Norman Clemons, Jr. 80, of Amsterdam, NY, passed away March 14, 2019 peacefully with family at his side after a sudden illness. Born on August 24, 1938 in Johnstown, NY, Norman is the son of the late Arlene (Lampman) and Norman Clemons Sr., and attended Johnstown city schools. Norman enlisted in the Army at the age of 17 in 1955. In the summer of 1959, at Camp Zama, Japan, he met Teruko Hayaski, fondly known to us as “Aunt Pat”. She gave him his driving exam while issuing drivers licenses to U.S. Military men. Love at first sight, they married in Tokyo, Japan on February 23, 1963 and were as one for over forty years. While enlisted, Norman was able to document and capture some of his travels through Alaska, Ethiopia, Cairo, Iran-Lebanon, Kenya, Addis, Thailand, and Germany on video and written letters to family. He retired from the Army in 1976, settling in Milton, Fl., where he then took on a head of maintenance job at a local housing complex, where he enjoyed interacting with the residents. Upon retirement, he volunteered at the office of the aging and at the Hospice center. Norman took great interest in the upbringing of his great nieces and nephews, Victoria Gisondi, Cherisse, Matthew, James and Diana Constantine. In the fall of 2015, Norman returned to upstate New York to be closer to the family.
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Norman was in various regiments, including the 69th Armor Division, 8th Infantry Division and 1st Cavalry Airmobile Division , earning numerous commendations, pins (Drill Sergeant) and medals including Good Conduct, Vietnam Campaign, Vietnam Service, National Defense, Gallantry Cross, Bronze Star, along with Presidential and Meritorious Unit commendations, two Marksman Badges (pistol and carbine), before retiring as an Army E8 Master Sergeant.
Predeceased by his parents, wife Pat, a sister Barbara (Gerald) Rote, a brother Ronald (Sandra) Clemons Sr., beloved dogs Ruby, Mitzie, Baby Bhu Bhu and good friend Ron Boren of Milton, Fl.
Survived by his nieces, Deborah Gisondi, Jeanette “Jenny” (Matthew) Constantine, Tina Blacutt, Kim Clemons, Jenny Flansburg, Jeanette Thompson and Veronica Clemons, nephews Brian Rote, Ronald Clemons Jr., Ricki Clemons, a brother, Larry (Ann) Clemons and good friend Susie Boren of Milton, Fl..
Family members would like to acknowledge Hillcrest Spring for the comfortable living environment given to our Norman during the past two years, to St. Mary’s Emergency room staff, Dr. Robertson, Julie and Eddie for their attention to details paid to Norman upon his arrival, to Dr. Patel and 2nd floor nurses Pamela, Madeline, Rebecca for his care, to Greg for easing Norman’s pain, taking the time to talk with a fellow veteran, conversing in Japanese with uncle Norman. To the 1st floor staff at Wilkinson Center, Mary Ellen, Elizabeth B., and Theresa, the compassion you showed to our uncle and family will never be forgotten.
Funeral services will be held Saturday, March 23, 2019 at 12 noon at the Riley Mortuary, Inc., 110 Division Street, Amsterdam, NY12010, with Rev. Jeffrey L'Arche, M.S. officiating.
Inurnment will follow at St. Mary's Cemetery, Fort Johnson, NY.
Relatives and friends are invited to call from 10;00 ,to 12 noon at the Riley Mortuary prior to the service.Eulogy from a Vietnam Vet
Let me tell you a story,
The news failed to do, about
American Boys that fought for the old Red, White and Blue.
How they never lost a battle and never backed down.
How most fought and never lost ground.
How many faced odds of a hundred to one,
How they held on, fought, died and won.
How sad I feel when I hear some say that these tough men lost America, its way.
But now you know the story, it wasn’t them to blame.
The blame lies squarely on Americas lesser men.
Hey held us down, they made us wait,
“Hell”, our job was done after “TET” of ‘68.
Those greedy politicians, big businesses and the news,
fooled with America and caused her (politically) to lose.
By Norman Clemons Jr.
1st Air Calvary –Central Highlands
Developed in Africa in mid ’68
In Norman’s memory, donations can be made to the nonprofit organization, Mountains To Miracles Veterans Foundation PO Box 137, Tribes Hill, NY 12177, or to Old Historic St. Mary’s Church, 156 East Main Street, Amsterdam, NY, 12010.