Thomas Ford Clemens 1928 – 2021
Dear Family and Friends,
It is with great sadness that we convey the passing of our father, uncle, grandfather, and friend, Tom Clemens on January 5th in Placerville, CA from complications due to COVID. His grandson, George (Chuck) Cilley, was with him, as he has been for most of the past two years as Tom slowed and finally went to be with his wife Jean, who passed five years ago.
Tom was born in 1928 in Whitefish, Montana to Charles and Mary Clemens. The family moved about, finally settling in Sacramento in time for school for Tommy. Charles, a specialty printer, served in WWII during Tom’s high school years. Entering the University of Nevada at Reno and joining Air Force ROTC, Tom made lifelong friends and learned much from the returning veterans. He met Jean Nash, who lore has it, tutored Tom through chemistry, else he’d have not passed. They married in December of 1950, graduated, he in Mining Engineering she in Biology, and they started post-graduate school and jobs. Tom was called up by the Air Force for the Korean War, entering service in January 1952 and leaving active service in October of 1953, acting as a photo interpretation officer in Japan for much of his time.
The couple reunited and moved to Weed Heights, Nevada, where Tom started work for the Anaconda Copper Company. Three kids later, in 1960, they moved to Redding, CA where Tom became the junior plant engineer at Calavaras Cement Company. Over the years, the company changed names and he changed jobs, eventually becoming the overall plant manager of the Redding operation, retiring in 1990. Those years were filled with bridge clubs, the ‘meet and eat club’, school board service, community service and advocacy, and plenty of kid and extended family activities and visits.
Fulfilling a dream of Tom’s since one college summer spent surveying in eastern Nevada, they bought a plot of land and had a home built with a picture window that always faced their beautiful Ruby Mountains, outside Elko. Retiring there did not slow them, as they traveled, met and nurtured new friendships, helped create a new church, and still found time for desert picnics and attending every family reunion.
To many in the extended family, Tom’s most enduring legacies will be his calm cheerfulness, his warm heart, and his quiet levelheadedness that softly supported all of his family. He was an honest, dear, and open man and he will be deeply missed by all.
It was his express wish that his ashes be scattered with Jean’s. For those who know the site, plan to see us there over the July 4th weekend in 2022.
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