Clarence August Bechtold was born January 2, 1918 to August and Lydia Bechtold near Gaylord, Kansas. After graduation from Gaylord High School, he attended and graduated from Kansas State University in 1941. Following graduation, Clarence taught Vocational Agriculture for one year before entering the military service. After training at Notre Dame, he became an officer, Lieutenant JG in the U.S. Navy
. During World War II
, he was involved in the Invasion of Southern France as a Naval Gunfire Liaison Officer. He ended his service in Guam as an Officer of Personnel.
After the war, he returned to teaching in Northwestern Kansas where he met and married Gertrude Gilbert, a high school music teacher.
In 1950, the couple moved to Springfield, Missouri. Clarence became involved in the early development of White Chapel Memorial Gardens. He served as manager there for many years before being employed at Wickman Gardens until his retirement in 1999.
Clarence was preceded in death by his parents and two brothers.
He is survived by his wife Gertrude, sister Margaret Brown, daughter Loretta Ann Robinson (Rob), son David Gilbert Bechtold (Kim), grandsons Jeremy Bechtold (Megan) and Trevor Bechtold (Lindsay) and great-grandsons Gavin and Fletcher Bechtold. Many nieces, nephews, family and friends survive.
Clarence attended Grace United Methodist Church for over 50 years where he served proudly on many committees and as a member of the Board.
Funeral services will be Saturday, November 24, at 1:00pm in Grace United Methodist Church with visitation following the service under the direction of Gorman-Scharpf Funeral Home. Burial will be Tuesday, November 27, at 1:00pm in Missouri Veterans Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Grace United Methodist Church, 600 S. Jefferson, Springfield, Missouri 65806.