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Clarence Harold Buurman

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Clarence Harold Buurman


Clarence Harold Buurman of Greenville, SC, passed away on September 22, 2013. Born in Orange City Iowa on July 31, 1915 he was the son of the late John and Grace Buurman. Clarence attended Northwestern College in Orange City and received his BS, MS and Doctorate in Organic Chemistry from the University of Iowa. He was chief water chemist for the Iowa Department of health while working on his Doctorate. He spent 29 years in the New York City area employed by GAF Corporation. Prior retirement in 1982 Clarence was Vice President and Operations Manager of Emery Industries in Mauldin, South Carolina. Clarence was a fellow in the American Institute of Chemists and a member of the American Chemical Society, Alpha Chi Sigma Professional Chemical Society, Sigma Xi Honorary Scientific Society and the Synthetic Organic Chemical Association.

Clarence served on many boards and community organizations, including the United Way, the YMCA, the Chamber of Commerce, Greenville Sister Cities, Greenwood Genetic Center, Camperdown Academy and the Greenville Tec Association. He served 11 years on the South Carolina Department of Disabilities and Special Needs Commission, 4 years as chairman. As a Rotary Club member, he was President of the Mauldin-Simpsonville club and was a past Governor of District 7750.

As Chairman of World Community Service and work on humanitarian projects in Kenya and Haiti. In Kenya, these projects included constructing a medical dispensary in addition to an orphanage for children whose parents were aids victims. Projects to provide potable water and training in solar cooking were also undertaken. In Haiti, training was provided to improve farming techniques.

Clarence served twice on the Rotary International Council of Legislation and was Rotary Conference Leader in Munich and Melbourne. He was the recipient of the "Service Above Self" award, the highest worldwide honor to a Rotarian appointed by the Rotary International Board of Directors. He was also honored as a Paul Harris Fellow and a Rotary Foundation Benefactor.

Clarence was the founding father of Junior Achievement of Greenville and for his service received the Bronze and Silver Leadership awards. He served over 50 years as a guiding member of three Boy Scout Councils and was awarded the Denninger Award, the Silver Beaver Award and was a J.E. West Fellow. The Order of the Palmetto was awarded him by Governor Carroll Campbell for individual achievements.

As a founding member of the Greenville Sister Cities, Clarence achieved the status of Honorary Board Member. H organized 34 exchanges with Greenville's sister cities in Belgium and Italy and assisted with many more.

Clarence was a member of the First Presbyterian Church, Greenville and was a member of the Agape Sunday School class. He is pre-deceased by his beloved wife Jean Aljoe Buurman, his daughter Sallie Callaway, his brother John Adrian and his sister Mathilde Vander Wilt. Surviving are three children: John Buurman (Pamela), Robert (Lisa) and Carol (Myron), also left to carry on his legacy are 10 grandchildren: Michael Buurman, Katharyn Goff, Ryan Buurman, Keife Callaway, Taurey Callaway, Graham Callaway, Benjamin Goodwin, Brandon Goodwin, Lauren Reese, and Merrill Durham, also two great-grandchildren: Lilly Goff and Caiden Goff.

Memorials can be made to the first Presbyterian Church, 200 West Washington St, Greenville, SC 29606-2639; International Christian Ministries PO Box 9071, Bakersfield, CA 93389-9071; Junior Achievement of the Upstate, 530 Howel Rd, Suite 103, Greenville, SC 29615; Rotarian Action Group for Population and Development, 344 W. Pike St, Lawrenceville, GA 30046.

Mackey Mortuary is assisting family. Condolences may be made on line at

Published in The Greenville News on Sept. 25, 2013
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