Clare LeRoy Brace (90) passed away on February 26, 2016. Born on January 28, 1926, Clare is preceded in death by his parents Andrew and Ida Brace, brother Clarence Brace, cousin (and longtime friend) Floyd Tanner, granddaughter Tammie Gibson, grandsons Forest Brace, Jace Bang and his loving wife “Millie” who passed away on April 20, 2015.
Clare is survived by his children; Hank Brace, Gary Brace, Deena Brace and Paul Brace of The Dalles, Debbie Kaps and husband Ron from Kalama, Wash., brother Bud Brace, sisters Pearl Munsen and Sharon Black of The Dalles. Grandchildren: Dan and Jody Brace, Lori and Kevin Bang, Tiffany Brace, Melodie and Dereck Scholz, Shane Brace, Darla and Ryan Sweet, Cassidy Gaige and Dakota Green. Great grandchildren Josie, Brandi, Jace, Allie, Gage, Casey, Kayden, Sadie, Jezi, Kylea, Lexi and Landen.
In addition, Clare leaves behind many relatives, nieces, nephews and friends.
Moving from their home state of North Dakota in 1938 at the age of 12, Clare and his family settled down in The Dalles, Ore., to start a new life.
This is where he would eventually meet his future bride. Hanging out at the local malt shop Clare met his sweetheart ‘Millie Penel’ who would become his lifelong partner of 67 years.
Soon settling down and making their home in the small town of Rowena where they would become a vital part of the community and together raise five children. Always welcoming neighbors, friends and family into their home.
In those days Clare was known by many as “Pet” (a nickname). Spending many summer days on the river, Pet enjoyed outdoor social gatherings; picnicking, swimming, boating and skiing, always surrounded by friends and family.
A veteran of World War II, Clare served in the US Navy. He was on the historic mega ship “The USS New Jersey,” an 887 foot decorated battleship carrying over 5000 men. Barely an adult at 18, Clare survived one of the worst storms in history when his ship was hit by the ‘Typhoon Cobra’ on December 1944. A horrific storm that sank three of their destroyer ships killing over 800 men. The USS New Jersey survived the storm and helped rescue many lives.
Clare was a student at Portland State University with special interest in business. In his thirties, he took a job working for the Union Pacific Railroad and although he stayed on for several years, his ‘entrepreneurial spirit’ would often take him in different directions. Frequently dabbling in used cars and heavy equipment and later investing in the stock market.
It was no surprise when one day in 1968 ‘out of the blue’ announcing to his wife and kids “We are selling the house and moving up north to buy a motel.” This marking the first of several and what would become many successful years to follow as motel owner operators.
A loving husband, father and a grandfather may you forever rest in peace alongside of your beautiful bride.
For those of you that would like to make a contribution please consider the Mid-Columbia Veterans Memorial, 812 W 6th, The Dalles, OR 97058.
Please join us for a Celebration of Clare’s life at Covenant Christian Church, 2630 E 18th St., The Dalles, OR 97058, Saturday April 16 at noon. Lunch will be served.
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