In Memory of



Obituary for Clarence Darrow

Clarence Darrow Jr., 93, passed away peacefully on Thursday,
August 5, 2021 with family and his Pastor by his side.
Clarence was born on March 11, 1928 in Flint, Michigan to
Clarence and Blanche (Green) Darrow. He was the youngest of
three children and the only boy. In 1938, Clarence’s family moved
to a small farm in Lapeer, Michigan where he attended a one
room school house. He took great pride in being hired by the
teacher to arrive early so he could start the wood burning stove in
the winter time.
Clarence attended Lapeer High School. After his Freshman year,
Clarence’s family moved back to Flint as gasoline was rationed
due to WWII, and his Dad was working 7 days a week at the Flint
GM plant where they were making equipment for the War. Since
Clarence was very active at Lapeer High School, he became a
boarder at the home of his best friend, Malcom Stephens. The
Stephen’s became his second family, and Clarence would
affectionately talk about sleeping in the upstairs screened porch
all winter as Mrs. Stephen’s believed being in the cold night air
kept one healthier; bedtime snacks with salt-rising bread; Mr.
Stephen’s wine cellar where Clarence promised that Malcom and
he never sampled unsupervised, and so many other stories
shared with great fondness. Malcolm and Clarence remained life-
long friends until Malcom’s passing in 2019.
At Lapeer High School, Clarence excelled in athletics and as a
Senior was awarded the “Best All Around Athlete of the Year.”
After graduating in 1945, Clarence attended Kemper Military
School in Booneville, Missouri from 1945 to 1947. His parents
were fearful of Clarence being drafted into WWII so they wanted
him to be prepared. This lead to the decision to send Clarence to
a Military College. Clarence was drafted into WWII however by
the time the papers arrived, the War ended and he thankfully
never had to report. A shining moment for Clarence while being
a student at Kemper was being in the band where he played the
trumpet, and they performed at Carnegie Hall in New York City.

Clarence attended Flint Junior College from 1948 to 1950 while
working at the Flint Journal newspaper. This is where he met the
love of his life, Mary Jane Hatch. Clarence was drafted into the
Korean War. Clarence and Mary Jane were married on August
28, 1950 in Flint, Michigan before he was ordered to report for
duty into the United States Army on October 4, 1950 at Fort
Wayne, Detroit.
While in the Army, Clarence served in the 114th Engineer Combat
Battalion as a First Sergeant. Clarence and Mary Jane travelled to
several bases within the United States during his time in the
Army. He was honorably discharged in October 1952, after which
Clarence and Mary Jane moved back to Flint, Michigan to
establish their home.
Clarence attended General Motor Institute (GMI) in Flint (now
Kettering University) to complete his Bachelor’s Degree in
Industrial Engineering. While working for General Motors, the auto
company hired Professors from the University of Michigan in Ann
Arbor to travel to Flint each week to provide an
opportunity for their engineers to complete a Master’s Degree.
Clarence took advantage of this and completed his Master’s
Degree in Industrial Engineering in 1971. To all who knew
Clarence, to say he was a very proud UofM graduate is an
Clarence and Mary Jane had three children, Craig, Kurt and Kelly,
while living in Flint. In 1966, Clarence accepted a job with Federal
Mogul which moved the family to Coldwater, Michigan where they
lived until 1973. Many lifelong friends and happy memories were
made while living in Coldwater.

While working for Federal Mogul, Clarence was given the
opportunity to design, build and run a new state-of-the-art
Distribution Center in Jacksonville, Alabama. Truly a dream for an
Engineer, and it is still in operation to this day.
Clarence’s career took Mary Jane and him to Northville, Michigan,
Jacksonville, Alabama, and Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Clarence was
recruited in 1979 by Rockwell International which lead to a move
to Tustin, California. A few years later, he went to work for the
Santa Ana School District which was a job he enjoyed until his
retirement in 1997. Clarence and Mary Jane loved their life in
sunny Southern California. They loved spending time with their
grandchildren and attending their many events, the annual family
summer vacation at the beach, spending time with their
neighbors, and hosting friends who came to visit. After Clarence’s
retirement, they travelled to Michigan every fall to stay with Kurt
and Renee for a month as they visited family and friends, and
also to participate in UofM tailgating and home football games
hosted by their dear friends, Ron and Rich Smith.
They lived in Tustin from 1979 until Mary Jane passed away in
2014, and Clarence until March 2020 when he moved to live with
Kurt and Renee in Michigan.
In Tustin, Clarence was very involved in the Aldersgate Methodist
Church, the American Legion Post 227, and looked forward to
monthly luncheons with friends who affectionately called
themselves the “Old Farts.” Clarence enjoyed golf and everything
related to the University of Michigan, especially Michigan football -
Go Blue!
Clarence is survived by his children, Craig (Aimee) Darrow, Kurt
(Renee) Darrow and Kelly (Kirk) Weakly; 5 grandchildren, Kerri
(Jason) Newman, Kaley (Eddie) Orozco, Kyle (Kailey) Weakly,

Kelsey Weakly, and Kaleb Darrow; and 3 great grandchildren,
Aubrie Orozco, Grayson Orozco, and Wilder Newman, and nieces
Lynn Roberts and Diane Gaffney, and nephew Guy Merritt.
Clarence is preceded in death by his beloved wife of 64 years,
Mary Jane Darrow, his parents, his sisters Joyce Gaffney and
Arloine (Ollie) Merritt, and their husbands, and nephew Tim
Family and friends are invited to attend a Celebration of Life
Service on Saturday, October 2nd at 11am at Aldersgate
Methodist Church, 1201 Irvine Blvd, Tustin, California 92780.
In lieu of flowers, memorials to Aldersgate Methodist Church,
1201 Irvine Blvd, Tustin, CA 92780 or Tustin American Legion
VEAP, 360 East First Street, Box 475, Tustin, CA 92780-3211
where the funds will help their Veterans Emergency Assistance
Program (VEAP), would be appreciated.
Online condolences and special memories may be shared with
family by visiting the obituary page at