William Clendenin Obituary

Service Information

 
In Memory of

William Tracy Clendenin

January 27, 1924 - July 25, 2014
Obituary

A strong, loving and loyal heart came to rest on July 25, 2014 with the peaceful passing of William T. Clendenin. Bill was born in Merced on January 27, 1924, the 5th of 6 children born to Michael William and Mary Estella McMaster-Clendenin. He was born, raised and schooled in the Le Grand area, graduating from Le Grand High School in 1941. He happily lived all of his 90 years within Merced County. In 1943 he joined the US Army, serving in the European Theatre of War as a mechanic and half-track driver under General Patton. At the end of WWII, he was honorably discharged with the rank of Tech 4 and returned to his family in Le Grand....
A strong, loving and loyal heart came to rest on July 25, 2014 with the peaceful passing of William T. Clendenin. Bill was born in Merced on January 27, 1924, the 5th of 6 children born to Michael William and Mary Estella McMaster-Clendenin. He was born, raised and schooled in the Le Grand area, graduating from Le Grand High School in 1941. He happily lived all of his 90 years within Merced County.

In 1943 he joined the US Army, serving in the European Theatre of War as a mechanic and half-track driver under General Patton. At the end of WWII, he was honorably discharged with the rank of Tech 4 and returned to his family in Le Grand. Upon returning home, Bill was associated with his brothers in the trucking business and in the operation of the Grangers Business Organization. His next job, which he claimed was his favorite, was working for Ted McVey in the Service Station business; surely this was where he learned his gift for gab and socializing with every friend or stranger to cross his path. He later joined Farmer's Insurance when they first opened their office in Merced.

On June 13, 1953, he married Edna Malacrida at the Our Lady of Mercy Church in Merced. The family was blessed to celebrate their 61st Wedding Anniversary just last month.

Bill started farming tomatoes and peppers under the guidance of his new father-in-law, Dante Malacrida. Upon Dante's retirement, Bill took over the family farming operation, and continued it with great enthusiasm for the land and its bounty for over 25 years. He farmed in the El Nido, Plainsburg, and Merced area, and was a long standing member of the Merced Tomato Growers Association, once located at the corner of Hwy 59 and 16th street. Bill and Edna ventured into the almond orchard business in 1981, planting and developing an orchard in east Merced, only to hand it over to their children who continue to farm it today.

Bill and Edna enjoyed many years of traveling in their RV with dear friends and family through many states, Mexico and especially the fishing trips to Vancouver Islands in Canada. While at home, he was an active member and past president of the Merced Eagles Aerie #2194, Merced American Legion, Merced County Old Timers, Blue Diamond Almond Growers, he was a former longtime member of Merced Elks #1240, and was a recipient of the Elk of the Year Award. He inspired his children to love and live the farming life early on, by being a 4-H project leader while they were young and then supporting their local FFA Chapters and Merced College Ag Department. Once the RV keys were hung up, he would enjoy his and Edna's daily social trips to visit with friends over a cup of coffee at the local McDonald's, cruising by the many almond orchards to see what the "working folk" were doing, and enjoyed visits with his grandchildren, encouraging them on the most important aspects of life… work hard, contribute to your community, remain sincere and always true to your morals and values.

His three brothers, Melvin, Ellsworth, John Clendenin and sister, Ella June Beers, preceded Bill in death. He is survived by his loving wife, Edna, his sons, Daniel (Carol), Thomas and James, and his daughter Karen (James) Clendenin-Stone. He also sadly leaves behind five grandchildren, Alicia (Kevin) Cerruti, Catherine (Chad) Schwartz, Stephanie Clendenin, Bryan Clendenin and Kailey Stone, along with two great-grand children, Abigail Cerruti and Varick Schwartz. Also surviving Bill is his sister Alda Laverne Jordan-Buschow, his sister-in-laws, Irene Migliazzo, and Delores Clendenin, and many cherished nieces and nephews.

Bill loved a crowd, and was never known to be speechless among family, friends or even strangers. His final wish is for a simple graveside service. Please join his family in honoring his wish, and celebrating his wonderful life on Wednesday, July 30th, at 10:00am at the Plainsburg Cemetery. A gathering to share laughs and stories will immediately follow.

Bill would most appreciate any memorial donations be directed to an agriculture program. The family has established a William Clendenin Family Memorial Scholarship to support Agriculture Students with the Merced College Scholarship Foundation 3600 M St Merced, California, or a charity of the donor's choice.

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"To the entire Family, It is hard to believe ALL those years have passed while our families were growing up in east Merced. Just great memories and our..." Mark N. Pazin (Merced, CA)

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William T Clendenin January 27, 1924-July 25, 2014 A strong, loving and loyal heart came to rest on July 25, 2014 with the peaceful passing of...

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