The endless stories of 92 year old Melvin W. Clinton were forever stilled with his death on Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. Following a valiant battle by the heart team and all available medical staff at Good Samaritan Regional Health Center in Mt. Vernon, at 6:45 p.m. the old soldier answered the final roll call.
Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday at Ina Free Will Baptist Church, 3rd and Elm Street, Ina, with Bro. Brad Ryan and Bro. David Shores officiating. Following will be a full military burial service at Kirk Cemetery, north of Ina, conducted by American Legion Honor Guard, Mt. Vernon Post 141.
Friends and family may call at the church between the hours of 5 and 8 p.m. Friday and again from noon to the funeral hour on Saturday. Parking and access will be from the south parking lot of the new building.
Melvin was born on May 5, 1922, the second son of Carl W. and Maude M. (Taylor) Clinton in Ina, where he continued to make his residence for most of his 92 plus years. Following the death of his mother at the age of four, he was raised in the home of his father and Rosie (Moss) Clinton. On Jan. 15, 1941, he married Ruby L. Cook and to that marriage was born a daughter and two sons.
He served with the U. S. Army Rangers’ famed Merrill’s Marauders in the China Burma India Theatre, 1942 to 1944. He was awarded the Bronze Star, Presidential Citation, Combat Infantry Badge, Asiatic Pacific Campaign with three Battle Stars, WWII Victory Medal, Good Conduct Medal, U. S. army Ranger Tab and the Chinese War Memorial Medal.
He has spent a lifetime working as a farmer and in the construction industry, including his beginning as a welder at Mt. Vernon Car Manufacturing Company and ending with construction superintendent for the building of massive shovels used in the coal mining industry in Southern Illinois and Indiana. During that time he had been involved in civic endeavors, serving as Jefferson County Service Officer, Mayor of the Village of Ina where he was instrumental in securing modern utility services and the Village of Ina Memorial displays and monuments dedicated to those who served in the military and he was among the first group selected to the Jefferson County Senior Saints.
He is survived by daughter, Loretta (Clinton) and son-in-law, Keith Fowler and son, Eugene (Gene) and daughter-in-law, Barbara (Vaughan) Clinton, all of Ina; four grandchildren and their spouses, Susan (Fowler) and Bruce Slamans of Sugar Grove, David and Sheila (Settle) Fowler of Chicago, Pam (Clinton) and Owen Allen and Wayne and Melinda (Sneed) Clinton, all of Ina; great-grandchildren, Kyle Slamans and fiancé Danielle Anderson, Ashlyn Slamans and fiancé Jake Ochoa and Tyler Slamans, all of Sugar Grove, Samantha Allen of Houston, Spencer and Leah (Sutton) Allen of Atlanta and Page and Shaylee Clinton of Ina; a brother Tom and wife, Ann Clinton of Woodlawn; a sister, Roberta Clinton England of Lewistown; sister-in-law, Ruth Clinton of Noble; brother-in-law, Byford Baltzell of Ewing; sisters-in-law, Roberta McKinney of Benton and Barbara Cook of Woodlawn; and a host of extended family, neighbors and friends.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Ruby L. Clinton on Oct. 31, 2012; a son, David Lee Clinton, who died in a farm accident in 1967 at the age of 16; his parents; a brother, James T. Clinton; sisters, Betty Baltzell, Thelma Dycus and Geneva Clinton; and brothers-in-law, Byford, Russell, Donald Cook and Charles England.
He loved people, our country and its history. From his many years came a vast knowledge of information and the stories, which he loved to share with anyone who cared to listen, will be sorely missed.
Memorials may be made to the Kirk Cemetery Association with whom Mr. Clinton has been involved for many years, serving on both the board and as president.
Family friends, Bruce and Brad Johnston and staff of Johnston Funeral Home in Ina are in charge of funeral and burial arrangements.