Clarence G. O’Leary, 89, passed away Tuesday, December 6, 2011 at Hendersonville Health and Rehabilitation Center after a brief illness. He was born November 29, 1922 in St. John, Maine to Joseph and Gladys Kelly O’Leary. Clarence served in the U.S. Army during WW II, earning a Bronze Star, Purple Heart and several campaign medals. After his military service Clarence married Rolande “Rhonnie” Gagne on August 20, 1946. He was employed by the Civil Service Administration at Loring Air Force Base in Limestone, Maine, retiring in 1977. Clarence was a registered Maine Guide, trapper, hunter, fisherman and extraordinary canoeist. He was also an amateur boxer and was considered by all that knew him as a man amongst men. Clarence and Rhonnie have resided in Hendersonville since 2003.
In addition to his wife Rhonnie, Clarence is survived by a sister, Ann O’Leary Kelly of Inverness, Florida; children Gordon O’Leary and wife Joan Phillipsburg, New Jersey, Michael O’Leary and wife Judy Noel of Flat Rock, NC, Marlene O’Leary and husband John Cook of Atlanta, GA and Vicki O’Leary of Asheville, NC; several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by three children, Patrick O’Leary, Joy O’Leary Mills and Paul O’Leary; a sister, Geraldine O’Leary McBriarty and a beloved grandson, Lee Cox. The family would like to express their sincere thanks and appreciation to Dr. Randy Tryon and the staff of Hendersonville Health and Rehab for their outstanding support and caring attitudes.
A private service will be held at Western Carolina State Veterans Cemetery in Black Mountain. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the charity of one’s choice.