Tom McClearin age 84 passed away at home surrounded by his family, after battling a short illness.
Tom was born on April 14, 1939 to Cyrus & Francis (Runnels) McClearin in Benton, IL.
He married Janet Carter who has passed away. To this marriage they had one son: Scott McClearin.
In 2006 Tom married Donna Fitzpatrick. They had almost 18 years of a happy loving marriage. Tom showed daily his love for Donna and could always put a smile on her face.
In his early 20's Tom joined the Air Force. He proudly served his country for 4 years. Tom was of the Baptist Faith giving his life to the Lord years ago. If ever asked Tom didn't hesitate to say "I know where I'm going when I die."
Tom had several jobs, but the one job he was most proud of was custodian at Benton High School. He worked there 22 years and would joke that it took him 22 years to get out of high school. He loved the staff and his fellow co-workers and became a friend to most of the students.
Tom loved the holidays, on Halloween he would dress up and hand out candy. On Thanksgiving he would peel 15 lb of potatoes and stem 7 lb of green beans and he loved doing it. Tom loved going to Flamms Orchard. Tom loved the St. Louis Cardinals & Colt Football.
Tom had many titles but the one he was most proud of was Grandpa/Papa. When he married Donna her grandkids became his. His quiet home became loud and full of kids & sleepovers, but Tom loved every minute of it. Tom would brag on his grandkids to anyone that would listen. Tom became the best diaper changer and boo boo kisser ever.
In his last couple of years Tom loved watching Jentry & Wynter playing ball. His last wish was to go watch a couple more of their games, but could never get strong enough. But now he has the best seat to watch and cheer them on!
Tom had many hobbies. He loved collecting pocket knives and he could tell you the years & history on every one of them. Tom also liked new and old watches, but his strangest collection which he got teased about by his friends & family was collecting ink pens!
Tom loved making things shine. He would polish his watches & knives daily. You could bet if he handed you one of them to look at he had a magic eraser in his hand waiting to polish your fingerprints off of it.
Tom has been described as wonderful, gentle, nice, loving, amazing, kind, compassionate, but all of these put together don't even begin to describe the man Tom was. He set the standard high & was the best of the best! Tom will be missed but never forgotten.
I guarantee Tom is now busy shining & polishing the Streets of Gold, making them shine & sparkle like never before.
Tom is survived by: wife Donna, Son Scott (Sue) McClearin. Loving sister Jane Zekovich (Bob); step children, Scott & Brandon Fitzpatrick Ashlee Eubanks (Jared). Grandkids: Russell Gulley, Stormee Chamberlain (Doyle), Harley Fitzpatrick, Katie, Tatumn, Ireland & Ellyana Fitzpatrick, Riley Atkins, Noel & Missy Chamberlain, Jentry, Wynter, Truly Eubanks; great-grandkids: Robby & Alexa Chamberlain.
Tom also leaves dear friends Jim & Rene Williams and sister-in-law and husband Sharon & John Wadsworth who Tom loved dearly.
Tom was preceded in death by Lawrence, William, Charles, Dolly, Billy McClearin, Florence Maceri, Rosetta Hogan and granddaughter Mandy Gulley.
Funeral services will be held at 11:00 A.M. on Thursday, August 31st at the Morton & Johnston Funeral Home in Benton with Jim Williams & John Wadsworth officiating. Burial with Military Rites conducted by Benton American Legion Post #280 and VFW Post #2671 will be in the Jackson Grove Cemetery in Benton. Visitation will be from 5:00 P.M to 8:00 P.M. on Wednesday at the funeral home.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Hospice of Southern Illinois.
For more information or to send online condolences please visit www.mortonjohnstonfuneralhome.com