Kent S. Clary was born Sept. 25, 1925, in Hamburg to Edgar J. and Margaret Clary.
He was preceded by wife of 62 years, Helen.
Kent could always be seen in and around Hamburg, both in his youth and retirement years. He was a shoeshine boy at his father’s barbershop, Pete’s Barber Shop, a newspaper boy, and worked at Interstate Nursery at the age of 12. By the age of 16 he lived at Hamburg Hospital and worked in the maintenance/custodial department. He attended Hamburg High School.
In 1943 Kent joined the United States Navy. Boot camp was in Farragut, Idaho, and then he went to Great Lakes, Illinois for machinist school. His first duty assignment was on the USS Miantonomah CMc-5, a minelayer/ cargo ship, which took part in the Normandy landing on D-Day, June 6, 1944. On Sept. 25, 1944, Kent’s 19th birthday, the ship was carrying supplies from Cherbourg, France to LeHarve, France when, at 2:15 p.m. the ship hit a mine in the LeHarve Harbor. The ship sank within 23 minutes and Kent woke up three days later in a French hospital. He was then transferred to a hospital in England and remained there until January 1945. Kent returned to the war, this time in the Pacific Theater, on the USS Frankford DD-497, a destroyer. His ship was one of the first to make port in Hiroshima, after the A-bomb, in October 1945.
After the war ended he was assigned to APA 165 Transport in China and Korea. He was discharged from the Navy June 1946.
After the war he became a plumber’s apprentice with Kelly Plumbing. In 1948 he joined the Masonic Lodge, Jerusalem Lodge #253, A.F. & A.M., with his father, grandfather, and uncles participating.
On Oct. 2, 1948, in Rock Port, Mo., he married Helen Anspach. In 1951 they moved to California where Kent worked for various plumbing contractors. In 1953 Kent was hired by Douglas Aircraft in El Segundo, Calif., as a plant engineer, where he ran the wind tunnel for aircraft testing. That same year Kent and Helen bought their first house in Torrance, Calif., and later that year Helen gave birth to their son, Shane Michael. In 1956 Helen gave birth to their second child, Janis Marie.
The couple remained in California until Kent’s retirement, after 33 years, with McDonnel-Douglas in 1986, when they moved back to Hamburg.
Kent became an active citizen of Hamburg. He served on the city council during the 1990’s, was an active part of the revival of the Colonial Theater and the inspiration for the Avenue of the Flags at Hamburg Cemetery on Memorial Day. He was a member of the Kiwanis Club and American Legion Honor Guard.
Page 2 of 2 - When asked how he was doing, Kent always responded, “I’m fine,” but on June 6, 2013 Kent lost his battle with COPD and congestive heart failure.
He leaves behind his son, Shane, and daughter-in-law Susan; his daughter, Janis, and son-in-law Nick; grandsons Vincent, Gregory, and Matthew; brother Lynn and sister-in-law Joan; a niece and nephew, and many cousins.
Kent will be remembered for his spicy hot chili, photography, wood working, and his “short game” on the golf course. A few days before he passed Kent stated, “I guess I have reached the end of my trail.” Although true to this life, Kent is now rejoicing in his new life with his beloved wife, Helen.
Graveside memorial services will be held Saturday, June 15, at 10:30 a.m. at the Hamburg Cemetery followed by inurnment. Complete military services will be conducted by the Hamburg American Legion Post.
A Masonic service will be held Friday evening at 7 p.m. at the Rash-Gude Funeral Home in Hamburg followed by the family receiving friends until 8 p.m.
Memorials may be given to the Hamburg Rescue in lieu of flowers.
Rash-Gude Funeral Home, Hamburg, is in charge of the arrangements.