DONALD ELMO ST. CLARE(1921 - 2012)

DONALD ELMO ST. CLARE Donald Elmo St. Clare (Lieutenant Colonel USAF Retired) took flight to his final home in heaven on Dec. 29, 2012, after recently seeing his son, Mark St. Clare, from Atlanta, GA, and three of his granddaughters. Don had spent the last year of his 91-year life fighting his most difficult battle, the aftermath of a devastating stroke. He is now free! Don was born in Seattle, WA on Oct. 31, 1921 to Bertha May Reed and Donald Elmo St. Clare. He grew up in Yakima, WA, attending 2 years of college at Washington State College. Don was a P-47 pilot in WWII with the Army Air Corps, serving in Europe. Returning from the war, he married Annabelle Robinson, a beautiful little redhead, who he had known since childhood. In 1951, with the onset of the Korean Conflict, Don re-entered the Air Force as a pilot, and remained in the military as a career, also serving in Vietnam. He retired after 30 years of service to his country, then worked another 10 years for Mountain Bell Telephone Company in Phoenix, AZ. Don and Annibelle's romance of almost 60 years resulted in two children, Mark Scott St. Clare and Robin Gale St. Clare, and an adventurous, stimulating and rich family life, living in Europe and Asia. Duty assignments took the family to Okinawa, Germany, England, California, and Colorado. During Don's military career he was separated from his family for year long assignments in Asia, Alaska and Vietnam. Don's marriage to Annabelle modeled romance, commitment and playfulness. Don was remarkably intelligent and talented. He read voraciously, ran for years, and worked out at In Motion Fitness until his stroke at 90 years old. He loved working in his workshop, building furniture, a barn for Robin's horse and a Victorian dollhouse for his granddaughters. In his retirement, Don took up pottery. He created many beautiful pieces. Don was never bored. Don and Annabelle lived for many years in Phoenix, AZ, moving to Chico in 2004 to be near their daughter, Robin St. Clare. After the loss of Annabelle to cancer in 2005, Don continued to be active making new friends, spending time with family, reading, and working out until his stroke in November 2011. Donald St. Clare was an inspiration to all who knew him. He was a strong, and kind man who delighted in his spunky bride still holding hands with her until the end. He was the best father and a true romantic. He thought women should be treated with tenderness, humor and gifts. He truly was an officer and a gentleman. Don is survived by his son, Mark St. Clare and his wife, Christine St. Clare of Atlanta, GA; his daughter, Robin St. Clare of Chico, CA; his five grandchildren, David St. Clare, Elisabeth Wittington, Jessica Hobbs Alvarez, Kari Hobbs and Lindsay Hobbs; and three great-grandchildren, Nina Minardi, Michael St. Clare and Janey Wittington. The Celebration of Life for Don and his friends and family will be at Robin St. Clare's home: 1818 Roth St., Chico on Friday, January 4, 2013 from 1-4 p.m. Eulogy will be held at 3 p.m. Memorial contributions can be made to: American Heart and Stroke Association. Condolences may be sent to the family online at

Published in Chico Enterprise-Record on Jan. 3, 2013