AUBURN — Clarence R. VanOstrand Jr., 84, of Auburn, passed away peacefully Nov. 4, 2019, at his home surrounded by his large, loving family, who cared for him during his final battle with cancer.
Clarence enlisted in the United States Marine Corps a week after his 17th birthday. He served overseas in Korea and was honorably discharged. In 1961 he enlisted in the Army National Guard and in 1980, he graduated from the United States Army Sergeants Major Academy. Clarence had the honor of having General Omar Bradley present him with his diploma and class ring at Fort Bliss, Texas. He retired as a Command Sergeant Major at age 60.
After 35 years of employment as a journeyman-cutter grinder, he retired at the age of 62 from New Process Gear. After retirement, he volunteered for 16 years at the Veterans Memorial Babe Ruth baseball field. He was also the football equipment manager for the Auburn City School District for 13 years.
Clarence was a faithful member of the Church of the Nazarene for many years and attended church every Sunday. On the Sunday before returning home to the Lord, he gathered all of his strength to attend church for the last time.
He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Virginia Switzer VanOstrand, and their children, Karen Dec (Derrick), Kim Bertonica (John), Clarence R. VanOstrand III, Kathleen Elice, Lisa Barwinczak (Francis), Jeannie Granato (Paul), and Christy VanOstrand (John); his sister, Tammy Behara (Paul); his grandchildren and great-grandchildren whom he loved very much, Vernon (Min) Michael and Jocelyn Peryea, Amyrose and Natalie Davis, Jeffrey Dec, Mathew Bertonica, Alicia (Tony), Giana, and Enzo Gower, Lea and Clay VanOstrand, Joseph (Rachel), Lucas, James, and Emma Elice, Elaine Baker, Elizabeth and Greysen Baker, Lindsey, Michael, and Marissa Tarby, Zack and Bethany Barwinczak, Jessica, Jake, and Bella Granato, David (Sally), Eliot and Rhett VanOstrand, Joe and Julia Tozzi, Nicole, Brett, and Josephine Bielowicz.
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In addition to his parents, Clarence VanOstrand and Rose VanOstrand Tabor, and his sister, Patricia Mitchell, he was predeceased by several nieces and nephews.
Friends are invited to join the family for a celebration of life to be offered at 11 a.m. Friday, Nov. 8, in the Church of the Nazarene, 3360 E. Genesee St., Auburn, NY 13021. Burial with full military honors will follow in St. Joseph’s Cemetery. Calling hours will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday at the Cheche Funeral Home Inc., 1778 Clark St. Road, Auburn.
Contributions may be made in memory of Clarence to the Church of the Nazarene or to Hospice of the Finger Lakes.
To offer condolences to the family, please visit www.chechefuneralhome.com.