Clarence Mark Southard, 70, of Galesburg, died at 5:40 p.m. Tuesday, June 17, 2014 at home, surrounded by his family.
Clarence was born April 21, 1944 in Fairfield, IL the son of Carl and Mary Weitekamp Southard. He married the love of his life, Karen Dian Burbridge on August 29, 1964 in Springfield. Clarence is survived by his wife of almost 50 years, Karen; one son, Mark (Ashley) Southard of Galesburg; three daughters, Teresa (Brent) Stewart of Dahinda, Tina (Matt) Hayes of Anchorage, AK, and Gina (Steve) Apke of East Dundee; ten grandchildren, Brianna Lumberry, Chelsey, Madison, and Seth Stewart, Mikaela and Jonah Hayes, Allison, Hunter, and Jack Apke; and Alexis and L.D. Southard; and one great granddaughter, Collins Lumberry. He is also survived by three brothers, Bill, Ben and John Southard; and one sister, Bunny Southard. Clarence was preceded in death by his parents, Carl and Mary Southard and two brothers, Bob and George Southard.
Clarence was a member of Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church, the International Car Wash Association and the Galesburg Chamber of Commerce.
Following marriage, they moved to Knoxville in 1964 with a pick up truck and a chain saw and created Southard Tree Experts. In 1965, they moved to Galesburg where he continued his business and provided an honest and dependable service to all his customers. He remained in the Tree Service for 39 years. The first Southard’s Car Wash opened on Henderson Street in Galesburg in 1989 followed by others. He took pride becoming partners in real estate ventures with his son, Mark. Clarence thrived on being challenged on many diverse business ventures.
Clarence found enjoyment in many things, especially traveling with his wife and dear friends, Roger and Garnie Workheiser. His annual trips to the Daytona 500 were always memorable. He loved living in the country where he relaxed by spending time mowing on his tractor, checking on his crops, tending to his cows and going mushroom hunting.
He loved and adored his wife and the life they created together. The pride and joy he had for his children and grandchildren was always evident, each with a special place in his heart. He knew he was blessed and his greatest joy and biggest accomplishment was his family.
Funeral Mass will be at 10 a.m. on Tuesday at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church. Rev. Msgr. Ernest Pizzamiglio will officiate. Burial will follow in Hope Cemetery, Warren Co. Visitation will be from 1 to 8 p.m. on Monday at Watson-Thomas Funeral Home and Crematory Galesburg with the family being present from 1 to 3 p.m. and 5 to 8 p.m. The family requests memorial contributions be made to the University of Iowa Foundation-ALS Research Fund (Where Clarence participated in research and a clinical trial to find a cure for ALS), or to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Midwest Affiliate. Expressions of sympathy may be sent to the family at www.watsonthomas.com.