HOUGHTON - Clarence R. Monette, 94, formerly of Houghton, departed from this world following a long illness. He died at St. Mary's Hospital in Rochester, Minnesota on Tuesday, May 14, 2013.
He was born in Houghton on October 23, 1918, a son of James A. and Dora (Hankey) Monette. He attended St. Ignatius Loyola grade school, Houghton High School (graduating in 1936), Suomi Collegre (now Finlandia University) and Michigan Tech, where his schooling was interrupted by WWII. During the war, he served in the U.S. Air Force. After the war, he finished his schooling at the University of Colorado at Boulder, where he received his bachelor's degree. During his years in Boulder, he courted Miss Marjorie Nelson, a student at the University of Denver. After college, they moved to New Mexico (Marjorie's home state) and married in 1954. They have two children, Gretchen and Lance.
He was a partner in a dealership for Crosby cars with his wife's father, Charles Nelson, and later operated a jewelry store and an appliance store. In earlier years, he had a tire and battery shop on Shelden Avenue in Houghton in an area then known as Frenchtown.
He and his wife have since lived in Rochester, Minnesota for a number of years. When in New Mexico, Marjorie was a school teacher and principal.
Clarence was an avid outdoors man who loved fishing, hunting, camping and all things related to "woodsing." His hobbies were hockey, woodworking, gardening and antique cars. He also loved to travel with his wife and children, going together as a family to many foreign countries. The places visited were carefully chosen for their distinct significance, such as the Holyland (Jerusalem, Bethlehem and Nazareth), Rome, Lourdes and Fatima. Russia too was a top priority because of its intrigue and mystique along with the risk connected with such a venture during the communist regime, which was when the trips were taken.
He and Marjorie were also bird watchers and were quite well versed in ornithology at one time. In later years, they published the family genology with the help of their grandnephew, Joey Godreau, who has spent countless hours researching the long past. The result was the acquisition of many valuable family pictures from the days of yore.
A special thanks to grandnephew Joey Godreau and niece Charlene Russell for their constant thoughtfulness and extraordinary kindness.
Fraternally, he was a member of the American Legion, the Disabled American Veterans, the American Veterans, the Knights of Columbus, the Antique Automobile Club, the Fraternal Order of Eagles, the Michigan Tech Alumni Assn., the Catholic Order of Foresters and the Houghton County Historical Society.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his brother, Edward; his sister, Grace Monette.
Surviving are his wife, Marjorie; daughter, Gretchen; son, Lance.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday at St. Ignatius Loyola Catholic Church in Houghton with Rev. Fr. John Martignon to officiate. Burial will be in Forest Hill Cemetery in Houghton.
Friends may call from 6 until 8 p.m. on Friday at the O'Neill-Dennis Funeral Home in Hancock.