Clare Duncan Clemens

January 08, 1932 ‒ October 06, 2019

Mansfield, Ohio


MANSFIELD – Clare Duncan Clemens passed away on Sunday, Oct. 6, 2019, following an unexpected illness at the age of 87.

Clare was born on Jan. 8, 1932, in Shreve, Ohio. Having moved to Loudonville as a young child, she graduated from Loudonville High School in 1949. At the age of 17, Clare started her education at Ashland University. Marriage, children and finances prevented her from finishing. She did end up graduating from Ashland University at the age of 65, the same day her granddaughter Leah graduated from Bowling Green State University.

As a young mother in the 1950s and ‘60s with three kids and a husband just starting a dental practice, Clare began her lifelong commitment to making a difference in whatever community she lived in.

Starting an insurance agency with Nationwide when the theme song was still “the man from nationwide is on your side,” Clare faced many challenges as a woman in business. Despite these challenges, she became the first woman president of the Life Underwriter Association and retired after 33 years. She also was an adjunct instructor at North Central State College in Mansfield.

Clare served on the boards of the Richland County Humane Society, Planned Parenthood in Richland County, and Richland Newhope Industries. She was a founding member of the Richland County Foundation Women’s Fund, founding member of the Richland Academy of the Arts and a past member of the JoAnne Dutton Women Leader’s Group. Clare started the Women’s Auxiliary for Harmony House and served as the first president of the auxiliary.

After retiring, Clare joined SCORE to give back to those starting new businesses. She was chair for three consecutive years and was appointed as lifetime honorary member for her achievements. Clare is a past member of the Mansfield Area Chamber of Commerce; Kingwood Center, where she also volunteered; the Mansfield Art Center; the Renaissance Theatre; and the Ohio Bird Sanctuary. She had been active at St. Paul Lutheran Church while living in Bellville.

Clare loved to play bridge and was a gourmet cook. She also took up fly fishing in her 70s, about the same time she bought a Porsche Boxster. She liked fast cars.

She was preceded in death by her former husband, Dr. Robert T. Duncan; her husband, Reece Clemens; and dear friend Dr. Howard Trupp of Brantford, Ontario, Canada.

Survivors include children Susan Duncan Gentille (David R. Krenrick) of Bellville, David D. Duncan (Ellen Harnish) of Bellville, and Diana “Anna” L. Duncan of Lexington.

She is also survived by grandchildren Leah Duncan Maurer (Andrew) of Lake Orion, Michigan; R. Adam Duncan Gentille of Bellville; Caitlin Duncan of Lexington; Jared Krenrick (Brooke Fishman) of Powell; and Chad Krenrick of Columbus; and numerous nieces and nephews.

A proud great-grandmother, Clare spent much time with her namesake, Maya Clare, and Nathan and Rachel Maurer, who made many trips back and forth from Michigan over the years to spend time with their Great-Gran.  The newest great-grandchild is baby Grayson, son of Caitlin Duncan.

Friends are invited to call Friday, October 11, 2019 from 11 am to 1 pm in the Marion Avenue Snyder Funeral Home.  A funeral service honoring Clare will follow at 1 pm.  Burial will be in Bellville Cemetery.

Memorial donations in memory of Clare may be made to The Mansfield Art Center or the Richland County Foundation Women’s Fund.

Snyder Funeral Home is honored to serve Clare’s family and suggest messages of condolences by

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  • Dear Susan and family, It was such sad news to hear of Clare’s passing. It was an honor to have been her hairstylist for many many years. The true honor was to call her my friend. I will miss her and think of her with fond memories. Peace to all of you, Molly Miller

  • I was so sorry to hear of your Mother’s passing. She was a special person and I will miss seeing her at St Paul’s and Kroger. My thoughts and prayers are with you Susan and your family.

  • So sad to learn of Clares passing.She was truly a unique and special person.She certainly leaves a void and my thoughts and prayers are with you Susan and the family.Lydia

  • I was saddened to have read of Clare’s passing. She was a wonderful friend and a very good patient. I enjoyed her many clever conversations whether it was in the dental office or wherever. Clare was a proud person, and very capable in whatever project she chose to do. She is missed by all that had the privilege of knowing her. God bless her and her family.

  • Clare has been strongly on my mind for the past two weeks. Now I know why.
    We were dear friends, then our lives took us in different directions. She was so accomplished, so bright, so fun to be with – I have missed her.
    My condolences to you. How fortunate you are to have had her love and guidance. May those memories bring you comfort.
    Colinda Brenner Stailey