Seaside Memorial Park & Funeral Home
4357 Ocean Dr
Corpus Christi, TX 78412
(361) 992-9411
Friday, Dec. 14, 2018
7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Seaside Memorial Park & Funeral Home
4357 Ocean Dr
Corpus Christi, TX 78412
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Funeral Mass
Saturday, Dec. 15, 2018
10:00 AM
St. Pius X Catholic Church
4620 Gollihar
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Clarence Floyd Bednorz

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Clarence Floyd Bednorz Obituary
Clarence Floyd Bednorz

Corpus Christi, TX

Greetings to my family, friends, acquaintances, and those friends I met through the good works of Bill W. & Dr. Bob.

I was born near the small town of White Deer, Texas on a wheat farm in a small Polish Community. The farm did not have electricity until after World War II. I did my schoolwork in the evening with the aid of an Aladdin Kerosene lantern. Heating and cooking was with coal and wood scraps. As a small child, one of my chores was to go to the pasture and gather dried cow patties for burning in the stove. I quickly learned to kick the cow pile first to see if it was dry or green, hence the term, "s kicker."

We survived the great depression, my dad sold wheat for 15 cents a bushel, but we always had plenty to eat. Raising our own beef, pigs and chickens as well as a garden and orchard helped. High school was an enjoyable time; I played football four years, making varsity the last two. Our offense was also our defense since we didn't have the numbers for both.

The Texas panhandle has four distinct seasons, each memorable for certain happenings. Spring was the rapid grown of winter wheat turning golden and looking like waves in the ocean. Sometimes, a bumper crop was destroyed in a few minutes by a devastating hailstorm, and then there was the ever present threat of a tornado.

Summers were the dog days. The wheat had been harvested by early July, followed by plowing. I started running a John Deere tractor, called a Popping Johnny, hooked to a plow when I was 13 years old. The plowing day lasted from sun up to sundown. As kids we walked everywhere barefooted. We knew where the water holes were located; these were our swimming pools, little more than pools of muddy water.

Fall brought cool nights and mild days, the wheat was planted that furnished green grazing for cattle, a few mourning doves and ducks provided hunting.

Some winters were terrible with zero or below temperatures; northerners with blowing snow that built 8-foot high drifts kept everyone snowed in for three days. However, the farm chores had to be done such as milking the cows twice a day, haying the livestock, feeding the pigs and chickens.

I graduated high school in 1941, a double class of fifty seniors. Then I went to work for Douglas Aircraft in Long Beach, California for a short period. World War II started in 1941 and I was drafted into the Army. I volunteered for aviation cadets and fourteen months later was commissioned a 2nd Lt. with a pilot rating. This began my 33 year association with the Air Force and Air Force Ready Reserve. Next came the transitional training in four engine bombers that were used in combat. Operational training was in a B-17 flying fortress, then to a B-24 liberator. After several months of training I was off to a short assignment in Barking Sands, Hawaii, then off to Saipan, Guam, and Okinawa with the 7th Air Force and into the South Pacific Theatre.

I flew 37 combat missions in three campaigns- WW2 in the Far East, Vietnam, and a Caribbean expeditionary force. I was wounded in combat, awarded the air medal with 4 bronze oak leaves, Presidential unit citation, armed forces expeditionary force medal, Vietnam with a bronze battle campaign star, armed forces reserve medal, small arms expert medal, American campaign medal, Asiatic-pacific with 5 bronze battle campaign stars, WW2 victory medal, army of occupation medal and Philippine liberation medal. I flew in the mission that bombed and helped disable the Japanese battleship Haruna.

It was a great honor and privilege to have served my country as an Air Force pilot. I retired from the Air Force Ready Reserve with command pilot rating.

Upon release from active duty, I enrolled in Texas Tech University. Years later while working for State Farm I graduated from the American College, Bryn Mawr, Penn.

I met my wife to be, (Mary) Ann White, who lived in Pampa Texas (near White Deer) while I was attending Texas Tech. We were married June 6, 1949. We farmed wheat and maize, raised cattle and sheep for a short time. Not long after we were married I told my wife, "We have a car that's paid for, four good tires and a tank full of gasoline. Let's get out of this cold place." So we moved from the panhandle of Texas down to Port Lavaca, Texas. I went to work for Brown & Root as a Construction Instrument Superintendent for several years. These jobs took us to Seadrift, Texas, Lockport, Louisiana, and Ponce, Puerto Rico.

Along the way we were blessed with the birth of our 4 children.

I quit the construction work, we moved to Corpus Christi and I became a State Farm Insurance Company Agent. This allowed us to put down roots, keep the children in one school system and hunt, fish, garden, and buy a ranch in Live Oak County.

My agency won for my wife and me trips to all national and state conventions as well as trips to Europe and Bermuda. I retired from State Farm after many wonderful years. My wife and I spent our retirement years traveling and ranching.

Pat is survived by: daughter Becky of Corpus Christi; son J.P. of Dinero; son Brian of Arvada, CO; and daughter Benita (and husband Steve Wulchin) of Boulder, CO; Larry (and wife Dianne) Jurica of George West; 8 grandchildren (Adam, Hunter, Brittany, Ashley, Jeremy, Mallory, Chelsea, Kyle); and 9 great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife (Mary) Ann White Bednorz of 67 years and his grandson Eric Wulchin.

A visitation will be held from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Friday, December 14, 2018 at Seaside Funeral Home, 4357 Ocean Drive.

Celebration of Life/Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, December 15, 2018 at St. Pius X Catholic Church, 4620 Gollihar. Entombment will follow at Seaside Memorial Park.

Pat was adamant about no flowers. Please consider instead giving a contribution to s, The or St. Pius Catholic Church.
Published in Corpus-Christi Caller-Times on Dec. 2, 2018
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