Kenneth John ‘Ken’ Clarner, age 88, of Flora, Illinois, passed away Monday morning, March 11, 2019, at his home surrounded by his loving family.
He was born July 30, 1930, in Clare, IL, the son of Edward and Eleanor (Shott) Clarner. He was raised in Sycamore, IL, and graduated from Sycamore High School in 1949. Kenneth married Norma J. (Mathey) Clarner on April 6, 1956, in Sycamore. Ken loved spending time with his family and friends playing cards, Pinochle being his favorite. In their younger years, he and Norma would spend their time square dancing and traveling the globe. A few of Ken’s favorite locations they visited include London, England, China, The Holy Land, and many others in the Eastern States and Europe. Ken and Norma loved going on bus trips across North America visiting places they hadn’t yet seen, traveling to Branson, MO to watch live shows, and Evansville, IN visiting the boat. Ken and Norma would also enjoy their daily trips to McDonald’s visiting with their many friends. Kenneth lived his life to the fullest, embracing every day as a new one, enjoying every step, cherishing every breath, and loving every moment that God granted him.
Kenneth was enlisted in the Army during the Korean War and stationed in Germany for 3 years. Kenneth is a lifetime member of the VFW #5768 of Sycamore, the American Legion #14 of Flora, and the Moose Lodge in Flora. He is also a member of the First United Methodist Church in Flora. Ken attended Barber College and barbered from 1954 until 2016. In 1970, the family moved to Flora where they purchased the Starr Hotel and operated it until 1983 where he barbered in the lobby. Kenneth received the Special Recognition Award from the Flora Chamber of Commerce in 2015 in appreciation of his 45 years of business in Flora. He also worked for the B&O and CSX Railroad for 17 years.
He is survived by his wife: Norma J. (Mathey) Clarner of Flora, their 4 children: Richard Clarner (Linda) of Evansville, IN, Ronald Clarner (Della) of Oglesby, Nannette Richards (Bruce) of Flora, and Jodi Pride (Brian) of Flora; 14 grandchildren: Gary Clarner (Julianne) of South Carolina, Janie Zimmerman (Ryan) of Centralia, Heather Martin (Jamie) of Evansville, IN, Angel Clarner of San Diego, CA, John Clarner (Amber) of Oglesby, Michael Clarner of Oglesby, Christopher Clarner of La Salle Peru, Heidi Henson (Roger) of Flora, Bruce Richards Jr. (Stephanie) of Trenton, KY, Brock Richards (Kristi) of Flora, Jasmine Clark (Christopher) of Flora, Jeramy Pride of Flora, Jordan Pride of Sydney, Australia, and Jami Pride of Sydney, Australia; 1 sister: Alice McMillan; 1 brother: Robert Clarner of Sycamore; 17 great-grandchildren; 2 great-great-grandchildren; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Preceding Ken in death were his parents, 4 sisters, and 1 brother.
Family, friends, and others whose lives were touched by Ken are invited to the Frank & Bright Funeral Home, 500 North Main Street, Flora, IL 62839, to reminisce, grieve, and support each other. Visitation will be held on Saturday evening, March 23, 2019, from 4 until 8 p.m. Additional visitation hours will be Sunday, March 24, 2019, from 12 noon until 2 p.m. with a memorial service following at 2 p.m. Interment will follow in Flora in Elmwood Cemetery with the presentation of Military Funeral Honors. Memorial donations are suggested to The Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation and will be accepted through the funeral home. To share a memory or condolence visit www.frankandbright.com.