DAYTON Larry Clemons (LtCol, USAF, ret.) 69, of Garden Ridge, passed June 22, 2013.
Larry was born September 12, 1943, in Dayton, Ohio to Dewey Clemons and Madelyn (Marcum) McClendon. He graduated from Fairborn High School in 1961 and continued his education, earning a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology & Speech from the University of Texas at Austin, a Master's Degree in Education from Mississippi State University and completed Post Masters' graduate studies in Education at the University of Southern California.
In 1966, Larry enlisted in the U.S. Air Force. In 1970 he was accepted into the pilot training program, flying both fixed wing and rotary wing aircraft. While serving in South East Asia, he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and 8 Air Medals for combat involvement. In 1985, he was the recipient of the Cheney Award for heroism in flight, the award being granted for his role as the commander of the longest over-water rescue mission by a helicopter in aviation history. As a senior Air Force officer, Larry attended the Air War College and Defense Acquisition University. Retiring in 1991 as a Lt. Colonel, Larry served 26 years on active duty.
In 1968, Larry joined the Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barbershop Quartet Singing in America, beginning a lifelong hobby and passion for this truly American music genre. He served in every chapter office, except secretary and treasurer and was Barbershopper of the Year in two chapters and Barbershopper of the Year for the Southwestern District. Larry was a two-time Southwestern District president and the Immediate Past President of the Southwestern District. He was also Chairman of the District Nominating Committee and Chairman of the District's Long Range Planning Committee. In 2004 he was inducted into the Southwestern District Hall of Fame. At the Society level, he was a Certified Presentation Judge, Category Specialist for three years and chairman of the Society's Contest & Judging Committee for three years. Larry was an internationally renowned quartet and chorus coach, traveling throughout North America, Europe, the Pacific Rim and the Baltics to work with ensembles.
Larry is survived by his wife of 28 years, Peggy; mother, Madelyn McClendon; son Jay and wife Heidi, grandchildren Kyle and Rebecca; daughter, Jenny Crabtree; brother Jerry and wife Kathy; and brother Gary Wayne. Larry is also survived by many special friends, including John Devine whose heroic efforts on June 22 will never be forgotten.
Guest visitation will take place on Thursday, June 27 from 6-9 p.m. at the Porter Loring Mortuary North on Loop 1604 in San Antonio. A Memorial Service will be held Friday, June 28 at 11:30 a.m. also at Porter Loring Mortuary. Internment will follow at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery at 1:15 p.m. A Celebration of Life will be held at the Garden Ridge Community Center at 3 p.m. Memorial gifts in Larry's memory may be made to the Love Fund of the Barbershop Chorus of your choice or Harmony Foundation of the Barbershop Harmony Society.
Larry had an "unconditional positive regard" for everyone who had the privilege of knowing and meeting him.