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Memorial service for former Missouri prison director Tom Clements to be held Friday

Wednesday, April 3, 2013 | 8:53 p.m. CDT; updated 9:16 a.m. CDT, Thursday, April 4, 2013

COLUMBIA — Woodcrest Chapel will hold a memorial service at 4 p.m. Friday in honor of longtime Missouri prison director Tom Clements.

On March 19, Clements, 58, was shot and killed at his home in Monument, Colo.

For 31 years, Clements lived in Columbia and worked for the Missouri Department of Corrections, including serving as the director of the Division of Adult Institutions.

"He was an extraordinary gentleman," said Gerald Jones, who worked with Clements at the Columbia First Church of the Nazarene. "He loved his wife and loved his kids, but not the way most people do. He was there for them every step of the way."

Clements was a member of Woodcrest Chapel for more than a decade, where he served in the youth ministry.

Clements' wife, Lisa, and his two daughters, Rachel and Sara, will fly in for the service. Gov. Jay Nixon will also be in attendance.

"Tom was such a great human being," said the Rev. Pieter Van Waarde, pastor at Woodcrest Chapel. "He was one of those who believed in the basic goodness of people."

The elements of the service will focus on remembering Clements' life and helping the community process the tragedy on an emotional and spiritual level, Van Waarde said.

In January 2011, Clements began work as executive director of Colorado's Department of Corrections.

Following the shooting, Nixon released a statement on March 20 expressing consolation for Clements’ family and friends in both states.

"Tom dedicated his professional life and his considerable skills to public service and protection,” Nixon said in the statement. “The citizens of Missouri join the people of Colorado in mourning this tremendous loss."

The man accused of killing Clements, Evan Spencer Ebel, 28, died after a shootout with Texas police, according to The Associated Press. Authorities are investigating whether he's linked to the death of Clements and the killing of a pizza deliveryman two days earlier. The gun Ebel used in the shootout was matched to the one used to kill Clements.

The Associated Press also reported about Ebel's troubled stints in prison, including multiple disciplinary issues and time spent in solitary confinement.

Supervising editor is Zach Murdock.


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