Patricia Ann Clemons09/27/1926 – 05/30/2021

feature

Patricia Ann Clemons, 94, was born to Charles H. Clemons Jr. and Matilde (Schmidt) Clemons in Aberdeen, Washington on Aug. 27, 1926. Pat was a lifelong Montesano resident and for the past three and a half years had been residing at Montesano Health and Rehab.

On May 30, 2021 she passed away unexpectedly at Summit Pacific Medical Center.

Pat was a 1944 graduate of Montesano High School. Her college career took her to GHC then CWU where she graduated with her BA in Education in 1949. At the U of Hawaii in 1957, she earned a MA in Education, then in 1974 a MA in Library Studies. She spent her 30 years’ educational career with the Montesano School District, 20 as a seventh grade teacher and 10 as an elementary librarian.

After her retirement in 1979, she started her second career in historical preservation, following in her father’s footsteps. Due to her leadership, perseverance, dedication and historic contributions she became the symbol of volunteerism in keeping Montesano and East County history alive.

She was instrumental in the birth of the Chehalis Valley Historical Society Museum (CVHSM), which was renamed in her honor, “The Patricia A. Clemons Chehalis Valley Historical Museum” in April 2020.

She was involved in multiple community fund raisers, and periodically gave talks, wrote articles, did research and became a liaison for a number of Montesano organizations. Her hard work and devotion did not go unnoticed. If she were to receive gratuities for her work she would redirect those funds to support the historical society.

She received many deserved awards and accolades over the years. They were The Olympic View Grange Community Service Award, the Margaret Downey Service Award, and the CVHSM Award. In 2008 she was named Montesano’s Citizen of the Year and was chosen as Grand Marshall for the Festival of Lights Parade. In 2011, for the first time in Montesano history, she was awarded the “key to the city.” One of her personal greatest honors was being recognized as a member of the Montesano High School Hall of Fame in 2013. In April Pat was named the 2021 Polson Museum Pioneer of the Year, the same honor received by her father in 1980.

Pat, being the lone surviving grandchild of C.H. Clemons Sr., Clemons Tree Farm namesake, was extremely proud of her heritage and kept his memory alive for the family and the community. In 1941, she was present at the initial dedication of Clemons Tree Farm, America’s first, and never missed one in the years to follow, speaking at the 75th anniversary in 2016.

In Montesano she was known as “Pat” the town’s “unofficial historian.” To her family she was known as our cousin “Patty Ann” the “go to person” who remembered and knew everything about our Clemons’ and Irish family heritage. Patty, through her example, left us the gifts of appreciating the importance of volunteerism, research and history, and the knowledge of our family “‘roots.” She was a one-woman show whose legacy will be remembered and sorely missed by all.

She was preceded in death by her parents, and her two brothers, Charles Andrew “Andy” Clemons, and William George “Billy” Clemons. She is survived by a nephew Charles Henry Clemons (Sue), West Layafette, Indiana; a niece, Joan Clemons Price, Germantown, Maryland; great-nephews Stephen “Alex’’” Price, Richard “Henry” Price and Daniel Clemons; a great-niece Allison Clemons, and numerous cousins in Grays Harbor County, Washington; Idaho, California, the East Coast, Germany and Ireland.

Funeral services will be held at St. John’s Catholic Church, 414 E. Broadway Ave., Montesano on June 25 at 1 p.m. with a graveside service at Wynoochee Cemetery to follow. After the graveside service a reception will be held at the St. John’s Parish Center.