Landscapes 10

Reginald Willis Clemens

September 17, 1940 ~ June 24, 2021 (age 80)


Reginald "Reg" W. Clemens, age 80, passed away at his home in Albuquerque on June 24, 2021. Reg graduated from Hollywood High School in 1958 and then earned a B.S. in Physics from Caltech in 1962. While at Caltech, he was a key member of the "Fiendish Fourteen," the group responsible for the Great Rose Bowl Hoax of 1961, considered to be one of the greatest collegiate pranks of all time.

Reg then went on to earn his Ph.D. in Computational Physics at the University of Maryland. His graduate work, under advisor Dr. Joseph Weber, was the early search for gravitational waves (their existence was eventually confirmed in 2016 by LIGO). While Reg was finishing his dissertation he was also serving in the US Air Force (1968-1971) stationed at the Air Force Research Lab (AFRL) in Albuquerque. He lived in Albuquerque, except for a two-year consulting job in Buffalo, NY, for the remainder of his life. He continued to consult for AFRL and other agencies throughout his career.

Outside of work, he enjoyed his dogs (always Shelties), spending time with his daughters, camping, astronomy, and the Santa Fe Opera (especially the good dinners at Santa Fe restaurants before each performance). When his daughters were young, he took them on extended summer camping vacations. These included trips to the east and west coasts of Canada, most of the west and southwest U.S., and a memorable two-week river rafting excursion through the Grand Canyon.

Reg is survived by his brother, Stanley (Yvonne) Clemens and their three children; his former wife, Portia (Robert) Jennings; his daughters, Rebecca Clemens and Cynthia (Paul) Sisson, and their brother, Gregory (Cecilia) Holmberg and his three children.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in his memory to the Santa Fe Opera ( or to Sigma Pi Sigma Physics Honors Society (

To send sympathy gifts to the family or plant a tree in memory of Reginald Willis Clemens, please visit our tribute store.


Memorial Service
July 23, 2021

3:00 PM
FRENCH - Wyoming
7121 Wyoming Blvd. NE
Albuquerque, NM 87109

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