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Clarence Wayne DeTurk

August 24, 1919 ~ April 24, 2018 (age 98)

Clarence Wayne DeTurk of Grace Village Retirement Community, Winona Lake, Indiana passed away at 8:40 a.m. on Tuesday, April 24, 2018 at Miller’s Merry Manor of Warsaw, Indiana at the age of 98.

He was born on August 24, 1919 in Fort Wayne, Indiana to Walter DeTurk and Terzah (Alshouse) DeTurk.  On August 19, 1943 he was married to Joan Lucille (Couts) DeTurk, the mother of his children.  She passed away on March 14, 1967.  Clarence then married Bernice Spigutz in 1968, she also passed away in September 1992.  On June 6, 2016 he married Dixie (Walrath) DeTurk, who survives.

Clarence enlisted in the U.S. Army during WWII and served from 1941 until his honorable discharge as a Staff Sergeant on October 3, 1945.  He belonged to Company L 152nd Infantry Unit, and they were called to active service on January 17, 1941 and were sent to Camp Shelby, Mississippi.  In 1942 they were stationed in Hawaii.  Company L Local National Guard Unit was called into federal service on January 17, 1943 and were again sent to Camp Shelby in Mississippi.  They guarded Hawaii in 1942, then continued on to Buna, New Guinea and the Philippines.  On January 1943 their unit made a surprise attack on Leyte, and moved up to Bataan to mount an attack on Zigzag Pass to Manilla.  Clarence shared these memories and stated… “we had many casualties and this was later known as the Avenger of Bataan.”  He was subsequently decorated with two purple hearts, and three bronze stars. 

He worked as the Post Master for the Winona Lake Post Office.  He was a member of Trinity United Methodist Church in Warsaw, a life member of the American Legion Post #49 of Warsaw, and a 63 year member as well as a charter member of the Lake City Lions Club.  Clarence received the Lions Club Melvin Jones Award, and the Lions Club International Award.  He always kept active and received the Russ Jacobson award for Shuffleboard, member of the Texas Shuffleboard Association, Rio Grande Valley Shuffleboard Hall of Fame, and Western Rio Grande Valley Shuffleboard Hall of Fame.  Clarence traveled throughout the U.S. and internationally to play shuffleboard…Brazil, Australia, Japan, and Canada.  He was an excellent golfer, and mentored a lot of golfers throughout his life. 

He will be lovingly remembered by his wife, Dixie DeTurk (Winona Lake, Indiana); three daughters:  Marla (husband Lowell) Luce (Mission, Texas); Nelta (husband Jeff) Rose (Mentone, Indiana); Judy (husband Mike) Pruski (Poth, Texas); and two sons:  Jerry (wife Darlene) DeTurk (Warsaw, Indiana); Ken (wife Betsy) DeTurk (Yucaipa, California).  Also surviving are his step-son:  Jim Spigutz (Warsaw, Indiana); two step-daughters:  Dawn (husband Jeff) McIlroy and Richelle (husband John) Szegda (both of Mesick, Michgan); 17 grandchildren, 26 great-grandchildren, 5 great-great-grandsons, 8 step-grandchildren, six step-great-grandchildren; and his brother:  Lewis (wife Lily) DeTurk (Peru, Indiana).  He was preceded in death by his parents, first wife, Joan Lucille DeTurk, second wife, Bernice Spigutz, one sister and four brothers.           

Visitation will be held on Monday, April 30, 2018 from 5:00 – 8:00 p.m. at Redpath-Fruth Funeral Home, 225 Argonne Road, Warsaw, Indiana. 

His funeral service will be conducted at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, May 1, 2018 at Redpath-Fruth Funeral Home and officiated by Pastor Ernie Troxell and Pastor Russell Simpson.  Burial will follow with a graveside service at Oakwood Cemetery of Warsaw with full military rites conducted by the American Legion Post 49, V.F.W. #1126, and active duty members of the Army Honor Guard.

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