THOMAS "TOM" ROBERT CLEMONS
Thomas "Tom" Robert Clemons, 92, long-time Livingston, Montana resident and beloved artist and physician, died Tuesday, January 22, 2013 in Carlsbad, California. The cause of death was congestive heart failure. He was born in Valparaiso, Indiana on July 31, 1920, the older of two children, to Dale and Pauline (Saylor) Clemons. Bette Jean Clemons, his younger “kid sister,” died this past year in Arizona.
In 1925, the Clemons family moved to Riverside, Illinois and remained there through Tom’s college education. While studying medicine at the University of Illinois in Champaign/Urbana he met his beautiful bride, Barnetta “Barnie” Jeanne Agnew. They married on December 11, 1944 in Riverside, Illinois. Four days later, on December 15, 1944, Tom graduated from the University of Illinois College of Medicine with an MD degree. On that same date he entered the U.S. Navy as a Lieutenant (junior grade). He completed his internship at Mare Island Naval Hospital in California. From November 26, 1945 to February 28, 1946 he served as an Assistant Medical Officer aboard the USS Tarawa aircraft carrier (CV40, Essex class).
Tom began a general practice of medicine and surgery in Gardiner, Montana in 1946 and soon thereafter joined the Park Clinic in Livingston. He and Barnie had their first child, Pamela Jeanne Clemons, in 1947 followed by their second child, Thomas Scott Clemons, in 1949.
In April 1953, as a Lieutenant in the U.S. Naval Reserves, Tom was recalled to duty during the Korean War and served on the USS Satyr (ARL23) until December 1954. He received an honorable discharge in April 1955, the same month that his third child, Martha “Martie” Ann Clemons, was born. He returned to his medical practice with the Park Clinic, retiring in 1988.
In 1998, Tom and Barnie began a series of moves to Bozeman and back to Livingston, eventually settling in Bozeman, Montana. They lived the last few years at Highgate Senior Living in Bozeman and recently moved to California in November 2012 to be closer to their daughter, Martie.
Tom was an avid music lover, a talented artist and great storyteller. His combined talents, terrific sense of humor and love of science made him a quintessential “Renaissance Man.” He sang bass in the choir at the former Livingston Congregational Church, now Holbrook United Methodist Church, in Livingston for many years. While in Bozeman, Tom volunteered for the Museum of the Rockies for 14 years. His many hobbies and interests included drawing, sculpting, painting (oil, watercolor, pastels), fishing, bagpipes, astronomy, aviation history, model trains, music, travel, reading and telling anecdotes or jokes with an infectious laugh. He was also a member of the Livingston Junto club. Tom possessed a big heart, full of love, humor and compassion, and he touched people deeply in uncountable ways, whether as a husband, father, brother, friend, mentor, physician or artist.
Survivors include his wife of 68 years, Barnie Clemons, who resides in Carlsbad, Calif.; his son, T. Scott Clemons of Berlin, Germany; and his daughter, Martie Clemons, and his beloved dog, Muffer, both in Cardiff, Calif. In addition to his parents and sister, Tom was preceded in death by his eldest child, Pam Clemons, who passed away in August 2002.
A memorial service is scheduled for 2:00 p.m., Friday, February 8, 2013 at Holbrook United Methodist Church, corner of 5th and Lewis Streets in Livingston. Rev. Glenn Woodson will officiate. Arrangements are under the direction of Franzen-Davis Funeral Home.
Memorial contributions are welcome at either the Bozeman Symphony: 1001 West Oak Street, Suite 201, Bozeman, MT 59715; or the Museum of the Rockies: 600 W. Kagy Blvd., Bozeman, MT 59717.