Mr. Clarence Michael Dugie, passed away on May 3, 2013 at the age of 69. He was born on January 06, 1944 in Panna Maria, Texas to Alex P. and Rose Moczygemba Dugie. He is preceded in death by his parents and his brother Eusebuis Dugie. He is survived by his beloved wife of 33 years, Mrs. Nancy Riedel Dugie; his daughters Clarice (John) Waters and Melissa Teeler, sons Chad (Deanne) Dugie, and Jonathan (Shelby) Dugie; grandchildren JT and Hannah Waters, Hunter Teeler, and Jack and Kenley Dugie; sister Ethel (Conrad) Pawelek; brothers Claude (JoAnn) Dugie and Alex (Bernice) Dugie; sister in law Beatrice (Mike) Bittner; numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins. Clarence was a veteran of the Vietnam War where he was awarded the Purple Heart and Bronze Star. He was a dedicated member of the Garden Ridge Lions Club and received the Melvin Jones Award. A visitation will be held at Colonial Funeral Home on Monday, May 06, 2013 from 5pm – 9pm with a Rosary at 7pm. A Celebration Mass will be held at Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Selma on Tuesday, May 07, 2013 at 10am. Internment will follow at Holy Cross Mausoleum. In lieu of flowers please make any donations to the Gardenridge Lions Club.
Eulogy written by: Shelby Dugie
Night before last all of us were together sitting by the pool and reminiscing about all the wonderful things about Dad. On April 27, 2013, Mom and Dad were able to celebrate their unwavering love for one another for the 33rd time. Going through all of the family photo albums, one would have sworn they had been married for 66 years. There were countless pictures of family vacations, nights out on the town, award ceremonies, sporting events, weddings, and fun at the Dugie ranch. Some of those memories we reminisced about the past few days. It's difficult to encompass somebody's whole life in just a few short minutes, but I am going to give it my best shot. Mom has decided that we all need to start a yearly tradition and pull out all the family albums so that we never take for granted all the blessings God has granted us. She remembers when this journey began like it was yesterday. She got a call from Dad asking her if they could go out dancing some time and she decided to give him a chance. She was scared for him to come pick her up at her house, so she sent him across the street to her sisters to pick her up there. They went out dancing and have been inseparable ever since. Dancing was his idea a perfect Friday night, which started one of their favorite family routines. Friday night started out with Dad playing old music on his jukebox to get him all fired up. Then, he would put on Austin City Limits for some family time. Afterwards, they would all pile up to go eat somewhere. Finally, they would finish up dancing the night away at the Bluebonnet. We all had the joy of dancing with Dad and letting us feel like we were on Dancing with the stars, even though he did all the work. He would carry the beat in his shoulders and glide across the dance floor with whoever was willing. Mom says there were times she couldn't keep up, that he never missed a dance and she would have to send him off to find another lucky woman, while she took a break!
Truth be told, even greater than his love for dancing, was his love for his family. His kids and grandkids were his pride and joy. There wasn't ever a time he didn't brag about one of them while bumping in to an old friend or even a stranger for that matter. He knew everybody and if he didn't, he made sure that he knew them before he left. He could talk to anyone, anywhere, at any time and it was always about his kids, grandkids, cows, or the weather. John especially remembers how every time he got on the phone with Dad, the first words out of his mouth were, "How is the weather?" He loved the rain and was thrilled to go out and measure how many inches we got. It was NEVER enough. The only time he was satisfied was when the house was flooded. And even then he would say, "This will only last a week!"
Chad remembers how handy it was for him to know everyone, especially when there was a ticket involved. Dad was really good at keeping Chad's ticket a secret for mom so neither one would have to suffer her wrath.
His grandkids were so lucky to have "Opa's shoulder." We always said that we should've molded his shoulder and recorded his voice soothing the babies like magic with "Ay, Ay, Ay, Ay." They could be screaming one second and out like a light with him in another second. And oh how he loved it when they slept on him. It gave him a chance and a good excuse to take a nap. Dad was so calm, never worried, and never had to raise his voice. Jonathan and Chad remember when they almost burned down the furniture store. He never got angry just greeted them with a fire extinguisher and went about his day. Another funny time was when Chad and Trey decided to go mudding and got stuck. Chad gave the shovel to Trey and he was going to use the pitchfork. Dad said, "what are you gonna do with a pitchfork?" Chad says, "I'm going to dig us out." Dad replies, "You're going to punch a hole in my tire." Chad says, "No I'm not……Pshhhhhhhh!" Dad was right, but still remained perfectly calm.
The only times anyone ever heard him get vocal was when sports were involved. He really got into the games. So much that he even had the cops called on him for yelling at the rep one time. Another time, he just got up and kicked a trash can clear across the gym, sending trash flying everywhere and leaving it for them to pick up. His job was done; he had given support with every fiber of his being. There was one Dugie Christmas in particular that we were laughing about. Dad had put so much thought and effort into this hayride. The route was planned, the hay was loaded, the tractor was ready, and all he needed was the family loaded up. The only problem was that it was 22 degrees outside and no one really wanted to go. He was not taking no for an answer. He got stern with everyone and said, "We are going on this hayride, now everybody get in!" He would be driving along and everyone was freezing, as long as he was looking straight ahead. The moment he would turn around to check on everyone, they would all throw their arms up in the air and scream with "JOY" like they were having the time of their lives!
There was one thing that Dad didn't really enjoy too much and that was shopping. Whenever mom needed something done, she knew all she had to do was say she had to go shopping and he would jump up and offer to mow the lawn, do the dishes, watch the kids, feed the cows…anything he could do to keep from having to go shopping.
Did I mention how much Dad loved his cows? One time however, he got into an altercation with one of them. He was wearing the brand new $40 shirt mom had just bought him. The cow won that battle and tore his shirt to pieces. He went straight to see mom at the store and didn't bother changing shirts. He wanted her to see he was still alive and had survived the life threatening event. She was so mad about the shirt, she couldn't even see the poor puppy dog look on his face telling her he was lucky to be there showing her.
His cows and tractor got him a lot of attention. He all the time had little old ladies stopping to talk to him, because they were impressed with his tractor skills. City Slickers would stop and take pictures because they couldn't believe that he was feeding cows with a tractor on the side of the road. He loved the attention I'm sure. He was a country boy through and through. He never missed an opportunity to take the scenic route. Sometimes he would be driving forever, and we would ask, "How far away are we?" His response invariably was, "Just down the road." It could be 232 miles down the road, but it was still just down the road.
Dad loved taking naps in his chair. We all knew when he was really out because he would start speaking in Polish. The only other time we heard Polish was if he was upset. He would walk away and mumble Polish to himself. Then he was all better.
Each of the kids and mom had a special bond with Dad. Clarice vividly remembers being his princess! He would do anything and everything to give her everything she wanted, no questions asked. Chad remembers how cool dad was to keep secrets so wouldn't get in trouble by mom. Jonathan remembers how his dad always instilled a strong work ethic with him and taught him so much about everything that it was just natural to be a handy man. Melissa will always remember him for treating her as his own from the moment he first met her. I will always remember him for being the best Opa in the world to our babies. Jack in particular worshiped the ground Opa walked on. He has never gone a day since he started talking without speaking of Opa, his cows, his tractor, his work, his truck, or Ay Ay time. For these reasons and so many more, Dad has taught us to count all of our blessings as they come.
The last 2.5 months have been a shock and filled with pain and suffering for him as well as the family. We were ready to do anything to give him one more day or make him comfortable. The last day we were able to grant his last wish and that was to bring him home where all of his memories were made and family was built. Mom keeps talking about how good Dad was to her, but we all hope that she knows how incredibly amazing she has been to him. Even when all else had failed and hopes were shattered, she was there to stay and reassure him she would never fail him. Instead she spent 2.5 months showing him and us every moment that she loved him so deeply. And in many ways, he showed us the same even up to the very end. Even when he was no longer grounded in reality, he never forgot her and wanted her by his side at every moment. Life has shown us trials and tribulations, and although we are never ready to let go, God was ready to free him of all pain and suffering.
Eulogy written by: Randy Fleisher
Suzy and I have known Clarence and Nancy for over 30 years. Clarence and I had a great friendship that exists to this day. We shared the good and bad times and have recently enjoyed talking about each others grandchildren. Even when my work took me from San Antonio to New York City for 18 years, the friendship not only continued, but became stronger when we returned.
As you just heard, Clarence was very much a family man. He was the most content and at peace when he was with Nancy surrounded by his family and friends. Nancy mentioned the other night that, "Clarence was in celebration with all that have departed and Odo Riedel was in control." While the kids were growing up he made sure that they maintained the family values that both he and Nancy experienced during their lives. By the example of our parents as well as Nancy and Clarence, Suzy and I made sure that we extended those same values to our girls. He was so proud of his children and we would talk often about their accomplishments and challenges. Actually, the conversations would kind of be like therapy sessions for both of us. We would talk about Hunter's basketball tournaments and of course his beloved Aggies. This past football season he was especially proud of the Aggies and their success in their first year with the SEC. The game we couldn't stop talking about was the one with Alabama. I had also stated what a great game it was and how proud I was of them. Now, most of you who know me know that I graduated from UT Austin and that I bleed orange. So, you should of seen the look on Clarence's face when he heard me say how proud I was of A&M. My response was "What?" He said, "I'm surprised you feel that way." Both laughing, I said, "Clarence, A&M left the Big 12 not Texas. They are still in Texas and I am a Texan." He and I are also big Yankee fans. Since the Houston Astros are now a part of the American League, we were planning to go see the Yankees in Houston this season. Now, he will be able to watch the Yankees wherever they play.
Clarence was a man of faith. He loved the Church and all that it stands for and he believed in the Profession of Faith that we recite every week and found strength in the Eucharist. His life was lived in Christ and with Christ. And Father John, he was so proud when you were ordained a few years ago. He carried that faith throughout all his life and passed it on to his children. Even when he found out about the devastating illness he had, there was no giving up. He tried every treatment that was offered not knowing if it would work or not; but placing the outcome in the hands of the Lord. As my daughter Kelsea stated this past Friday, "God has added another angel to his ranks."
Clarence was a man of service. He served his country valiantly during the Vietnam War. He served his parish in many ways during the years and he has served this community through his 19 years of membership in the Garden Ridge Lions Club. He was dedicated to serving those less fortunate by delivering food baskets at Thanksgiving and Christmas. He worked very hard each year to ensure that the major fund raiser, the annual Fish Fry and Auction, was successful to provide those food baskets. For his work and dedication, he was recognized last year for his service by Lions Club International by being presented the prestigious Melvin Jones award. He loved his country and this community. Over the years, we had several discussions regarding current events. Whatever topic of interest we were talking about somehow or another Rush Limbaugh was present. I never listen to Rush Limbaugh, but then again I didn't have too. Clarence would let me know what he said about the topics we were talking about.
Clarence, as humble as you are, you probably would of not liked me to say all these things, but you became a role model and brother to me. So, on behalf of the Garden Ridge Lions Club and all that are gathered here today, I would like to say that We Love You and Will Miss You and say what my mother in law said to my father in law when he went to the Lord: "Til We Meet Again."