Clare Chamberlin

Clare Chamberlin

Clare V. Chamberlin of Kalamazoo, Michigan, passed away Sunday, August 28, 2011, in Kalamazoo. Mr. Chamberlin was born February 28, 1918 in Jackson, MI to Vernon and Clara (Waber) Chamberlin.

Clare was a 1936 graduate of Kalamazoo Central High School and began working in the paper industry during his high school years, for the Sutherland Paper Mill in Kalamazoo. He was later employed with North West Paper in Cloquet, MN and Manistique Paper in Manistique, MI before working at Georgia Pacific where he was the Associate Director of Field Service Printing Technology and retired in 1988.

During WWII Clare served his country for four years in the U.S. Army 33rd Infantry Division in the Pacific Theater, earning a Bronze Star.

He was a long time member of the Otsego United Methodist Church, a life member and 3rd Degree Master Mason of the Otsego Masonic Lodge, a member of American Legion Post 36 in Kalamazoo and the American Legion Post 36 Representative for Boys State. Clare served as a volunteer coordinator for Youth for Understanding and with his wife hosted 23 foreign exchange students. In his leisure time he was an avid fisherman and hunter, enjoyed golf, big band and jazz music and was an avid Detroit Tigers fan. When his sons were young he acted as a leader for the Indian Guides and coached softball.

On February 19, 1949 in Kalamazoo he married Rosemary Vorce, who survives. Also surviving are three sons, Douglas (Gay Guard) Chamberlin of Chicago, Gregory (Tresca Allsman) Chamberlin of Hopkins, MN and Steven (Katherine Vasetsky) Chamberlin of Kalamazoo; one grandson, Dylan Chamberlin of Manchester, England; two sisters, Elaine Barrett of Kalamazoo and Norene Franz of Savannah, GA; many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Louis and Alan; a sister, Patricia McGlinsey; and a special nephew, Richard Chamberlin.

In keeping with his wishes, cremation has taken place. A Memorial Service will be held at 11:00 A.M. Thursday at the Winkel Funeral Home, Otsego, with Pastor Joe Shaler officiating and Pastor Jim Grant in attendance. Burial of ashes will be at Fort Custer National Cemetery.

Contributions in memory of Clare may be made to Allegan County Soldiers and Sailors Committee.

Messages of condolence may be left at

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Messages of Condolence

  1. Jaana Jasu says:

    Hello my dear Chamberlins family,

    I am really sorry and I sympathy for your family of Clare´s decease. I don´t know if I have right words in English and I apolozise for that.

    It was thirty years ago when I got to know Clare and the Chamberlins family. I always remember how friendly you shared your home for all those exchange students and especially for me and also for Kenichi. Clare was veteran of world war II and he was very interested things what has happened at that time in Europe and also in Finland. My grandfather had been also in the war and we sometimes discuss about those things.

    Clare worked thirty years ago very often far away. I always waited him to come home. We had lots of fun many times. Many times me or Kenichi said something wrong in English and we all laughed that. I remember that I said “sleeves of the trees” and so on.

    It was unforgettable that Clare and Rosemary drove down to Florida six years ago to see my family and they met you. We recall all those old things and my family heard from you those funny things what had happened in that time I was in your house.

    I have been very lucky that I have to get to know your family. One month ago when I visited you, I thought in the plane that I am really lucky that I have another family far far away. I am very happy that I visited you just in this summer. I realized that Clare has weakened and this is the last time that I see him. I cried in Kalamazoo airport for that, but I thougt that I thank God for all you people here.

    My hole family ( my parents, Vappu and Päivi and my family) sympatised for you.

    I wish especially for Rosemary strength and God bless you all, Rosemary, Doug, Greg an Steven and your families. You are in my mind and in my heart.

    Love, Jaana and my family

  2. Vappu Heikkila (Rauvola) says:

    Dear Rosemary, Doug, Greg and Steven; I feel very sorry for the death of Clare. I will always remember him as a very dear gentleman of my life and he will have a special place in my heart.
    He came to see me in airport of Chicago in July 1976, as I was going home from exchange year by myself, as the Atwoods moved down to Arkansas, and my flight was from Chicago. And we had a short but special time saying goodbuy. As your whole family was very dear to me, you made my exchange year very superior and that feeling I carry in my heart the rest of my life. I was happy to get Rosemary and Clare to visit Finland and let them to get to know my little sister who was happy to spend her exchange year in your special family. Clare had a long and good life, and with these many, many special memories I wish you all there the zest of life
    and take good of Rosemary and each others. With loving thoughts, Vappu

  3. Ashey Yonker says:

    Rosemary, Doug, Greg an Steve,

    I am so saddened by your loss.

    Clare was an incredible person. I have always admired him for his knowledge, professionalism and dedication while I worked with him. Those qualities were surpassed by his innate kindness, humor and love for his family. We had many discussions while working together and I remember so many of them. His stories were a daily event as he had many. Clare told so many jokes….and to this day, the only joke I repeat is one that Clare told me so many years ago.

    When Clare shared updates on his son’s lives or Rosemary, it was with great pride in his voice.

    Clare was respected and loved by many, as he should be… he is the example of how people of integrity and ethics live their lives.

    I know he will be missed greatly and never fogotton, as he touched lives in a special way……as he did mine so many years ago.

    Ashley Yonker

  4. Päivi Lahti says:

    Our most sincere sympathies go out to all of you. You are in our thoughts and prayers.

    Päivi Lahti

  5. Jim Bull says:

    So sorry to hear that Clare (Doc) has passed. I am glad that his suffering of the last week or so is over–sounds like he was in so much pain. I have such fond memories of him from the time we first met when he dropped Doug off at Adrian College to be my roommate, to the visits to your house, the summer I lived with you and the many visits since. I am so glad I came to his 90th birthday party. He looked the same as ever and seemed his regular joking self. What a good heart he had (weak only physically at the last). I am so glad I knew him and the rest of your family. I hope in good time that the fond memories you have of him will bring more smiles than tears. He was a wonderful gift to us all and I am so glad to have experienced that gift! You are all in my thoughts and prayers!

  6. Neita says:

    Dear Family,

    Uncle Doc was truthfully, one of the “great men” in my life. He was always so kind and loving toward me and Lynn, so very funny, I think I could have sat and listened to his tall tales and jokes all day long, given the chance. There was a gentleness about him, and a quiet strength. Men like Uncle Doc don’t come along in this world too often, how blessed I am to have had him for an Uncle.

    My prayers are with each one of you, Aunt Rosie, Doug, Greg, Steve, as is my love. May you find peace and comfort and strength in the certainty that because of Uncle Doc, many people’s lives were made so much sweeter and better. I love you all.

  7. Taru Tuoresmäki says:

    Hello dear Chamberlins,
    My heart goes out for all of you and I feel your loss. I know the past couple of years have been hard for you in many ways, and that Clare has not been the old vital himself, but his cordial and jovial person was there, a presence to be joyful about.
    I lived with your family in 1977-1978 as one of the many (was there really 23?) exchange students, number 7 I think I was. The memories I treasure in my heart. With Clare we laughed a lot and evened dessert cakes with. For the two visits in Finland I’m happy, the latter as special guests to my wedding in 1984.
    Your family is one of the cornerstones of my life. Keep strong, Rosemary, Doug and Gay, Greg, Tresca and Dylan, Steven and Katya.
    Love, always – Taru

  8. Shirley and Don Brown Flossie Wesler says:

    Thinking of you all at this time.The great times that the guys had with golfing outing. And the great times from long ago. Hear the stories of the Waber kids and then on the the next generation up until our time. What a family. God’s blessing and peace to you all at this time

  9. Candice Tackett says:

    Dear Chamberlin family,

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you. Clare’s smile and sense of humor will be greatly missed.

    From your friends at the Hearing Center

  10. William Dyer says:

    My sympathies and deepest respect to the entire Chamberlin family at the passing of Clare. He has raised some impressive kids and has been a host to so many international students. An impressive display of love and caring that goes far beyond what most people are willing or able to do. We’ve lost a great human being, but his love, caring and guidance goes on in those people whose lives he has touched.

  11. Class of 1980 says:

    The class of 1980 sends their deepest sympathies to the Chamberlin family… Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you..

    Class of “80”

  12. Joel Kerney says:

    Hi Rosemary,
    Sorry to hear of your loss.
    I looked foreward to meeting you and Clair at the restaurant.
    I found Clair to be such a gentle man; quick to enjoy a laugh.

  13. Luiz Henrique Guidorzi says:

    My dear friends,
    I’d like to send my condolences to all of you. I was devasted by the news. I’ve been looking for you and coincidently I came across the shocking news. I want you to know that my heart is with you, and may God comfort you through these hard times.
    I miss you all a lot. I’d like to keep in touch with all the family, but I’m not sure if the adress is the same.

  14. penny pulver browning says:

    Rosemary, Doug, Greg, Steve…my condolences to all of you and yours regarding the loss of your Very Cool Dad, (who never raised an eyebrow to any of our old shenanigans back in the day). He was special — a true gentleman, and a man of God.

  15. Kelly says:

    We grew up a few houses to the south from the Chamberlain’s, on Ravine Rd. I always remember Mr Chamberlain coming out with Ausland his dog, and chatting with us. Very kind man! So sorry for your family’s loss!!

  16. Doris Adamczewski says:

    So sorry to hear of your loss. Mr. Chamberlin was a friend of my dad Jerry Racansky and they were in the army together in the Pacific. We had exchanged Christmas cards until recently and he had wrote me about their time together in the Philippines.

    Doris Adamczewski

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