Richard Clemens
Richard J. Clemens Clifton Park - Richard J. Clemens, born October 10, 1928, died May 6, 2012 at the age of 83. Mr. Clemens was born in New York City and relocated to Stockbridge, MA in 1944. In 1946, he became a United States Marine to serve his country during World War II. He returned to Stockbridge to complete his high school education and later served as a Marine during the Korean Conflict. He earned an Associates Degree in Police Science and a Bachelors Degree in Criminal Justice. He was also a 3rd degree member of the Father Robert Scott Knights of Columbus Council #11064. Dick had a distinguished career in law enforcement. He was a police officer in Arlington Heights, VA and later became a Massachusetts State Police Officer, 37th RTT. His many awards include the Most Outstanding Police Service Award and the Massachusetts Humane Society medal for Bravery. Mr. Clemens retired from the Massachusetts State Police as a Detective and then began a career in the field of Industrial Security with General Electric Company; first in Pittsfield, MA and then in Schenectady, NY. Later, he established a security consulting business. In 1958, Norman Rockwell, seeking models for his work “The Runaway”, called upon his neighbor, Dick. This iconic image appeared on the cover of The Saturday Evening Post and has held a place of honor in police stations far and wide ever since. It was said that the painting told the story of the State Police. It was also the life story of Richard Clemens who served his family, his community and his nation all his days with quiet dignity and honor. Mr. Clemens is survived by his wife of 52 years, Joan M. (Fahey) Clemens; daughter Mary K. Blaauboer, her husband Jim and their children James R. and Mary G. Blaauboer; and daughter Ann M. Rocha, her husband Joe and their daughter Emily M. Rocha; all of Clifton Park, New York. Calling hours will be held on Thursday from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM at St. Edward the Confessor Church, 569 Clifton Park Center Road, Clifton Park, NY 12065. Members of the Father Robert Scott Knights of Columbus Council will conduct a wake service on Thursday at 7:00 PM at the church. The Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at The Church of St. Edward the Confessor on Friday at 9:00 AM by Fr. Patrick Butler, Pastor. Interment with full military honors will be on Friday at 12:00 PM at the Gerald B.H. Solomon Saratoga National Cemetery in Schuylerville. In lieu of flowers, those who wish may make memorial contributions to Shenendehowa Dollars for Scholars (Father Robert Scott Knights of Columbus Council #11064 Scholarship Fund), P.O. BOX 4390, CLIFTON PARK, NY 12065 The family has entrusted funeral arrangements to the Gordon C. Emerick Funeral Home, 1550 Route 9, Clifton Park, NY 12065.

Published by The Saratogian from May 8 to May 9, 2012.
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46 Entries
Dear Ann & family,

I'm so sorry to hear about the passing of your Dad. I know that you will always carry in your heart - fond memories. My thoughts go out to you and your family.
Sue Disco
May 15, 2012
Dick was a great man; gentleman, friend and professional. He will be missed. Heartfelt condolences.
Ron Flowers
May 13, 2012
Dear Ann & family, it's been so long since we've been in touch. I am so sorry to hear of your Dad's passing. I can remember our lunch chats way back when we worked together and how I admired your love for your Dad. My sincere sympathy to all of you on the loss of this wonderful man.
Jean Esposito
May 12, 2012
Dear Mrs. Clemens, Mary and Ann, I was very sad to hear of your husband and dad's passing. I was a classmate of Ann's at PHS Class of 1979. One of my fondest memories of your Dad, was the day in Boston that we watched the movie "Animal House" with him. Love, Kathy O'Brien-Galins
Kathy O'Brien-Galins
May 12, 2012
Dear Joan and Family, I am so sorry to hear on the news tonight, about Dick's passing. I will never forget how good Dick was to my Mattie. And both of you so kind to me with Mattie's illness and passing. Both Men joined the Lord May 6th. My Sincerest Sympathies to Your Family. Love Gloria Casola
May 11, 2012
On St. Valentine's Day 1995, Dick joined me to present a check from the Capital District Chapter of the Association of Former New York State Troopers to State Comptroller Carl McCall. The check was a gift to the Missing and Exploited Children's Clearinghouse Fund, the first of many contributions to the fund. It receives about $300,000 a year nowadays, obviously because of Dick's blessing. Before we went to see Mr. McCall we got this picture at the Menands Diner. You may imagine I treasure it.
Terry O'Neill
May 11, 2012
Dear Clemens family,

I am very sorry to hear of Dick's passing. We grew up with "The Runaway" print framed in our house, and my father was a state trooper who worked with Dick (my dad was Det. Lt. Ed Smith). Thinking of you in this sad time,

Dawn Smith (daughter of Det. Lt. Ed Smith)
Dawn Smith
May 11, 2012
I had the pleasure of working with Dick & Milo when they were attached to the Berkshire Co. DA's office & I was with the NYSP in Claverack, Columbia County NY.

I was happily surprised & gratified when he came to retirement dinner in 1990 & presented me with an autographed copy of The Runaway.

Happy to say that I had the chance to talk with him at a dinner several weeks ago.

My sincere sympathy to your family.

Bob Brenzel. S/Inv (Ret). NYSP. Hudson NY
May 11, 2012
Love and God Bless, Bob and Millie Quillard
May 11, 2012
Dear Joan and Daughters,
So very sorry to hear of Dick's passing.We will never forget the memories we have shared when you lived in Pittsfield.
May 11, 2012
Joan, Mary, and Ann,

I knew you a very long time ago. My father was Robert F. Angeli. I am his oldest son, Robert J. I was very saddened to learn about the death of Dick. I always looked up to him as a young boy. In some ways I feel he contributed to my own system of values, decency and integrity.

I still remember being in your home in Colonial Gardens and Sundays at Saint Francis, where Dick helped with the collections.

I bought a print of "The Runaway" many years ago and still have it here at home.

My thought and prayers are with you.

With regards - Robert J. Angeli
May 10, 2012
Dear Clemens family,
How truly blessed you all have been to have been a part of his life, and him to have been a part of all of yours. I hope you can cherish forever all of the beautiful memories and love.
God bless,
Nancy & Geoff Scimone
May 10, 2012
I was very sad to hear of Dick's passing. We were honored to have him at GE for many years after his retirement from MSP...he was always a gentleman and we always looked forward to his official visits making life safer at the Schenectady GE Plant.
Bud Matthews
May 10, 2012
Dear Mrs. Clemens and Daughters,
I grew up with "Trooper Clemens and the Runaway"! My late father was on the Massachusetts State Police and Norman Rockwell's "Trooper Clemens and the Runaway" hung over his desk in our home. Mr. Clemens followed the pattern of all the wonderful troopers I met during my growing up years. Devoted to his family he was committed unreservedly to his job and manifested the noble qualities and high ideals incumbent upon one who bears the badge of the Massachusetts State Police. Trooper Clemens leaves a legacy of personal and professional integrity worthy of emulation by all who currently serve the people in the field of law enforcement and public safety. I know my dad would say "well done, good and faithful servant!" I extend my prayerful condolences and hope you will find comfort in your treasured memories and the gift of our Catholic faith. Be assured the spirit of "Trooper Clemens and the Runaway" will remain in my heart forever.
Dr. Joan M. Kelly
(Daughter of the late Mass. State Police Adjutant,
Major John J. Kelly, class of 1938!)
Joan Kelly
May 10, 2012
Joan and family, I was saddened to hear of Dick's passing. I had the pleasure of knowing him for more than 20 years. We worked many a case together while he was at GE and I was with the State Police. I've been with Dick on many occasions since and he always made me proud to be associated with him. A true gentleman and friend. I know that I can speak for many of the Troopers that we will miss him.
John Duff, Sr. Inv. NYSP (ret.)
John Duff
May 9, 2012
Dear Mrs. Clemens, Mary, Kim: Mr. Clemens was always larger than life to me, I am so sorry for your loss. I do have the Rockwell in my office, and I love to say, yes the truth is I know that guy! He was the kind of person (man) that you wanted to grow up to be.
Jeffrey Otto
May 9, 2012
Dear Clemens Family –
My sincere condolences to you in the passing of Sergeant Clemens.
My wife, Imogene, searched months to find a suitable “Runaway” picture. It now hangs in my home with the history on the back. So sorry I did not
have the opportunity to meet the Sergeant but believe me I felt I knew him. I spent 40 years with
the Virginia State Police and very often thought of the Sergeant when I dealt with young troubled people.
May God bless you in your sadness but remember we all know where the Sergeant now rests.
Don Orfield, Sergeant(VSP Retired-1995)
Don Orfield
May 9, 2012
I've known Dick many years, first through The Grumps Club and as a neighbor. Very often, I would see him at Stewarts or the Post Office during the week. He always had a kind word for others and a healty laugh. He autographed a copy of The Runaway for one of my sons-in-law when he entered the police academy, wishing him well on his career and from Dick, those were heartfelt words. We will all miss him and we will never forget him. God bless old, old Pal.

Kevin Lynch, (ret) Captain, Conrail PD
Kevin Lynch
May 9, 2012
My heart felt condolences to the Clemens family on the loss of Dick. I had the honor and pleasure to meet Mr. Clemens many years ago as he visited his friends at SP Loudonville. As many will attest to, Mr. Clemens epitimized what a State Trooper should strive to be. I will always remember Mr. Clemens amd smile when I look at The Runaway on my wall. May you always be at peace.
Sgt. John Kolach, NYSP
May 9, 2012
Just another wonderful American Rockwell drawing. Speak's for all former Amercian policer officers
Ronald Kubikowski
May 9, 2012
On behalf of my father, Gino Pieropan, who worked with Dick at the Pittsfield barracks for many years, and my mother, Dorothy Menegoni Pieropan, who graduated from the former Williams High School in Stockbridge with Dick in 1949, I extend my most sincere condolences to the family of a true legend in our time.
Joseph Pieropan
May 9, 2012
Dear Joan and family - I am so sorry to hear of Dick's passing. We always had great times at our "retiree luncheons and dinners" sharing stories and laughs. You can take pride in the fact that Dick was THE consummate gentleman and always treated everyone with the utmost respect. I will truly miss him. He was a great trooper, soldier, and friend and you should be proud of his accomplishments. I'm glad we had the chance to have lunch before I moved from NYS.
Rest in peace my friend!
Jim O'Connor
NYSP Sr Inv (Ret.)
Jim O'Connor
May 9, 2012
Dear Joan and family:

Martha and I treasure our memories of you and Dick and especially our luncheon together at the Red Lion those many years ago and as you know, he and I were once a couple of "B Troopers" who often said to each other in happier times: "Once a trooper, always a trooper". God rest his soul.
Jim Lima
May 9, 2012
I would like to give my condolences to the clemens family. Mr. Clemens was a very nice man and a great friend and boss to my father. He will be greatly missed.
Joseph W. Mosseau
May 9, 2012
Many fond memories with Mr. Clemens. He was always quick witted, funny and a genuine friend. He loved to be a Trooper and all of law enforcement respected his character and his reputation of honesty and integrity. Dick had a certain way about him that left you admiring not just what he said but how he said it. One specific message he always shared with young police recruits was "Never leave your partner." His message was clear and simple based on trust and loyalty. He was a good friend.
Steven Bodway
May 9, 2012
God Bless you and know he touched people many miles away.-----Westerville, OH (Pamela Fields)
Pamela Fields
May 9, 2012
Dear Joan & Daughters.
We were so saddened to hear of Dick's death. As Bob said, he was the kind of man you meet once in a lifetime. I will always remember you and Dick holding hands and taking your daily walks. Joan, he will be with you always and we see him on our wall everyday in "The Runaway". What a truly wonderful man he was. Love, Pat & Bob (Doherty)
May 8, 2012
To the Clemens Family,
Your husband, father, grandfather, was such a kind, gentle and generous man. In life, he epitomized all that a Trooper should be. And fortunately for all of us, Norman Rockwell saw those same vitues and forever recorded it on canvas. I am so sorry for your loss.
Peggy Christman
May 8, 2012
So very sorry to hear of Dick's passing. I met Dick many years ago at a "GRUMPS" meeting. Always a gentleman and very kind person. My deepest condolences to the entire Clemens family. RIP Dick.
Frank Valenti
May 8, 2012
Dear Joan, I want to add to my sister's comment about Mr. Clemens. My dad, Jim Goggins, certainly enjoyed his years of working in the office with Dick Clemens, Milo Brown, Bob Scott and the gang. My parents were fond of you both, and enjoyed hearing about your girls as they grew. Mr. Clemens was kind enough to come to my dad's funeral years ago. And my children and the students in my art classes have all had to hear about the real star of Rockwell's "The Runaway"!
Mary Beth Eldridge
May 8, 2012
Dear Joan, Mary & Ann,

Thank you for sharing this gentle giant with the world. He touched so many hearts including mine. Emily, Molly and Jake are blessed to have a Grandpa who loves them so much.
I will always remember our special day on vacation in DC and the Model T ride around the neighborhood. Know that while we share your loss we also share fond and lasting memories with him.
God Bless,
Dom Denio NYSP Ret.
Dom Denio
May 8, 2012
Please accept our sincere condolences at the passing of Det. Lt. Clemens (ret.). Our prayers and thoughts are with you all.
Lenox Police Department
May 8, 2012
Dear Mrs Clemens,Mary and Ann and Family:
It has been a lot of years, but I remember Mr Clemens and your family. I am very sorry to hear of Mr. Clemen's passing. May you hold fond memories in you heart.
Marie (LeMay) Cowell
Marie Cowell
May 8, 2012
My pleasure to know and be associated with Dick Clemens, and my condolences to the Clemens family
Joseph Mosseau
May 8, 2012
To the Clemens Family

I was sad to hear of Dick's passing. I had the pleasure of knowing and working with him at GE in Schenectady. I could tell from the first time I met him that his heart was as big as he was. Our condolences to your family.

Joe & Dolores Conroy, Sarasota, FL
May 8, 2012
Mrs Clemens and Family,
I was sorry to hear about Mr. Clemens. I can't help smile when I think of the stories and freinddship with Dick, my father shared and enjoyed so much. Oh what a reunion in heaven there must of been! with sincere sym[pathy and prayers. Respectfully,
Catherine Goggins
May 8, 2012
Dick you will be missed. Everytime I look at the Norman Rockwell picture I smile and think of you. My thoughts and prayers are with your family.
Dawn Juneau
May 8, 2012
Several years ago my son drew a picture for Mr. Clemen's depicting the "Runaway". Chris was very excited about the drawing, so we mailed it to Mr. Clemen's. Mr. Clemen's was so touched by the picture that he wanted to meet my son personally. Several weeks later, my family and I met him and his family (along with Ed Locke) at the Rockwell Museum. The two families spent time and had lunch together and my son was thrilled to meet him, as we all were. What a kind, caring, and generous person he was...and his family were wonderful people as well. My family and I will always cherish the memory of our time spent with Mr. Clemens and his family. We will think of him often and remember our friendship forever. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.
Lieutenant David Paine, Massachusetts State Police, 67th RTT
David Paine
May 8, 2012
I had the fortune to work with Dick in Pittfield and again in Schenectady. He always had a smile and a kind word for everyone. Despite the nature of his work he always saw the bright side of life. My sincere condolences to the family of this wonderful friend...
Dennis Babin
May 8, 2012
You were as caring and compassionate as you were strong --- a great example of what a police officer should be --- we will miss you.
Sue McDonough - NYSP retired
May 8, 2012
Dear Clemens Family,

Sorry to hear about Mr. Clemens. He was a great friend to our father. Our prayers are with you at this time.
Trish Goggins Dabrowski
May 8, 2012
To the family of Dick Clemens, I am truly sorry for your loss. Dick was one of the finest examples of what a Trooper should be. Chief Larry Marsell Holliston Ma Police (Ret.)
May 8, 2012
A very lovely, gentle, and caring man. Travel safely to heaven. There is a stool waiting at the counter.
(Inv) Bill Manley
May 8, 2012
Dear Joan and family,
It was a pleasure to know him. When he signed my copy of "The Runaway" he wrote "To a truly nice person" I'd like to now say...."Right back at you Dick".What a good good man. I will hug you soon!!!
Ann Denio
May 8, 2012
good to know you rip gary allen ge emp.
gary allen
May 8, 2012

Do you ever wonder why it is that some kids run away?
For lots of varied reasons those who know these things would say.
Some are angry. Some are scared. Some get lost, you know.
And some just want to find out what would happen if they'd go.

A painter, Norman Rockwell, by this matter was inspired.
One day at his easel came the image he desired.
And so did Norman dip his brush and then begin to paint.
Soon emerged a picture sentimental -- even quaint.

A little fellow makes his way along the road of life.
He cut the ties that bound him with his little pocket knife.
He bundled up his worldly goods and tied them to a stick.
He set out on the road alone. The way was his to pick.

He met a Trooper with his gun, his handcuffs and his shield
Who asked the boy some questions by which truth would be revealed.
"Now, tell me, son, why did you run? What are you looking for?
Is there some special reason why you left your parents' door?"

The kid would give no answer. He was silent as could be.
No name, address, nor age, nor school, nor favorite team had he.
Now, cops have ways of finding out whatever must be known.
And this one had a method quite unique and all his own.

"I guess we'll have to go downtown to find out the details."
The kid complied reluctantly, expecting he'd be jailed.
Soon they arrived, not at some keep surrounded by a moat,
But rather at a fountain where they shared an ice cream float.

Well, Norman's painting captures well a very simple truth
That might not be apparent to most people in their youth.
There's something called "authority"; respect it well we must.
At best, it's there to guide us if it has our faith and trust.

Each boy and girl sets out one day upon their own two feet.
I did. And I was lucky, for that Trooper did I meet.
Though long ago I took that knife and cut the ties that bind me,
I know today if I was lost, that he would come and find me.
Terry O'Neill
May 8, 2012
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