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Disabled American Veterans (DAV)
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Life Story / Obituary
When reflecting on the life of Clarence Haines, it is easy to see that he loved life and lived it to the fullest each day. After spending only a few moments with him, it was clear that his life was deeply rooted in a vibrant faith that was his constant companion Clarence was blessed to share the majority of his life with his true love, and together they witnessed their family tree blossom to include numerous branches of loved ones who made him so very proud. A man of honor, integrity, and unconditional love for those around him, Clarence will be deeply missed.
It was great to be an American during the 1920s. These were primarily prosperous days when innovation brought us things like radios, washing machines, and cars that were widely mass produced on assembly lines. Amidst this time of discovery was the year 1924 when David and Alma (Hoffman) Haines were pleased to announce the birth of the baby boy they named Clarence M. on April 17, 1924. He was the third of four children to be raised in the family homes in both Lansing and Holt, Michigan, as he was joined in his family by his older siblings, Dorothy and Thelma, and his younger brother, Charles.
In many ways Clarence was a young boy of his generation. His father was in the real estate business while his mother was a busy homemaker. Clarence attended local schools, and it was while in high school that his family moved from Lansing to Holt when his father purchased a farm. As a high school student he ran track and played some football, and he went on to graduate from high school in 1942.
After graduating from high school, Clarence was ready for all that life had in store. He worked on his father’s farm a bit, but these were the days of WWII, and Clarence answered the call to serve during this time. He was a soldier in the Army for a couple of years and was involved in the occupation of Japan during this time. While he was overseas, Clarence’s parents moved back to his father’s hometown of Vicksburg, so this is where Clarence went when he was discharged. After getting off the train in Vicksburg at night, he realized that he had no idea where to go. Always resourceful, Clarence walked around until he saw a car that looked like his brother’s car. Thank goodness he ended up in the right place as it was his family who answered the door!
A bit later, new and exciting changes were in store for Clarence when he met the young woman of his dreams. Her name was Margaret, and she was in nurses training at Bronson. It was 1949 when they met, and their first date was spent at Galesburg Speedway on a blind date. Sparks flew, and that date led to more dates. Once she was through with her schooling, Clarence and Margaret were married on September 16, 1951, in Northport, MI. He was worked for Lee Paper Company, beginning as an oiler. Clarence later became a machinist, and he spent more than 40 years there before retiring. Together Clarence and Margaret welcomed two children into their hearts and home, Brenda and Dwight. He designed their home and also had his own water system for the yard. Clarence was a genuine handyman who could fix anything - as long as it wasn’t anything involving food. It has been said that he may have never cooked in his life as it was definitely not his strong suit, but he did love baked beans.
Over the years Clarence was always one to stay busy. He loved traveling and truly appreciated the beauty of the world around him. For the past few years, Clarence and his wife spent a couple of months at their timeshare in Florida in the fall, beginning in September. He loved the water and regularly walked a few miles a day on the beach. Back at home, Clarence loved being a grandfather and great-grandfather, and since he was a bit of a kid at heart he could often be found playfully teasing and pestering his grandchildren. A man of deep faith, Clarence was a longtime member of Vicksburg United Methodist Church. He enjoyed stamp collecting, loved working in the yard, and also collected model cars, particularly Ford cars. Clarence was also very proud to have owned four convertible cars in his life time. Clarence treasured the companionship of his dog, Mickey, and even asked how he was doing while in the hospital. When it came to music, he liked contemporary music as well as big band music.
All who knew Clarence Haines would agree that he was an extraordinary man to know and love. He lived an active life and always liked to be busy, and he was known for his strong work ethic throughout his life. Clarence deeply loved his family and was often teasing people, which made him so much fun to be around. A jack of all trades, at least as long as it wasn’t in the kitchen, he has even been described as a perfectionist. Deeply loved, Clarence will be forever missed.
Clarence M. Haines, of Vicksburg, passed away on Tuesday, May 17, 2016. Clarence’s family includes his wife, Margaret; two children: Brenda (James) McCallum, of Galesburg; Dwight Haines, of Kalamazoo; two grandchildren: Nicole (Tim) Wilson, of Galesburg; and David (Tara) McCallum, of Galesburg; four great grandchildren: Nathan, Elijah, Ryan, Eric. Clarence was preceded in death by his siblings: Dorothy Hill, Thelma Lee, and Charles Haines. The family will receive friends on Friday from 10-11a.m. at Life Story Funeral Home, 409 S. Main, Vicksburg (269-649-1697). A funeral service will be held on Friday at 11a.m. at the funeral home. Burial Vicksburg Cemetery. Please visit Clarence’s webpage at www.lifestorynet.com where you can sign the guestbook and share a memory and/or photo. Those who wish may make a contribution to the Disabled American Veterans (DAV).