Clarence Joseph King, 94, Sarasota, Fla.

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Clarence Joseph King Sr., 94, of Sarasota, Fla., passed away on the thirteenth of June, Anno Domini 2013.

Clarence was born on the tenth of March, 1919, in Bristol, Rhode Island, the son of Francis E. King and Maude Armburg King. He was a sibling to eight brothers and two sisters, now deceased. Clarence graduated from Colt Memorial High School in 1937. From youth, he was always involved in the family florist business, King’s Greenhouses, in Bristol, Rhode Island.

Clarence was drafted into the United States Army in February of 1941, ten months prior to the attack on Pearl Harbor and the American entry into World War II. He was an expert marksman and served with the Field Artillery Branch during the War, performing counter-battery operations in North Africa. Clarence was captured during the Battle of Kasserine Pass, Tunisia, on Valentine’s Day of 1943, after his vehicle was strafed and disabled by a German ground-attack aircraft.

He was held as a Prisoner of War at Stalag III-B, Fürstenberg, Germany, where he used his interest of electronic technology to make a crystal set with which he could receive BBC war updates. Clarence was a part of one nearly successful escape attempt during his incarceration, and was ultimately liberated by the Red Army in May of 1945.

Clarence married the love of his life, Marie Irene Gallant, in November of 1946. In 1956, they moved to Sarasota, Fla., where they remained to raise their family. After a period working for Sealtest Dairy, he further pursued his interest in electronic technology as a testing technician at Electro-Mechanical Research Telemetry, from which he retired after a more than 20-year career. He remained an avid ham radio operator and orchid grower until his passing.

He was a member of St. Jude Catholic Church.

Clarence was pre-deceased by Irene on the sixth of February, 2006. He is survived by his son, Clarence King Jr. (Ji), of Everett, Washington; two daughters, Carol Patrice King and Mary Anne Moss (Gary), both of Sarasota, Fla.; and seven grandchildren and one great-grandchild. Clarence was a loving son, husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather: a hero at home and abroad, instrumental in giving The Greatest Generation their worthy namesake.

A funeral Mass will be celebrated on Thursday, June 20, at 11:30 a.m. at St. Jude Catholic Church, with burial to follow at Palms Robarts Memorial Park, Sarasota, Fla.

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