Clairus M. Dew

  • Died: September 19, 2019
  • Location: Fort Wayne, Indiana

D O McComb and Sons - Covington Knolls

8325 Covington Rd.
Fort Wayne, IN 46804

Tel. (260) 426-9494

Tribute & Message From The Family

CLAIRUS M. DEW, 103, passed away Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019. By his own words, he'd had "a full measure of life" and had been active and independent until the last month of his life. Born Aug. 10, 1916, in Monmouth, Ill., he was the youngest son of Wilmer Dew and Mary Margaret (Giffin) Dew. Clairus spent his early years helping with the family dairy business. He graduated from Monmouth, Ill. High School in 1933. Clairus attended and graduated from Monmouth, Ill. College in 1938 with a degree in social science. While in college, he lettered in basketball, and was the last living member of Monmouth College's first basketball conference champions. Clairus went to work for Illinois Bankers' Life Assurance Co. in Monmouth until he joined the Illinois National Guard in February 1941. He was taken into federal service in March, 1941. By February 1942, only two months after Pearl Harbor, Clairus was sent overseas to the South Pacific. Clairus rose to the rank of Tech. Sgt. and served in the 5th Cargo Combat Squadron of the 5th Air Force of the U.S. Army Air Corps. During his service, he earned the Good Conduct Medal and earned six battle stars. He was honorably discharged on Nov. 14, 1945. During college, Clairus met Elizabeth (Betty) Johnson. He told her he had a dime in his pocket and offered to buy her a five-cent ice cream cone. On June 14, 1943, the couple was married in Davenport, Iowa, while he was on leave. After the war, Clairus returned to work and raised a family in Monmouth. While living in Monmouth IL, Clairus was involved in Kiwanis, was elected twice as clerk of Monmouth Township, played for his company's fast-pitch softball team, and was active in the Presbyterian Church. In 1953, Clairus and Betty moved to Fort Wayne, Ind. and he took a job with Midwestern United Life Insurance Co. Through his working career, Clairus was head of Midwestern's underwriting department and retired as a 2nd Vice-President. Always involved in civic affairs, Clairus was active in his neighborhood association, served as a Cub Scout pack leader, managed and coached Little League teams, participated in PTA, and was a long-time donor and volunteer with American Red Cross. He also served as board chairperson of Audiences Unlimited and as a member of the planning committee of Smock Senior Ministries. Clairus was extremely active in his church. He served in many church positions including the session of his Presbyterian Church as an elder as well as singing in the church choir for many years. Always active in sports, Clairus played slow-pitch softball into his '70s and was a fan of the Chicago Cubs and the St. Francis football team. A highlight moment for Clairus was when he was chosen to throw out the first pitch at a Fort Wayne Tincaps game in honor of his first 100 years and as a World War II veteran. Clairus lived a life as a loving husband, the best of fathers, a beloved uncle, and a respected grandparent. He is survived by his wife of 76 years, Elizabeth (Betty) Dew; daughter, Sharon L. (Nils) Stangenes of Chicago; son, David C. (Kathleen) Dew of Fort Wayne; grandson, Daniel C. Dew and Dawn Goodyear of Fort Wayne; and granddaughter, Kirsten Stangenes and Alec Lilliebridge of Algonquin, Ill.; brother-in-law, Lynn Nelson of Galesburg, Ill. Also surviving are six great-grandchildren, seven great-great-grandchildren; three nephews, spouses, and children; and four nieces, spouses and children. Clairus was also preceded in death by his brothers, John Robert Dew and Leroy Dew; sisters-in-law, Lyndea Dew, Mary Dew, Jane Louise Baker, Doris K. Nelson; and grandchildren, Matthew Dew and Kari Stangenes. Service is 11 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2019, in the Chapel of First Presbyterian Church, 300 W. Wayne St., Fort Wayne, Ind., with calling one hour before service. Calling is from 5 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2019, at D.O. McComb & Sons Pine Valley Park Funeral Home, 1320 E. Dupont Rd. Preferred memorials area to Smock Senior Ministries, or Audiences Unlimited, or Monmouth (Ill.) College.


Condolence & Memory Journal

I will miss Clairus" annual Christmas card and message. And I treasure the memory of his 100th birthday party in Galesburg. I felt so honored to be invited and see him so lively and meet more of the wonderful members of his family.
Sincerely, Ralph Butler

Posted by Ralph Butler - Monmouth, IL - Friend   September 27, 2019

May the Lord comfort those who knew this man, and bless the memories that they all share and his legacy in their lives.

Posted by Marna Renteria - Fort Wayne, IN   September 23, 2019

Good memories of Clarius from his MULIC days and mine at Lincoln Reinsurance. We worked together in the underwriting arena. He was always the professional. I am happy that he had such a full and rich like. Condolences to the family.

Posted by Dan Farrimond - Fort Wayne, IN - Coworker   September 23, 2019

Family Album