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Karl William Clemmensen

Karl William Clemmensen of Langhorne, Pennsylvania, passed away at home on Wednesday, April 11, 2024.  Karl was the beloved husband of Kim Clemmensen.  He was 66 years of age, born on May 1, 1957, in Abington, Pennsylvania, to the late Walter Gyldenlove Clemmensen and Anne Marie (Eliassen) Clemmensen.

Karl fell in love with flying at the age of 12 when he got the opportunity to visit the cockpit during a flight to Norway with his mother. That was it; he knew what he wanted to do when he grew up. He took flying lessons as soon as he could, working a night job after high school and received his private pilot’s license before he even had his driver’s license.

Karl attended Florida Institute of Technology University in Melbourne, Florida, where he worked three jobs to complete a bachelor’s degree while also working on his pilot ratings. His first flying job was in Charlotte, North Carolina, as a flight instructor, and he later moved on to charter flights, traffic watch, and also transferred bank documents to processing centers on overnight flights.

Next, he flew for the commuter airline Aero Coach in Florida that operated as a shuttle to the Bahama’s. He later owned and operated a flight school and charter business in St. Augustine, Florida, operating 20 aircraft for flight instruction, charter, banner towing and aerobatics.  Karl was also a designated examiner for the FAA, and administered a testing site for written exams.  

While in St. Augustine, Karl flew a Great Lakes biplane in the northeast Florida air-show circuit.    He test flew old aircraft undergoing retrofit for the Grumman Aircraft Corporation and delivered them to the Topel Naval base in Turkey.

In 1987, Karl was invited to join Piedmont Airlines as a commercial pilot. Over the next 35 years Piedmont became USAir/USAirways and then American Airlines. Prior to his retirement in April 2022, he was based in Philadelphia for four years, serving as Captain on the Airbus 320 Series.

While serving as a commercial pilot, Karl also pursued and earned master’s degrees in Human Factors and Safety Systems from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University.  

Outside the airline, Karl was a past Vice President and member of the Board of Directors of the Make-A-Wish Foundation for Southeastern Pennsylvania. In 2019, he became a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society and in 2021 joined the faculty of the Eastern Mennonite University (EMU) aviation program at Lancaster, Pennsylvania. The university also appointed him as Aviation Industry Liaison as he transitioned into retirement.

In addition to his beloved wife, Kim, Karl is survived by his stepson, Schuyler Janzen; his sister, Ingrid C. Butcher, and her husband, Howard Butcher IV; and his brother, Frank G. Clemmensen, and his wife, Shirley.  Karl is also survived by his nephew, Matthew Butcher, as well as countless family and friends.

Karl’s family will receive friends on Saturday, June 15, 2024, from 10:00 a.m. until his celebration of life service at noon at the Joseph A Fluehr III Funeral Home, 800 Newtown Richboro Road (at Holland Road) Richboro, Pennsylvania 18954.  His interment will be private.  In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Philadelphia Chapter.

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Service/Memorial Information
  • Morning Visitation

    Saturday, June 15th, 2024
    10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

    Joseph A. Fluehr III Funeral Home, Richboro
    800 Newtown-Richboro Road
    Richboro, PA 18954

  • Memorial Service

    Saturday, June 15th, 2024
    12:00 PM

    Joseph A. Fluehr III Funeral Home, Richboro
    800 Newtown-Richboro Road
    Richboro, PA 18954

  • Interment

    Interment will be held privately

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