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Hulking Pens fan had soft spot for kids, animals

| Saturday, June 7, 2014, 8:39 p.m.
Silas 'Cy' Clark Jr., 53, of Verona, passed away peacefully, after a three year battle with cancer, Thursday, June 5, 2014, surrounded by his family.

When other school children were wearing Pittsburgh Steelers gear in the 1970s, Cy Clark proudly sported clothing from the then-less popular Pittsburgh Penguins.

But his outfit at Penguins home games decades later — a Pens jersey bearing “Malkamania,” a bandana and a black-and-gold feather boa — is what will keep Mr. Clark ingrained in Pittsburgh sports lore.

“I would ask, ‘Can we go to a game without the boa and all the signs?' ” his wife, Joanne Clark, said Saturday. “He enjoyed it. He liked getting the fans riled up for the game, getting them involved and cheering for the Pens.”

Silas Clark Jr. of Verona died on Thursday, June 5, 2014, in UPMC St. Margaret, at 53. He had been battling cancer for three years.

Mr. Clark attended the franchise's first game in 1967 in the former Civic Arena, his wife said.

Mr. Clark won a contest several years ago where people thought he looked like pro wrestler Hulk Hogan, complete with Fu Manchu mustache. He then adopted that persona at games, lugging signs taunting visiting players. His antics spread quickly on social media. His usual seat: On the glass in a corner of Consol Energy Center.

In 2013, a video went viral online showing Flyers left winger Scott Hartnell teasing Mr. Clark from the Flyers' bench. Mr. Clark previously brought signs teasing Hartnell, his wife said.

“People get all bent out of shape over that whole famous exchange,” Clark said. “But Scott Hartnell would laugh when he saw the signs. Scott knew it was done in fun and was not mean-spirited. He knew it was all part of the game.”

Hartnell could not be reached. On his Facebook page Thursday, he wrote, “We are saddened to hear of the passing of Cy Clark (aka Hulk)... He was a great sport and a true hockey fan. Our thoughts are with his family today.”

Mr. Clark was active with several charities, including Toys 4 Tots, the Animal Rescue League, and the Kiski Valley Cat and Kitten Rescue.

“A lot of people know him as just a Penguins guy, but they don't know the full Cy. He's very much a softie,” Clark said.

In addition to his wife, Mr. Clark is survived by his mother, Anna Marie Clark, of Monroeville; and sisters Evelyn Herrmann of Plum and Donna Spong of Macon, Ga., and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his father, Silas Clark Sr.

Friends will be received from 1 to 4 and 6 to 9 p.m. Sunday in Burket-Truby Funeral Home Cremation & Alternative Services Inc., 421 Allegheny Ave., Oakmont. A funeral service will be held at 10 a.m. Monday in Riverside Community Church, Oakmont.

Bill Vidonic is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-380-5621 or bvidonic@tribweb.com.

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