Clarence James Redfern passed away at The Heartford House of Owensboro on February 2, 2022, just days following his 100th birthday. He was born in Island, KY on January 19, 1922, to the late Elmer Cornelius and Mary Elizabeth Redfern.
At the age of twenty Clarence was drafted into the U.S. Army where he served as an artillery gunner with the D-Day forces landing in Normandy. He bravely fought through France and Belgium including the Battle of the Bulge with the 979th Field Artillery Division, U.S. Second Army. His outfit fired 95-pound, 155-millimeter shells from "Long Tom" guns. The shells of these heavy field weapons required 32 pounds of gunpowder and had a range of 14 miles. It is little wonder that Clarence was later troubled with hearing difficulties. He was honorably discharged in 1945, returning home to McLean County.
During his service in the army, Clarence would pay his army buddies to allow him to cut their hair. "I thought I knew what I was doing," he often recalled. He worked briefly as an electrician upon his return but very soon headed to barber school in Louisville where he received his Standardized Training Certificate in 1947. He began barbering in Owensboro, charging 15 cents for a haircut.
Clarence owned several shops throughout his career. He sold his last shop in Lincoln Mall but continued to work one day a week and served as a State Barber Inspector for many years. He worked well into his eighties, always having a set of clippers nearby for a needy son, grandson, or friend. And he always insisted on cutting his own hair.
On March 27, 1948, Clarence married Nancy Stovall Redfern. They celebrated 72 years of marriage until her passing in 2020. Their only child, Tim, was the treasure of their lives.
Clarence and Nancy traveled life's road together, enjoying the fellowship of family, friends, fellow campers, and annual snowbirders in Florida. Camping and fishing trips with their grandsons were always memorable. Clarence was a devout and faithful member of Crosspointe Baptist Church and the Dorcas Sunday School Class. Playing gospel and bluegrass music on his fiddles and harmonicas brought him no end of pleasure.
Along with his parents and wife Nancy, Clarence was also preceded in death by his beloved son, Tim; and his six siblings, Edgar, Edward, Ellis, Willard, James, and Rena Redfern.
Clarence is survived by his daughter-in-law, Kathi Neudecker Redfern; grandsons, Nick Redfern, his wife Whitney and their sons Braedon and Blaine and Taylor Redfern, his wife Christy and their children, Cooper and Hayden Kate; and his stepsister Vernie Rightmeyer.
The family wishes to thank the Local VFW Post #696, the community of Owensboro, family, and friends for making Clarence's 100th birthday such a memorable occasion. They also thank Hospice of Western KY, his Hospice nurse Sarah Hicks, and his devoted caregivers.
The funeral service for Clarence will be at noon Saturday, February 12, 2022, at Glenn Funeral Home and Crematory, with Rev. Farrell Isenberg officiating. Visitation will begin at 10 a.m. The family requests visitors please wear masks during visitation and the service. A private burial will follow in the Field of Honor at Owensboro Memorial Gardens.
Expressions of sympathy may take the form of contributions to Crosspointe Baptist Church, P.O. Box 21705, Owensboro, KY 42304 or Hospice of Western Kentucky 3419 Wathen's Crossing Owensboro, KY 42303.
Memories and condolences for the family of Clarence Redfern may be shared at www.glenncares.com.