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CLARENCE MONTGOMERY RINCKER PROSSER FUNERAL HOME & CREMATORY Clarence Montgomery Rincker, age 93, passed away on July 29, 2016 at home at Sheffield Manor in Prosser. The eldest son of John Clarence Rincker and Clare (Montgomery) Rincker, Clarence was born on September 8, 1922 in Cheyenne, Wyoming. He was raised on a dairy farm in eastern Wyoming near Lyman, Nebraska during the depression and drought years of the 1930's. He graduated as Salutatorian of the Class of 1940 from Huntley, Wyoming High School. Clarence enrolled in the College of Agriculture at the University of Wyoming and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Agronomy in 1944, fourteen months after enlisting in the U.S. Army, and earned his Master's Degree in 1953. Clarence was called into active military duty in 1943 and fought with the 100th Infantry Division as an 81mm mortar gunner in France and Germany. He served in three major battles, was surrounded three times in combat and was one of only seventeen survivors rescued after an all-night battle in which his ear drums were ruptured. Clarence served in the U.S. Army from June 12, 1942 until his honorable discharge on February 16, 1946, with sixteen months of overseas duty. In 1947, he began working for the University of Wyoming as an Assistant in Seed Certification, Research Assistant and Instructor in Agronomy. He was active in the Wyoming Crop Improvement Association, International Crop Improvement Association and served as Wyoming's representative to the National Foundation Seed Project from 1950-1957. In 1957 he accepted a position with the US Department of Agriculture, ARS in Prosser as a research Agronomist. He worked on seed production of forage crops and served as Western State Representative for the National Seed Project. He conducted extensive research on the storage of seeds at subfreezing temperatures to extend viability, a practice since adopted by the National Seed Storage Laboratory. He retired from the USDA in 1986. Clarence was a fifty-nine year member of Prosser United Methodist Church and chaired nearly every board or committee of the church. In 1971, he helped members of five local churches form Common Ministry to benefit disadvantaged residents of Prosser. It was the first senior meal program and food bank in Prosser and was located at the Prosser United Methodist Church. Clarence was a sixty-seven year member of the Masonic Lodge; a thirty-two year member of the Prosser Rotary Club, named Rotarian of The Year three times and a Paul Harris Fellow; member of the Prosser Chamber of Commerce; a life member of the University of Wyoming Alumni Association; life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars; past commander of the American Legion; a longtime member of the American Society of Agronomy; and honorary life member of the Washington State Crop Improvement Association. Clarence helped establish Jubilee Ministries and served as a volunteer, board member and chairman of the board; served ten years on the Prosser Planning Commission; and fourteen years on the Benton, Franklin and Walla Walla County's Good Roads Association and helped bring the interstate rest stop to Prosser. Clarence was active with the Boy Scouts of America since 1965, served on the Fort Simcoe Executive Council for ten years and received the Silver Beaver Award in 1975, the highest award a Boy Scout Council can present to an adult leader. He was also awarded the Orville Vogel Award for significant contributions to Crop Improvement in Washington State. In 1992, he was named Prosser's Outstanding Citizen and in 1998, received the first ever Certificate of Appreciation from the Mayor of Prosser recognizing his volunteer service in the community. 'Clarence married Roberta Ruth Johnson on September 11, 1949 and the couple raised four children. After retiring, the couple traveled extensively, visiting all fifty states and a number of foreign countries. They belonged to the Prosser Goofer Hoofer Square Dance Club and a bridge club for twenty-six years. Clarence was also a licensed pilot and enjoyed photography throughout his life. He authored two autobiographical books, "The Red-headed, Freckle-face, Barefoot Boy" in 2011 and "My Life With Seeds" in 2015. Clarence is survived by his wife of sixty-six years, Roberta of Prosser; four children, Patricia Donald and her husband, Bob Stack of Opelika, AL, Shirley Kelley and her husband, David of Yakima, Dale Rincker and his wife, JoAnn of Hermiston, OR; and Nancy Richman and her husband, Shawn of Prosser; his brothers, Bill Rincker of Kansas City, MO and Everett Rincker and his wife, Lola of Hay Springs, NE; seven grandchildren; twelve great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents. Graveside services with Full Military Honors will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, August 13, 2016 at the Prosser Cemetery. A memorial service will follow at 2:00 p.m. at Prosser United Methodist Church. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Prosser United Methodist Church or Heart links Hospice of Sunnyside. 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Prosser Funeral Home
1220 Sheridan Ave
Prosser, WA 99350
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Published in Tri-City Herald on Aug. 7, 2016
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