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Robert McClenahan

Robert James McClenahan, a long time resident of Bonne Terre, passed away Friday morning, November 18, 2005, at his home, after a brief illness. Robert had just celebrated his 97th birthday on November 2nd. He was born in Bonne Terre, November 2, 1908 to Robert James and Emma Florence (Steinmetz) McClenahan. Robert grew up in Bonne Terre, attending St. Joseph Catholic Church and School. 

He was known as Candy to his many friends and acquaintances, a nickname he acquired while pitching baseball for the Bonne Terre teams in the 1920s and 30s. He had the reputation of throwing a nasty knuckleball, and had been scouted by the St. Louis Cardinals, who wanted to send him to the minor leagues. They paid very little then, and he needed a better paying job. He was also an outstanding bowler as many luckless pot-bowlers could attest to.

Candy was as well known for his welding skills as he was for his baseball and bowling prowess. He was a welder for St. Joe Lead Co., from about 1915, until they closed their Bonne Terre operations. He had his own welding shop behind his home, welding broken farm machinery, car parts and anything that could be welded. He also fabricated wrought iron railings and a good example is the set of railings at the Methodist Church in Bonne Terre. He was employed as a welder in the Naval Shipyard in Pearl Harbor in 1943 and 1944. After St. Joe shut down the Bonne Terre plant, Candy worked in St. Louis for Ferguson Machine and Tool and retired in 1973. After he retired, Candy’s repair and building skills were employed at St. Joseph Church and School on many repair and remodeling projects. He liked to garden, his flowers and tomatoes were well known In Bonne Terre.

Robert is pre-deceased by his wife, Katherine Berdine (Lesser) McClenahan; brothers Albert, Bernard, Herbert, and Anthony; sisters Hilda McClenahan, Lillian (Mrs. Calvin) Blair, Mary Patricia (Mrs. Marvin) Dotson; grandchildren James Robert McClenahan Jr, and Michael Paul McClenahan.

He is survived by sons James R. And his wife Clara Jo (Mullersman) of Stanton, Calif., Joseph M. and his wife Tiffany Ann (Lane) of Battle Creek, Mich., John Patrick and his wife Gerrie (Hartmann) of Cape Girardeau, Mo., and daughter Janice Kathleen McClenahan of Addison, Ill. Also surviving are five grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren, numerous nieces, nephews and many, many friends.

Visitation will be Tuesday, 6:00 p.m. at C.Z. Boyer & Son Funeral Home, Bonne Terre. A wake service will be that evening at 6:30 p.m. Mass, conducted by Rev. John Schneider, will be Wednesday, at 11:00 a.m. at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Bonne Terre, and interment at St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery, 2 p.m. Friday, November 25.

May he be reunited with his wife Katherine and they take their well-deserved place in God’s Kingdom. He will be sorely missed by all who knew him.  

Donations in lieu of flowers, may be made to: HospiceCare Inc., Mineral Area College, North College Center, P.O. BOx 1000, Park Hills, MO 63601 or to Masses.

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