Clayton F. Nemmers, 83, of Le Mars, died suddenly Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2010, at his home in Le Mars.
Clay was born March 8, 1927, in Le Mars, the son of Francis and Vera (St. Germaine) Nemmers. Clay was also affectionately called "Tiger" by many of his family and friends.
He graduated from Le Mars Central High School in 1945, and enlisted with the United States Navy where he served in World War II.
He was a member of Admiral Byrd's 1946 expedition to the Antarctic, known as Operation Hi Jump. Using PBM airplanes the operation mapped over a third of the continent.
During the Korean War, he was called to active duty for his expertise in communication equipment. He served on the ship USS Currituck, 1946 to 1947-AV-7, Rank AET Mic, Division V and he attended many of the ship members' reunions. He was also a member of the Underwater Demolition Team.
He was a member of both the World War II and Korean War Last Man's Clubs.
He was an active member of the American Legion Club, and was a volunteer with the Plymouth County Search and Rescue Team. Additionally, he was also personally responsible for saving other peoples' lives at a time when there were no emergency response units available.
After his honorable discharge he returned to Le Mars where he met Jeannie (Yoerger) who he married Aug. 16, 1954, at St. Joseph's Catholic Church -- Ellendale, rural Merrill. Clay owned Nemmers Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning and had served commercial and residential customers for years in the surrounding states. At one time, he was co-owner of The Amber Inn Hotel and Restaurant.
He was a ham radio operator, pilot, avid photographer, and was active in the arts community. He enjoyed his family, computers, politics, and jokes.
Clay was extremely athletic and gifted. In his younger years, he was a scuba diver and a championship water skier, ice skater and professional tap dancer.
Clay loved life and loved people and throughout his life, made many life-long friends. He was a wonderful and beloved husband, active father, and a great neighbor and member of the community. Certainly, he will be missed by all who knew him.
Survivors include his wife of 56 years, Jeannie of Le Mars; four children and their families: Cheri Jolin of Parker, Colo., Kimberly and her husband, Donald Fague of Denver, Colo., Michael Nemmers of Le Mars, and Rhonda and her husband, Tony Mial of Stafford, Va.; 10 grandchildren; 13 great-grandchildren; and his sister, Joellen and her husband Barney Taylor of Phoenix, Ariz.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Francis and Vera Nemmers and his beloved son, Bradley Allan Nemmers.
Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10 a.m. Saturday at St. James Catholic Church in Le Mars with the Rev. Matt Hewitt officiating. Interment will be in Calvary Cemetery in Le Mars with military honors provided by the American Legion, Wasmer Post #241. Visitation will be anytime after 3 p.m. today (Friday) at the Carlsen-Feuerstein-Funeral Home in Le Mars, where there will be a parish rosary at 4 p.m. and a vigil prayer service at 7:30 p.m. Visitation will continue Saturday one hour prior to the service at the church.
Pallbearers will be Shawn Cheesten, Scott Ihrke, Larry Brangwin, Len Yoerger, Gordon Yoerger, and Denny Schleef.
Expressions of sympathy may be extended to the family through www.carlsenfuneralhome.com.