Local childhood sweethearts reconnected on social media and now are building a life with their two daughters in Viera, near where it all started.
Robert and Carlyn Clark met in the sixth grade at Holland Elementary School, where they were childhood sweethearts for three months.
They remained friends while attending DeLaura Middle School and Satellite Beach High School, but upon graduation, like most do, they went their separate ways to college and to start their adult lives.
But that separation did not last for too long. The feelings were still there 10 years later when they reconnected on Facebook.
That reacquaintance led to a rekindling of their love and then marriage. The couple will celebrate their 12-year anniversary in March.
The Clarks decided to raise their two daughters, Devin, 17, a junior, and London, 6, a first grader in Viera. Both attend Holy Trinity Episcopal Academy.
“I’ve been in the area quite a while since 1986 when I was in the fourth grade,” Robert Clark said.
He still remembers when Wickham Road was two lanes flanked by cow pastures and wetlands.
“We used to drive to Orlando to go to the mall and there was that one lone house out there (in what is now Viera) and I thought, ‘Who would ever want to live out there?’,” Carlyn Clark said.
Fast forward nearly 30 years into the future and Viera has developed at an exponential rate.
The Clarks moved to Viera and have enjoyed living in Reeling Park for the past six years.
Nearly seven years ago, Robert Clark started a company called Kona Gold Beverages, which now distributes its products nationally, including lemonades, hemp energy drinks, CBD energy waters, and CBD Alkaline waters, according to the website konagoldbeverage.com.
“We started with an energy drink. Then, we expanded to include flavored waters. Last year, we acquired a lemonade company. The product is sold in local WaWas. We also distribute our products throughout the country and have other warehouses around the country,” he said.
Carlyn Clark was a teacher in the Brevard Public Schools for 18 years.
“I was at Ralph Williams for 15 years and then at Viera Charter School for three years, and in Merritt Island before that,” she said. Carlyn taught sixth through eighth grades and also has taught preschool.
Carlyn now teaches a Women’s Bible study for young moms at the Church At Viera on Wednesdays.
“She is busier than I am,” Robert said laughing.
The Clarks also are a family that plays together.
“We have a full gym that we built during COVID. We have all the Crossfit equipment here. My older daughter does full Crossfit and we all work out together,” Robert said.
London is learning gymnastics with a private coach.
Regarding living in Viera, the couple could not be happier.
“We love Viera,” said Carlyn.
“I’ve always loved the area,” Robert said. “The weather is all-around fantastic. We have neighbors, friends, and family within a 3-mile radius. It’s very convenient.”
“We also like the safety aspect of it,” Carlyn said. The nice, safe communities, all of the community events. It has that small-town feel without really being a small town. I feel like we know everyone.”