Wednesday, September 7, 2022

Obituary - Gene C. Clawson

Gene C. Clawson, “Pops,” age 77, of Harrisonville, MO, peacefully passed into eternity on Friday, September 2, 2022 at Cross Creek of Lee’s Summit after a long decline from vascular dementia. 

A memorial service will be held at 11:00 am on Friday, October 14, 2022 at Atkinson Funeral Home in Harrisonville with visitation from 10:00-11:00 am. The family suggests that memorial contributions may be made to the Arbor Day Foundation, City Union Mission, or Alzheimer’s Association.

Born March 11,1945 in Springfield, MO to Samuel and Omay Clawson, Gene graduated with the class of 1963 from Springfield’s Central High School. He attended college at Drury College and Southwest Missouri State University, leaving college to work and begin a family. In 1968, Gene married Janis Bitney. They were married for 30 years before divorcing. Together they raised two children, Pamela and Richard “Zeke.”

Gene was a dedicated employee, and worked as a salesman and manager for Shoe Corp of America for many years in Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kentucky, and Missouri. Later, he worked 28 years for TruGreen Chemlawn in Kansas City, MO as a lawn and tree specialist. He enjoyed learning about trees, teaching defensive driving to the drivers, and meeting various people and sports celebrities on his routes. He could name and give directions to almost every road in the Kansas City area because he had been down most of them with his Chemlawn truck.

When not working, Gene enjoyed reading or watching documentaries or movies about history, especially WWII history and planes. He was a big fan of Harry S. Truman and Winston Churchill and loved to read biographies. From childhood, Gene maintained a love of flying and earned his pilot’s license in his twenties. He took his children to many air shows and once he took a ride in the refurbished Super-G Constellation “Connie” airplane. He also loved trains and could sit and watch them for hours on his computer. Gene delighted in traveling and in taking pictures of his travels, eventually traveling to all fifty states. His favorite trip was to Alaska, where he flew over Denali, took a sled dog tour, watched the Iditarod, and met his favorite musher. Gene explored Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon in the west, as well as Acadia National Park and Niagara Falls in the East. He enjoyed visiting Hawaii with his brother, sister-in-law, and nieces. Gene was an avid consumer of cashew chicken, spicy Mexican food and bar-b-que, Diet Coke, cinnamon, Fritos, peanuts, and Hershey bars.

Gene never knew a stranger and was known for his friendliness, his sense of humor, and his jokes and stories (sometimes tall tales). He always loved a good prank, whether he was on the giving or receiving end of them. A generous person at heart, he found meaning in helping others, always offering to lend a hand to anyone he could help. He was always happy to babysit his grandkids or take them on outings, to dogsit his granddogs, Cody and “Monjelo,” to help carry in the groceries or to do the dishes, or to buy his grandkids a new winter coat. Spending time with his family, friends, and granddogs brought him the most joy.

In midlife, Gene received Christ as Savior and was baptized at Antioch Southern Baptist Church in Harrisonville, MO and later was ordained as a deacon and served in various capacities in the church. He also attended First Baptist Church in Harrisonville, volunteering as a Sunday School teacher. After struggling with alcohol addiction for many years, he proudly shared the date he stopped drinking: June 9, 1990. After retirement, Gene volunteered as a bus driver for the afterschool program at City Union Mission in Kansas City, MO.

Gene was preceded in death by his parents, Samuel and Omay Clawson, and brother, Robert Clawson. He is survived by his children: Pamela (Kent) Andersen, Zeke (Tisha) Clawson; grandchildren: Zach (Marisa) Clawson, Taylor Clawson, Alex Andersen, Kara Andersen, Evan Andersen; sister-in-law: Jan Clawson; nieces: Sydney (Russ) Brown, Sam (Erica) Clawson; and other extended family and friends.


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