Imam Clarence Abdullah Nabaa May 25, 1930 - Aug. 1, 2014 SOUTH BEND - Imam Clarence Abdullah Nabaa was born Clarence A. Lane III on May 25, 1930, to Clarence A. Lane, Jr. and Mary Bass Lane in New Orleans, LA, who both preceded him in death. He departed this life on Friday, August 1, 2014, at the age of 84. Clarence Abdullah Nabaa grew up in Chicago, IL and attended DePaul University. He is a veteran of the United States Air Force. On June 4, 1960, he entered into marriage with Julia Berthena Townsend. In 1962, Clarence Nabaa converted to Islam through the Nation of Islam and served as a Minister in Nashville, TN and Michigan City, IN. In 1975, he transitioned to Orthodox Islam under the leadership of Imam W.D. Muhammad. In 1985, he became the Resident Imam of the Great News Islamic Center in South Bend, IN. In 2007, Imam Nabaa was blessed to make Hajj, fulfilling the obligation of a Muslim to make pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia. Imam Nabaa began his career in mass media as a radio announcer and deejay in Tucson, Arizona, during the 1950s. He later published community newspapers in Phoenix, AZ and Nashville, TN. He worked with the international publication, "Muhammad Speaks", which is now the "Muslim Journal." He lectured at various Islamic Centers in the Midwest region and has been a guest lecturer at the University of Notre Dame. Imam Clarence Nabaa was the founder, publisher, and editor of the South Bend Communicator, the local newspaper that is directed toward the African-American and Muslim communities. The first issue of the South Bend Communicator was published in May 1977. Imam Nabaa was a crusader for community development and human salvation. He used the publication to promote and educate the community on the positive accomplishments of the African American and Muslim communities, and to spotlight individual achievers. The promotion of community unity through faith, economic wellness and moral conduct was a major thrust of Imam Nabaa. Imam Clarence Nabaa is survived by his wife of 54 years, Julia B. Nabaa; seven sons: Jeffery (Florence) Tollette, Clarence (Stephanie) Nabaa II, Akbar H. Nabaa, Wallace (Chiquita) Nabaa, Southall R. Nabaa, Julian (Annette) Nabaa, Riyad M. Nabaa; and two daughters: Berthena Nabaa (Todd McKinney), S. Ruqayyah Nabaa. His two siblings also survive him: Marianne Heard and Southall Lane of Chicago, IL. He also leaves 43 Grandchildren and 23 Great-Grandchildren. "Inna lillahi wa inna ilaihi raji'oon." Truly to God we belong and to Him we shall return. Services for Imam Clarence Abdullah Nabaa will be held on Monday, August 4, 2014 in Clark-O'Neal Funeral Home, 2702 Lincoln Way West, South Bend. Visitation will begin at 12:30 p.m. and funeral service at 1:30 p.m. Burial will follow in Highland Cemetery. Sign his guestbook at www.clarkoneal.com. Arrangements entrusted to Clark-O'Neal Funeral Home.
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Published in South Bend Tribune on Aug. 4, 2014