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Clarence Edward Culkin, 94, of Wilmington, N.C., formerly of Forrest and Bloomington, passed away 1:21 a.m. Friday (Dec. 22, 2017) at the Commons at Brightmore, Wilmington, N.C.

A funeral Mass will be 11 a.m. Friday at Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church, Chatsworth, with Father Richard Brunskill officiating. Burial will follow at Forrest Township Cemetery with full military rites accorded. Visitation will be 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday at Calvert & Martin Funeral Home, Forrest; the rosary will be recited at 3:30 p.m. Memorial contributions may be made to Apostolic Christian Timber Ridge, 2125 Veterans Road, Morton, IL 61550.

Clarence was born July 28, 1923, on the family farm in Charlotte Township, the son of Arthur T. and Blanche L. (Trunk) Culkin. He attended a country school, Bugan Grade School, and Chatsworth Township High School. Clarence graduated from Worsham College of Mortuary Science in Chicago in 1942. He served in the U.S. Army from 1942 to 1945. 

Clarence married Elizabeth A. Aberle on June 26, 1948, at St. Mark’s Church, Peoria. She passed away in 2013 after 65 years of marriage. In 1948, Clarence was employed with a funeral home in Peoria and Bloomington. In 1951, he purchased Brown Funeral Services, Forrest. In October 1952, Clarence built a funeral home in Forrest and, in August 1964, built the funeral home in Chatsworth. He owned and operated those two locations until his retirement in 1983. 

Clarence proudly served as a first lieutenant in the U.S. Army in the medical administrative corps during World War II. He graduated from officers’ candidate school and served in the Army Reserves until 1954.

He was the former Forrest treasurer, a member and past president of Forrest Lions Club, president of Forrest Community Council and president of Forrest PTA. In 1959, he was voted “Forrest Man of the Year” and received the TP+W “Tee Pee Willie” award.

He was a charter member of SELCAS ambulance service in Fairbury and an Illinois Funeral Directors Association member. He served as Livingston County Board member from District 4 for five years. He was also a board member of Peoria Heights Bank.

Clarence belonged to J.A. Folwell American Legion in Forrest for 60 years, where he served on the firing squad for military rites for many years. He was a member of St. John’s Catholic Church, Fairbury, and St. Patrick Catholic Church of Merna, Bloomington, where he was a 4th-degree member of the Knights of Columbus.

Clarence is survived by his daughters, Diane (John) Hoke, Carbondale, and Teresa (Steve) Flury, Wilmington, N.C.; 12 grandchildren; 19 great-grandchildren; and one daughter-in-law, Mary Lou (Tom) Culkin, Fairbury.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Elizabeth; two sons, Thomas and Michael Culkin; his parents; one sister, Marie (Culkin) Casson; and three brothers, Charles Culkin, Virgil Culkin and Francis Culkin.

Clarence was a loving husband, dad, grandpa, great-grandpa, uncle and friend who will be dearly missed.

This obituary may be viewed and condolences sent to the family at calvertmemorial.com.

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