EASTHAMPTON - Sidney J. Claunch, Jr., passed away peacefully Monday, Feb. 17, 2014, at the Soldiers Home in Holyoke, with his wife of 59 years, Pearl "Patty", at his bedside.
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Sidney was born April 17, 1922, in Humboldt, Tenn., to Lura Frances Dungan and Sidney Johnson Claunch, Sr., but spent his youth in Oakwood, Ohio, a suburb of Dayton.
After graduation from Oakwood High School in 1940, he worked as an apprentice tool and die maker at National Cash Register in Dayton, Ohio.
He served in the Infantry in World War II from 1943 to 1945 in the European Theater and was a Purple Heart recipient. After the victory in Europe, he was to be deployed to the Pacific, but halfway across the U.S. by train, word was received that the Japanese had surrendered and he was subsequently discharged from service.
After returning home, he entered Ohio University in Athens, where he received a bachelor's degree in economics. He received a master's degree and a doctorate in economics from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. It was at the University of Wisconsin that he met a fellow graduate student, Pearl Grapel. They were married in 1954 and spent seven years in Reno, Nev., where Sidney taught economics and management at the University of Nevada, the sole university in the state at the time.
The family moved to Amherst in 1961 where Sidney joined the management department in the School of Business at the University of Massachusetts, now the Isenberg School of Management, where he taught until his retirement in 1986. He and Pearl moved to the Lathrop Retirement Community in Easthampton in late 2008, where Pearl still resides.
Sidney loved classical music and opera and had a vibrant baritone voice. He was an inventive "maker and fixer" in his home workshop. He loved the outdoors, especially hiking with family and friends. He had a lively intellect and was an avid reader with a particular interest in history, especially American history. His family was a great source of pleasure and joy to him and he will be greatly missed by them.
Sidney was a man of humility and principle, who believed in always doing the right thing, because it was the right thing to do, a commitment he practiced in both his private and professional life.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by his daughters Anne Claunch, Helen Claunch, and Emilie Chmiel and her husband Matthew, all of Connecticut, his sisters Earline Grice of Kettering, Ohio, and Christine Smith and her husband Dr. William Smith of Dayton, Ohio, and his sister-in-law Lillian Claunch of Seattle, Wash.
He was predeceased by his younger brother Dr. Marion Joseph Claunch of Seattle, Wash.
Sidney was cremated, as was his wish.
A memorial service will be planned for later in the spring.
In lieu of flowers, his family asks that those who wish to remember him, do so in the form of kindnesses to others.
Obituary and memorial register at www.douglassfuneral.com.
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Douglass Funeral Home
87 North Pleasant Street Amherst, MA 01002
Published in Daily Hampshire Gazette on Mar. 13, 2014