Clarence Wayne DeTurk, 98, Grace Village Retirement Community, Winona Lake, passed away at 8:40 a.m. on Tuesday, April 24, 2018, at Miller’s Merry Manor of Warsaw.
He was born Aug. 24, 1919, in Fort Wayne, to Walter DeTurk and Terzah (Alshouse) DeTurk. On Aug. 19, 1943, he was married to Joan Lucille (Couts) DeTurk, the mother of his children. She passed away March 14, 1967. Mr. DeTurk then married Bernice Spigutz in 1968, she also passed away in September 1992. On June 6, 2016, he married Dixie (Walrath) DeTurk, who survives.
Clarence DeTurk enlisted in the U.S. Army during WWII and served from 1941 until his honorable discharge as a Staff Sergeant Oct. 3, 1945. He belonged to Company L 152nd Infantry Unit, and they were called to active service Jan. 17, 1941, and were sent to Camp Shelby, Miss. In 1942 they were stationed in Hawaii. Company L Local National Guard Unit was called into federal service Jan. 17, 1943 and were again sent to Camp Shelby in Mississippi. They guarded Hawaii in 1942, then continued on to Buna, New Guinea and the Philippines. On January 1943 their unit made a surprise attack on Leyte, and moved up to Bataan to mount an attack on Zigzag Pass to Manilla. DeTurk shared these memories and stated, “We had many casualties and this was later known as the Avenger of Bataan.” He was subsequently decorated with two purple hearts, and three bronze stars.
He worked as the Post Master for the Winona Lake Post Office. He was a member of Trinity United Methodist Church in Warsaw, a life member of the American Legion Post #49 of Warsaw, and a 63 year member as well as a charter member of the Lake City Lions Club. DeTurk received the Lions Club Melvin Jones Award, and the Lions Club International Award. He always kept active and received the Russ Jacobson award for Shuffleboard, member of the Texas Shuffleboard Association, Rio Grande Valley Shuffleboard Hall of Fame, and Western Rio Grande Valley Shuffleboard Hall of Fame. He traveled throughout the U.S. and internationally to play shuffleboard in Brazil, Australia, Japan and Canada. He was an excellent golfer and mentored a lot of golfers throughout his life.
He will be lovingly remembered by his wife, Dixie DeTurk, Winona Lake; three daughters: Marla (Lowell) Luce, Mission, Texas; Nelta (Jeff) Rose, Mentone; Judy (Mike) Pruski, Poth, Texas; and two sons: Jerry (Darlene) DeTurk, Warsaw; Ken (Betsy) DeTurk, Yucaipa, Calif. Also surviving are his step-son, Jim Spigutz, Warsaw; two step-daughters: Dawn (Jeff) McIlroy and Richelle (John) Szegda, both of Mesick, Mich.; 17 grandchildren; 26 great grandchildren and five great-great grandsons; eight step-grandchildren; six step-great grandchildren; and his brother, Lewis (Lily) DeTurk, Peru. He was preceded in death by his parents, first and second wives, a sister and four brothers.
Visitation will be held from 5-8 p.m., Monday, April 30, at Redpath-Fruth Funeral Home, 225 Argonne Road, Warsaw.
His funeral service will be conducted at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, May 1, at Redpath-Fruth Funeral Home and officiated by Pastor Ernie Troxell and Pastor Russell Simpson. Burial will follow with a graveside service at Oakwood Cemetery of Warsaw with full military rites conducted by the American Legion Post 49, V.F.W. #1126, and active duty members of the Army Honor Guard.
Online condolences may be sent through the funeral home’s Web Site at www.redpathfruthfuneralhome.com