Clairmont H. Beal
August 28, 1912 ‒ February 19, 2010
MANSFIELD ~ Clair Beal was the biggest little man you could ever meet. What he lacked in stature, he more than made up in personality. His “uniqueness” didn’t just bend toward “orneriness” it was full-blown mischievousness! No one ever described Clair as “mild”, as he had a cowboy mentality.
Irascible, yet loveable, Clair passed away Friday morning February 19, 2010 in MedCentral Mansfield Hospital, and a million experiences and stories passed with him. He was 97.
Born Clairmont Hunter Beal on August 28, 1912 in Mansfield, he was the son of Frank and Georgia (Hunter) Beal, and was graduated from Butler High School in 1930. Raised on a farm in southeast Richland County, Clair always had a gun in his hands. He would bag rabbits and pheasant, turkey and squirrel that their family used for food. This started a lifelong love of hunting.
For 40 years, he made annual pilgrimages out west to hunt, first in Montana and later in Wyoming. At age 65, convinced his hunting years were waning, Clair encouraged others to join him. At 75, he helped in a full round-up, branding cattle and throwing calves. Clair hunted well into his 90s.
With the spirit of a cowboy, he was rough and tumble, but could clean up very well ~ he even enjoyed a fine business suit, though he may have not always been tactful.
A 69-year member of St. Matthew Lutheran Church, Clair was a staunch man of faith. He served on church counsel, taught Sunday school and was active with Men at Matthew.
He had worked 37 years with Westinghouse as a tool and die maker, retiring in 1974. He was a member of Westinghouse Veterans, Retmans Club, Grotto, Ruth Chapter #17 Order of Eastern Star, and a 65-year member of Venus Lodge #152.
Just over four years ago, he moved to The Waterford, where he lived his admonition to fellow residents “get off your ass and on your feet”…by walking several miles every day.
Clair had a soft spot in his heart for the little ones ~ he loved the little babies the best, and as a good provider was “always there for the family.”
He is survived by daughters and sons-in-law Bonnie Jean & Walter Head of Tucson, AZ, Georgia Ann & Ronald Bacquet of Lexington, KY, Nancy Lou & Richard Henkel of Princeton, NJ, Cheryol & Jimmie Miller of Mansfield; a son and daughter-in-law James & Tabby Beal of Mansfield; 14 grandchildren; 17 great grandchildren; a brother and sister-in-law Charles & Gladys Beal of Mansfield; and nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his wife Grace (Hosler) Beal in 2002; brothers Raymond, Kenneth, Wellington and Frank Beal and a sister Birdella Distl.
The Beal family will receive friends Sunday, February 21, 2010 from 2 to 5 p.m. in the Finefrock Chapel of the Marion Avenue Snyder Funeral Home, 350 Marion Avenue (Former Finefrock Funeral Home), where a Masonic memorial service will follow at 5 p.m. His funeral service will be held Monday at 11 a.m. in the funeral home, conducted by the Rev. Marilou Brook and his nephew the Rev. Richard Beal. Burial will follow in Mansfield Memorial Park, where in Clair’s own words “the snow is ass deep to a tall Indian!”
Contributions in his memory to St. Matthew Lutheran Church may be made at the funeral home.
Snyder Funeral Home is honored to serve the Beal family, and condolences to them may be made at: www.snyderfuneralhomes.com