Life Story Funeral Homes®
The exclusive providers of the Life Story Experience


Life Story Funeral Homes®
The exclusive providers of the Life Story Experience

Robert E. Clemens

February 6, 2024
Tucson, AZ




Robert E. Clemens of Tucson, Arizona

Robert E. Clemens grew up in the Edison neighborhood and attended Kalamazoo Central High School. He met the love of his life, Karen Acuna, in 10th grade and they were inseparable ever since - graduating together in 1961; marrying at St. Therese Parish in Wayland, Michigan in 1964; and moving together to Tucson in 1987 after their children graduated from high school.

Bob worked at Fuller Manufacturing in Kalamazoo, Michigan for 16 years. And, 17 years in Tucson as a driver for the retirement communities The Cascades and Broadway Proper, from which he retired in 2004.

He loved woodworking, designing and building household items, and home improvements.

Whether it was painting, pouring a cement driveway, or building a 3-season porch, he was always at work with his hands making his home more beautiful. He enjoyed designing woodcraft items like shelves, drawers, picture frames, cupboard organizers, and foot rests -- which satisfied his desire to create as well as to give his wife Karen a more comfortable life.

He loved classic movies, John Wayne westerns, and the TV detective shows Perry Mason and Ironside, which his family never tired of watching with him. He was a master of figuring out the plot from the first scene.

He went out of his way to give his children fun, lifelong memories by driving them on vacations to Mt. Rushmore and the 1880 train in South Dakota; Mammoth Cave in Kentucky; Mackinac Island in Michigan; the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia; Stone Mountain, Georgia; Monument Valley, Utah; Grand Canyon, Arizona; and Disney World in Florida.

Sometimes Bob's driving adventures were as simple and pleasant as: "Get in the car; We're going for a drive." Bob's "going for a drive" usually didn't have a destination, but instead was an experience with people he loved and from which he always found his way home.

Chocolate chip cookies, spaghetti and meatballs, rivel soup, mashed potatoes with noodles, Pepsi, puzzles, visits with family, and cheering on the Atlanta Braves brought Bob joy in his later years. He was a lifelong hockey fan. A one-time season ticket holder to WMU Bronco hockey and a Detroit Red Wings fan.

Bob defied the end by overcoming so many ailments over the last 20 years of his life that his family and doctors called him "the man with nine lives." And every one of them was filled with gentlemanly kindness mixed with a shy yet flirty personality, and a wicked sense of humor.

Everyone who entered his doors was welcomed as family. And, whoever he came in contact with he gave generously of his time and cared for them deeply. If he had something you needed he'd let you borrow it. He didn't care what it was. He was always happy to see you. The home he made was a kind safe space to be yourself and be loved.

He was very well read and knew a lot about an abundance of subjects: and yet, he was modest and willing to consider the opinions and advice of others.

He is survived by his son Paul Clemens; his daughter Shirley Griffin (Anthony): his brother Larry Clemens (Sue); his brother Charles Clemens; his sister Darlene Perron (Grant); his brother Richard Clemens (Susan), and of course his beloved German Shepherd, Shadow.

He was preceded in death by his wife Karen Clemens (Acuna); his father L.D. Clemens, his mother Elsie Clemens, his sister Lois "Susie" Clemens.

We will remember Bob as a kind man with a reserved, friendly and sweet disposition.

His stoic Midwestern strength brushed off adversity so that no matter what life threw at him his response was often, "Ah, I'm fine" and "it will be ok."

He rarely drank alcohol but an occasional sip of Crown Royal was enjoyed as well as eating the first piece of Texas Sheet Cake out of the center of the pan.

The family would love for mourners and friends to have a laugh, a shot of Crown, or nibble of the coveted center piece of chocolate cake in remembrance.

Donations may be made in Bob's honor to Habitat for Humanity Tucson