Jim Clair


12-7 p.m.,
Wednesday, Jan. 16

Family present
from 5-7 p.m.


Graveside Service
2 p.m.
Monday, Jan. 21
Linville Cemetery
Edina, MO

Military Honors
Wallace W. Gillespie
Memorial V.F.W. Post


The Salvation Army

{Aug. 20, 1930 - Jan. 11, 2019}

James Lloyd Clair, 88, of Memphis died January 11, 2019 at the Harry S. Truman Memorial Veterans’ Hospital in Columbia, MO.

He was born August 20, 1930, the son Pearl & Elsie (Poston) Clair in Knox County, Missouri.

He attended Knox County High School. He joined the Navy in 1950. He spent the next twenty years in the Navy as an Aviation Emergency Mechanical Technician. He travelled various parts of world working on the F-4 fighter planes. He was mostly stationed on aircraft carriers. He was on the inaugural deployment of the USS Kitty Hawk. His last deployment was also on the USS Kitty Hawk. He served in the Korean and Vietnam Wars. He retired from the Navy in 1970. He remained in active Reserves for the next ten years.

James enjoyed learning new things. After retirement, he attended Grossmont College. After moving to Missouri to be closer to his siblings, he graduated from Truman State University with a degree in History and Sociology. He spent the next several years teaching homebound disabled children. He then spent the next few years working for the State of Missouri as a Social Worker for the Division of Aging. He retired in 1995.

James found solace out in the timber. He would sit quietly listening to the birds and the wind through the trees. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, picking berries, and picking up hickory nuts. He was a great learner and was constantly reading. He was greatly versed in the Bible.

In his last few years, he enjoyed teaching his grandson, Cody, how to hunt. He was always there for his nephew and nieces by marriage, Kelly, Erica, Audrey, Lindsey, and Andrew.

He married Iola James on February 25, 1955. Unto this union there was one son, James Douglas, of San Diego, CA, and one daughter, Brenda Diane, of Radford, VA. Iola passed away in 1973.

In 1976, James married Claudia Taylor. Unto this union, there were two sons, JC and Jason, of the area and one daughter, Penny, of Des Moines, IA. He also had two step daughters, Cheri, of Denton, TX, and Laura of Hamilton, IL. This marriage ended in dissolution.

He married Betty Campbell on February 14, 2002, in Memphis, MO.

He was preceded in death by: his parents; sisters: Neva, Martha, and Naomi; and brothers: Junior, Ernest, Cletus, and Orville.

He is survived by his wife, Betty, of the home; children, Doug, Brenda, JC, Jason, and Penny; grandchildren, Jennifer, Joelle, Cody, Sonia, Allison, Alyssa, Haeli, Quinton, Kian, Divinity, and Asher; and six great grandchildren.

Share Button


  1. You sound like an awesome man I wish hope would have been able to come and learn how to hunt with my cousin Cody to rest in peace Grandpa

    Comment by Jennifer B Clair on January 14, 2019 at 4:36 pm
  2. James Clair, I’m gonna miss you! Thanks for stepping in and being a positive figure in my life after my dad died at such a young age. Words can’t express how grateful I am for the life lessons you taught me. I’ll always remember you.

    Comment by John James on January 15, 2019 at 8:37 am
  3. Jim was my neighbor when I was growing up in Rural Edina.. had alot of good times with the kids. He was a super nice guy.. He will be missed by many…

    Comment by Gina Eddy on January 15, 2019 at 7:25 pm
  4. I am sorry to hear about Jims passing he used to be our neighbor..I remember him helping Bitty fix her bike & just now discovered he may have served on the USS Kitty Hawk with my Uncle many yrs ago who served himself around the same time..
    May Jim RIP in the big woods in the sky doing what he enjoyed..Prayers to his family & Thank You to Betty for you both being so nice to Bitty yrs ago..
    Pam Kelley

    Comment by Pam Kelley on January 16, 2019 at 3:45 am
  5. Jim,
    There is so much I want to say to you I am so sorry the weather kept me from being able to come and say goodbye just know i would have been there if i could have i love you so much and this is so hard to say goodbye. I know you in a better place I want to thank you for everything you taught me in life I would not be the steong women I am today without you I am going to miss you and you smiling face when I come to Memphis but I know this is not a good bye this is see you later rest in peace hope your having a good time in heaven fishing and hunting with jesus save room for me up there the twins also miss and love you so much as well and derek to they looked up to you just like I did and we will forever hold you tight in our hearts xoxoxo love erica derek brooklynn and travis Francis

    Comment by erica francis on January 16, 2019 at 9:28 pm

By submitting a message you grant Gerth Funeral Service, Inc. a perpetual license to reproduce your words and name/web site in attribution. Inappropriate and irrelevant comments will be removed at an admin’s discretion. Your email is used for verification purposes only, it will never be shared.