineering at Colorado State University
Subsequently, Joe held positions in computing and software development
management in high-level companies for more than 35 years. He also held
elected positions in the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), was a
senior member of the Institute for Electrical and Electronic Engineers, was
selected as a computer pioneer by the Society for Computer Simulation, was a
national lecturer for the ACM, and was an esteemed member of many prestigious
professional organizations. A pioneer in the field of artificial intelligence,
he was gratified to see the benefits of his contributions in everyday life.
His love and enthusiasm for science led him to publish more than 45
professional papers, and his name and biography appeared in Marquis’ “Who’s
Who in the World” for many years
His expertise in computer sciences, as well as his experience in the field of
technology, led him to the top post as senior scientist for the 1st
Information Operations Command at Fort Belvoir, VA. Joe held this position
until his retirement in 2012, after which he started his own company, JKC
Enterprises, which provided products and services in the information
His enthusiasm for life was not only contagious but also inspiring. He was a
proud and very humble man who never relinquished his great sense of humor,
which anyone who knew him will long remember. His legacy as a scientist will
be remembered. His complete biography was chosen to be included in the White
House Millennium Time Capsule as one of the enduring items to represent
America at the turn of the millennium. This is considered a great honor
While serving as a national lecturer for the ACM, he was invited by the
University of Ottawa in Canada to a NATO conference where he met his wife to
be, Esthella. They were married in 1985 and settled in Herndon, VA, where she
became an instructor, competitor and manager of her own professional dance
studio. Later, after a fulfilling career together, they moved to The Villages
in Florida, where Joe joined the Parkinson’s Fight Club. There, he made great
friends whom he enjoyed and cherished until his last days. Joe touched and
inspired so many people over the years, and his legacy will be a treasured
gift to those who knew him
Esthella remembers that later in Joe’s life he was asked many times how he
kept such an optimistic hope for the future. He always brought up his everyday
favorite line…“I learned it at West Point.” For Joe, each day his thoughts
would go back to The Corps. He always credited West Point for the strength of
his spirit. His trials in his life never took away his great sense of humor
and happiness. They certainly never conquered his beautiful soul. He lived the
exemplary life for which West Point stands
Joe was preceded in death by his parents and daughter Jennifer “Jen” Clema. He
is survived by his wife of 32 years, Esthella Clema, his brother Bill Clema,
his sister-in-law Judy Clema, and his niece Kristy Clema. A funeral service
with full military honors was held at Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell,
FL. Joe loved poetry, with “Invictus” by William Ernest Henley being his
favorite. Esthella had it read at his funeral service
Well Done, Joe. You fought the good fight. Be Thou at Peace
— Esthella C. Clema and companymates