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Columbia Missourian

Beulah E. Clemons was longtime Order of the Eastern Star member

By Stephanie Halovanic
December 5, 2012 | 5:11 p.m. CST

COLUMBIA — Beulah E. Clemons was a dedicated mother and an involved church member. 

"She was a very giving and loving person; most people would say that," Carol Thomas, Beulah's daughter, said.

Mrs. Clemons of Columbia died Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2012, of pneumonia. She was 96.

"She really was only sick for about three weeks, so that was wonderful," Thomas said. "She lived for a very long time." 

Mrs. Clemons was born Aug. 7, 1916, in Decaturville to Joe and Alpha Julia Looney.

She was raised in Missouri and was one of 10 children — eight girls and two boys. Her family moved to Oklahoma for a few years, where her father worked on an oil well.

"She spent most of her childhood in Southern Missouri, as she called it," Thomas said.

She married Wilbur Clemons in 1940 at her parents' home near Decaturville. The couple left Missouri for California in search of a better job.

"They drove their Model T Ford to San Diego looking for work," Thomas said. 

Thomas was the oldest child in the family, born in 1941, just as the United States entered World War II. 

"It was a little tough living in San Francisco," Thomas said. "I saw my mother standing in line every day just to get food. My father's mother had to send us food from Missouri because the coast was kind of tough during that time."

In 1943, the Clemons moved back to Missouri, settling in Kansas City. Wilbur was a welder, so the family moved around until finally settling in Columbia in 1955.

Mrs. Clemons did not work outside the home. She was active in the women's group at Wilkes Boulevard United Methodist Church and was also a 50-year member of the Order of the Eastern Star, a masonic organization for women.

"My mother was always involved in children's things, always room mother and that kind of stuff, always helpful," Thomas said.

She is survived by a daughter, Carol Thomas and her husband, Harley Thomas III, of Wildwood; a son, Daniel Clemons and his wife, Karen Clemons, of Ft. Pierce, Fla.; a sister, Florene Clemons of Marshall; three grandchildren, Harley Thomas IV, Jason Thomas and Justin Clemons; and eight great-grandchildren.

Her husband, Wilbur Clemons, and a grandson, Jesse Clemons, died earlier.

A service will be held at 11 a.m. Fridayat Memorial Funeral Home, 1217 Business Loop 70 W., with burial to follow in Memorial Park Cemetery. 

Memorial contributions are suggested to the Wilkes Boulevard United Methodist Church, 702 Wilkes Boulevard,  Columbia, MO 65201.

Tributes can be posted at