Dreams can come true- at least that is what Jacqueline “Jackie” McClain Clemons said at 92. She left this life surrounded by a great company of loved ones and friends on June 11, 2016. She was born April 17, 1924 in Atlanta, Georgia to Bertie Fry McClain and John Franklin “Jack” McClain. Her birth mom died when Jacqueline was only two. Jack remarried, and Ethel became “Mother” to her. As a young girl, Jackie always dreamed of being married and having a large family. She began living that dream by marrying J.E. “Duke” Clemons on October 25, 1947. He had recently returned from WWII. They were married over 60 years before losing him to leukemia at age 90. They had a wonderful life together and raised five loving children, Patricia McKenzie (Joe), J. E. Jr. “Jon” Clemons (Shirley), Cathy Jerkins (Bud), Bob Clemons (Wanda), and Jo Ann Godsmark (Wayne).
She enjoyed the excitement of being “Grand-Nana” to 27 grandchildren, 51 great- grandchildren, and 16 great, great-grandchildren. Many nieces, nephews and other extended family members. also, enjoyed Aunt Jackie’s hospitality as the family often gathered “on the hill” in High Springs.
In addition to a large and loving family, Duke and Jackie were responsible for several businesses in North Florida. About 1950, they moved to the farm in High Springs where they grew row crops and livestock. They established Spring Hill Poultry and were partners in Santa Fe Egg Producers and Santa Fe Feeds in High Springs. Later, they built Bell Dryer and Feed Mill in Bell, Florida and McAlpin Dryer in Mc Alpin, Florida. They also had an egg distribution business called C & S in Miami, Florida. They employed a great many people and touched many lives.
Mother had a servant’s heart and was always thinking of others. Her pleasant demeanor and ready smile was her trademark. Her organizational skills and secretarial training at Georgia Tech served her well in her private life and in commerce. Perhaps her greatest legacy will be her model of Christian love she demonstrated and lived before her family and friends. When she was raising her family, she was active in her church, the High Springs Church of God. She did whatever she could to help others come to the knowledge of Jesus Christ. She once commented that her relationship with Christ made all the difference in her life and in the lives of her family. Her influence and legacy will long be remembered.
The family would like to acknowledge that she shared a loving home with her daughter, Cathy and son-in-love, Bud for many years. Also, many thanks to a family friend, Linda Davis, for the exceptional home care she provided during the daytime. Most recently, Ayers Rehabilitation and Health Center in Trenton and Haven Hospice provided for her comfort and care. The staffs from both do the work of angels, and the family is grateful for everything they did for her.
On one occasion, days before her passing, with all her children and spouses sitting around, one said, “Mom, you have all of us here and our attention. Is there anything you would like to say to us?” With a gentle chuckle and twinkle in her eyes, she simply said, “Behave!”
The families’ closing remarks since Mother has passed: We believe as the Psalmist David, that Mom would say, “My flesh and heart faileth, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”
A Celebration of Life will be held at the High Springs Church of God, 23765 NW 182nd Ave, High Springs, Florida, on Thursday, June 16, 2016, at 3:30 pm. Visitation with the family will follow the service.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Ayers Health and Rehabilitation Center 606 NE 7th Street Trenton, Fl 32693 or Haven Hospice 311 NE 9th Street, Chiefland, Florida. 32626
Funeral arrangements are under the direction of Evans-Carter Funeral Home, High Springs, Florida and the internment will be in the High Springs Cemetery.