Lawrence K. Clem, 81

Lawrence K. Clem, 81, of Hot Springs, SD, passed away March 23, 2018, at his home in Hot Springs. 

Lawrence was born in Louisville, KY, February 20, 1937.  He was the second of four children born to Robert and Katharine Clem.  He attended St. Xavier High School and after graduation joined the community of Xaverian Brothers.  He earned a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Detroit and a Master’s Degree from Wesleyan University in Connecticut. Larry spent twenty years with the Xaverian Brothers and taught in New York, Detroit, Maryland and Kentucky.  He taught at an orphanage, a correctional school, a boarding school and a naval academy, where he directed a drum and bugle corps. After Larry withdrew from the Xaverian Brothers, he returned to Louisville,  where he taught at Bishop David, later Holy Cross High School.  During that time, he married Sonia and lived in Louisville and southern Indiana. 

In the final years of his teaching career, Larry taught in Wisconsin at a high school and later at the University of Wisconsin at Whitewater.  He taught for a total of 43 years.  For 25 of those years, he was the school photographer.  He was well loved and respected by the students, faculty and all who knew him.  He had great enthusiasm for teaching and spent countless hours preparing for class in order to give his students the best education.  He was an excellent teacher, patient and kind, especially with those who struggled to understand math. A co-worker put it best when she said, “If there were more people like you, we’d all be much better off. I think you should be cloned.”  A student marked in a thank you letter, “Mr. Clem, I want to say your life has had a great influence on me, and one of my goals in life is to be as Christ-like as you.  I’ve never met a smarter or nicer man, and probably never will”. 

Larry’s life reflected his true Christian character.  He was a servant of God who gave his talents tirelessly.  Leadership skills were evident as Parish Council President and Chair of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal in Louisville.  He helped with he Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults, Stewardship committee, Renewal Programs and Prayer Groups. After moving to Wisconsin, Larry and Sonia led a mission to the Lakota Sioux on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota for 15 years.  After moving to Hot Springs in 2005, Larry reorganized the Communion Ministry to the Sick and Homebound at St. Anthony’s Church and loved visiting and comforting people.

During his long struggle with Parkinson’s and heart disease, he was patient and kept his sense of humor, giving his caregivers plenty of opportunities for laughter.  Larry died at home after a year in hospice care.

Larry is survived by his wife, Sonia; sister, Catherine (Charles – deceased) Clark; brother, Robert (Sue) Clem; many nieces, nephews, great nieces and great nephews.

Larry was preceded in death by his parents, Robert and Katharine Clem; and his brother A.B. (Joan) Clem.

The Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 5:30 p.m., March 27, 2018, at St. Anthony of Padua Church in Hot Springs.    Visitation will precede the Mass at the Church.   Committal Services will be held 9:00 a.m., Wednesday, March 28, 2018, at Evergreen Cemetery in Hot Springs, SD.

In lieu of flowers a memorial has been established in Larry’s name to benefit the Grace of the Pines Hospice, Hot Springs, SD.

Arrangements have been placed in the care of Chamberlain McColley’s Funeral Home, Hot Springs, SD.

Fall River County Herald Star

EDGEMONT OFFICE: 410 2nd Avenue   Edgemont, SD 57735-0660 | 605.662.7201
HOT SPRINGS OFFICE: 334 S. Chicago St.  Hot Springs, SD 57747 | 605.745.3930
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