Colonel Clarence Paradis, 84, completed his final tour of duty 20 September 2013.
Clarence began receiving his challenges early on. From rural Maine at 6 years old he was sent to his aunts in the city to attend public schooling. His French only communication expertise was of little value with the English speaking teachers but he learned quickly. At 17 he joined the Navy beginning in 1946, completed tech school, received his GED, served on the USS Yellowstone and received a ROTC scholarship to Tufts University. He became frustrated with a lack of income, quit school and took up a factory production position. During this time, he played baseball in the local city leagues as a pitcher. His most intriguing baseball story told of the time he pitched the final strike in a game around dusk (no lights at the ballpark in those days). The ball never left his glove, he feigned the pitch, the catcher simulated the balls impact, and the umpire called the strike. The game was then called for darkness. Mischievous youthfulness or creative genius?
Clarence joined the Air force in 1951 and continued to seek challenges. He graduated Officer Candidate School (OCS), Flight School, and graduated the University of Oklahoma receiving a BS in Electrical Engineering. He served in different capacities and in various parts of the world. His military accolades include the WW2 Victory Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, numerous Air Medals and the Distinguish Flying Cross.
More importantly than all these accomplishment was his family. He is survived by his loving wife of 62 years May Paradis. The two eloped against their parents’ wishes to Baltimore Maryland (a 1 day drive and where a 19 year old female could marry). Many misfortunes occurred during the romantic excursion but they were finally married 6 days later. Their legacy is that of 8 children; Richard Paradis of Pooler, GA, Larry Paradis of Palm Harbor, FL, Bruce Paradis of Chicoppe Falls, MA, Alice Nelson (Deceased), Ray Paradis of Hampden, MA, Barry Paradis of Tampa, FL, Gary Paradis of McKinney, TX and Debbie Martin of Ashburn, VA; 19 grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his sister, Shirley Cote (Gerald) of Southington, CT; and many nieces and nephews.
A memorial service will be held at 12 noon on Thursday, September 26, 2013 at the Hunter Army Air Force Base in their chapel with military honors.
Thomas C. Strickland & Sons Funeral Homes West Chatham Chapel 901 W. Hwy 80 Pooler, GA 31322 912-748-2444