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Thomas Herbert ‘Clem’ Clements

September 22, 2011

Thomas Herbert ‘Clem’ Clements

Tom passed Sept. 16, 2011. He was 89. He lived a full life as a U.S. Marine, Musician (drummer) and Resort Owner. He was most at home playing his drums with his friends in “For the Love of Swing” and when he was hunting for big game. He loved the wilderness and moved from Lancaster to June Lake in 1958 to purchase June Lake Pines Cottages, which he owned with his wife Merle until 1975 when he retired to Bishop. He plowed snow, worked on the June Lake Lift, played drums and packed for Frontier Packing, where he began his love for hunting and fishing.
Tom was also an accomplished artist, painting oils of wilderness scenes. Upon his discharge from the U.S. Marines in 1945, he was also a rodeo bull rider. Tom began playing drums in high school. Working as a studio musician in Hollywood, he worked with Spade Cooley, Tex Williams’ Whippoorwills and had his own band “The Tomcats,” working at Disneyland.
During his distinguished Marine career, he gained three Purple Hearts and was promoted to sergeant. He first landed on Guadalcanal in 1942 at age 20 during World War II. In 1943, his unit was part of the water landing on Tarawa.
Tom’s hunting accomplishments include the “Grand Slam” of North American Sheep and he is also a member of a small group “Super Slam Club,” 10 North American animals. He hunted throughout Alaska, Canada, Mexico and North Western U.S. He travelled extensively throughout the world and was an avid collector.
Tom is survived by his son, Gary Clements of Kentucky; daughter, Sherri Williams and son-in-law, Doug Williams of Hawaii; grandson, Gary Alan Clements; and great-grandson, Gary Zefe Clements of Sun Valley; nieces, Kathy, Madsen and Jeanne Cordeiro of Novato and Margie Dillon of Oregon.
Tom was raised in Lancaster. His father was from Nova Scotia and his mother the British West Indies.
He was preceded in death by his two sisters, Shirley and Virginia.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 24, 2011 at Brune Mortuary Chapel in Bishop. The Rev. Kathleen Puntar of the First United Methodist Church will be officiating. Private graveside services will follow at East Line Street Cemetery with VFW Post No. 8988 officiating.
The family asks that donations in Tom’s memory be made to The American Cancer Society, P.O. Box 22718 Oklahoma City, OK 73123-1718.

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