Daniel Lee Clem

Daniel Lee Clem, 65, suddenly passed into the arms of our Lord on Saturday, February 17. He is survived by his wife, Dorothy, children Kira and Kristian, his sister Debbie Mudge (Wayne), sister-in-law, Faye Grubbs (Richard), brother-in-law, Richard Nuckols (Donna), and numerous nieces and nephews.

A memorial for Dan will be held this Saturday, February 24, at 11:00 at Hope Church, 770 Pineloch Dr., Houston, TX 77062. Family will receive friends and family for visitation at the church at 10:00 am. The memorial service will be followed by a light lunch afterwards. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Hope Church.

Dan was born in Phoenix, Arizona on January 31, 1959. His father, Wesley, a pastor, and mother, Joanne served in local churches throughout his life. His family moved to Colorado, and then to Sandy, Utah in 1967, where over the years, Dan enjoyed hiking and skiing in the scenic mountains. Through this time too, during his teen years at his father’s Berean Baptist Church, Dan found peace in “a place where God’s word is faithfully taught.” His one constant – his supportive family and the Word they taught – would forever shape his lifelong service and sacrifice to his Lord and Savior.
Dan’s formative years in Utah also offered many opportunities to realize his varied interests in all sorts of areas. Evident early on was Dan’s love for engineering when, in junior high, he joined the committee to design a new junior high school. He played the trumpet in marching band, and was on the wrestling team in high school. Always an avid reader and chess player, he excelled scholastically too, teaching himself Russian and taking math classes at the University of Utah while still in high school.
Dan earned an engineering degree from the University of Houston, and soon afterward accomplished a Master’s degree in Aeronautical Engineering from Stanford University in half the time of the normal student. His zest for learning never ceased and he was always up to the challenge of a new adventure. It was in college, that the cooking “bug” took hold and he declared himself “Master Chef” in a favorite photo.
Nearing his 1984 graduation from Stanford, Dan received a recruitment offer from NASA that brought him back to Houston.
The 1980’s decade held a lot of promises for Dan. Not only did he start work at the prestigious organization of NASA, but he joined the Texas National Guard, assigned to the 386th Engineering Battalion, while also training with Airborne. This selfless act with its many sacrifices truly epitomizes John 15:13, laying down his life for his friends.
Dan’s middle years were filled with raising kids, serving as a pillar in his church, a dedicated worker at NASA, and a trusted citizen of the community. Hope Church was a second home to Dan for nearly 25 years. He served there as both a respected Deacon and Elder during that time; he ministered at the youth and childrens’ level, joined numerous mission trips, and immersed himself in just about any other church activity. Dan led a life of service to all he knew and worked with.
His service and dedication extended to his workplace where his love for reading, teamed with that for writing, resulted in his leading a team to successfully complete the re-write of a 600 page “legalese” NASA safety document and transform it into more applicable and coherent layman terms. Dan’s role in this tremendous initiative earned him the “Plain Language” award in 1999; then Vice President of the United States, Al Gore, personally presented Dan with the award in Washington, D.C.
The award was one of many that Dan received in his 40 years in Federal Civilian Service, all of them at NASA. The organization, in 2019, recognized Dan’s leadership and valuable contributions with the Johnson’s Space Center’s Director’s Commendation Award; he was promoted to Procurement Manager as recently as December 2023.
He met the love of his life, Dorothy, who became his wife in 1987, and together, they raised two children, Kira and Kristian, at their home in Clear Lake. After 36 years of marriage, “Forever My Love Bug,” was Dan’s sentiment for Dorothy on this year’s Valentine’s gift. He was the steady rock in their family as they faced incredible challenges.
For most who were fortunate to know Dan in his lifetime cut too short, they would probably describe him as being a quiet, thoughtful man with a big heart, an intelligent mind, a boyish grin, and subtle yet playful sense of humor. He could and would give selflessly of his time and talents to reach, teach, and be impactful for those he knew. His way was to shine through the glory of God and impart His Word in all avenues of life, making a positive difference in all the lives he touched. Dan will truly be missed.

A memorial for Dan will be held this Saturday, February 24, at 11:00 at Hope Church, 770 Pineloch Dr., Houston, TX 77062. Family will receive friends and family for visitation at the church at 10:00 am. The memorial service will be followed by a light lunch afterwards. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Hope Church.


  1. Dan lived such an interesting life and I am so sorry for his loss. I love the note in the obituary about Dan’s sense of humor. In the limited time I got to spend with Dan at family events I always got a big kick of his sly and smart sense of humor. Dan could highlight the most interesting thing with a funny and clever approach. Prayers and hope for Dorothy, Kira and Kristian.

    Paige Marvin
  2. To your family I’m so sorry your loss and will be praying for all .

    Kim gomez
  3. Dan joined NASA in Houston in 1985 — shortly after I arrived in 1983. I was very impressed with his quiet demeanor that reflected his watchful attention to detail and thoughtful application to his work. His quietude made it easy to work with him. When I learned of his passing, it was with a profound sense of loss for his family, church, and his teammates at NASA-Johnson Space Center especially in the Safety and Test Operations Division. If the depth of his loss equates to Heaven’s gain, they got a good one. Blessings to his wife Dorothy and his children Kira and Kristian. Godspeed, Dan. You did good.
    Ron Montague

    Ron and Nancy Montague
  4. I worked closely with Dan this past year and learned to admire his sense of calmness and respect for other. Our prayers are with Dan’s family in this difficult time.

    Livette Santiago
  5. Dan truly had that boyish grin whenever you would greet him. We will miss you Dan. You always were a big help at HOME- Help Our Military Endure events.
    Dorothy, Kristian and Kira, you are in our prayers.
    All our love,
    Trudy and Ronnie

    Trudy Duhon
  6. Dan has always been a quiet man. But I’ve found my quiet friends are the ones I tend to listen to the most. He’s given me counsel, wisdom, kind words, help every time I’ve ever thought to ask and every time I didn’t think enough to ask. And most of all, his laughter and friendship. I don’t think I ever beat him in cards or dominoes, but I know I always had a good time trying! Dan has shown me time and again how to be a true and faithful Husband, Father, and Servant to the Lord. My love and prayers go out to Dorothy, Kira, Kris and their family and friends always.

    Lee Chaviers
  7. We are so sorry for Dan’s passing and thinking of Dorothy, Kira and Kristian.
    Dan’s intelligence, kindness and sly sense of humor brought joy and fun to our family gathering’s over the year. We will miss him.

    Martha and Ben Graves
  8. Dan was truly and wonderful person and colleague! He will surely be missed! My prayers and condolences go out to the family.

    Chuck Landrum II
  9. I want to thank each of you for the comments you have written about Dan. I appreciate the prayers and uplifting comments you are sending our way. Being part of Dan’s life and your comments has shown me what an outstanding co-worker, friend, husband, and father he was! Thanks again for all your thoughtfulness!

    Dorothy Clem
  10. Dorthy, Kira, and Kristian, I am so sorry for the loss of your beloved husband and father. I went to grade school and junior high school with Dan. It was through his testimony in grade school, and my being invited to church where his father was the Pastor, that I came to know Christ as my Savior. Dan and I served together with other young people in our church during Bible Time and many youth meetings and activities. I learned so much from him. Every year in grade school Dan and his father would come to the school and shoot off rockets for our class. It was an exciting time for all of us and we loved it! During that time Dan told me that ONE DAY he was going to work at NASA! And he did! So proud of him for seeing one of his childhood dreams come true and for the many contributions he made to NASA, the military, and his local church. May the God of all comfort wrap His loving arms around you and carry you through this difficult time. Christine Grings

    Christine Grings
  11. Dorothy, Kira and Kristian,
    I am thinking of you all especially today as you lay Dan to rest. I am thankful you are surrounded by so many friends and family. I do hope in the midst of your grief you find strength to celebrate the life you all shared with Dan. His love for you all was evident and he will be missed.

    Kendal E Norberg
  12. We are so sorry for the loss of Dan, he was an amazing and witty individual. We we are thinking of Dorothy, Kira, and Kristian.

    Erin Bellamy
  13. Dan was one of the earliest autism advocates for our JSC community. He was one of the kindest and gentlest souls I have ever meet. His support and presence offered so many the ability to feel supported and validated. My most sincerest condolences for his family. We need more kind, steady, and solidly good people in the world like Dan. His absence is sorely missed.

    Anika Isaac

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