Verna Clarence Pleake
Verna Clarence Pleake, Jr.
Date of birth: October 29, 1920
Date of death: December 6, 2017
Verna “Clarence” Pleake departed this earth for his heavenly home on Wednesday, December 6, 2017, in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He was born on October 29, 1920 in Hollister, Missouri to Ethel Savage Pleake and Vernie Pleake. Clarence attended Hollister Public School and graduated in 1938.
Clarence married his school sweetheart, Virginia M. Nevins in 1940 and welcomed twins, Linda and Larry into the world on July 7, 1942. Clarence worked for Aines Dairy before the war. He then worked over 30 years for Greyhound Bus Lines as a driver, retiring in 1978. His route often took him to Amarillo along historic Route 66 where he made many friends along the way. At the time of his retirement, he had logged over 2 million miles driving on Route 66. He loved reminiscing with his old Greyhound driver buddies and had a regularly scheduled donut morning with all of them.
Clarence and his buddy had gone down to the Army recruiting office to sign up for the Army. As they were walking to the office, Clarence saw a Master Gunnery Sargeant in his full dress blues walking out of the Marine Corps recruiting office. He said to his buddy – ‘just look at that uniform!’ The Master Gunnery Sargeant took them by the arm, led them into the USMC recruiting office where they promptly enlisted in the United States Marine Corps on March 28, 1944. He was a Private 1st Class in the 5th Division. He spent most of his time in WWII at Iwo Jima, where the battles were horrific, but he got to witness the raising of the American flag. He was honorably discharged on January 4, 1946. Clarence was active with the Tulsa Marine Corps League, Albert E. Schwab, Detachment 857 and liked to ride in the Tulsa Veterans Day parade. He loved to attend the local Marine Corps Ball with his family, where he was honored as the oldest Veteran present for the last several years.
Clarence was a 33rd degree Master Mason and affiliated with the Akdar Shrine. As a Shriner, he loved to sell circus tickets, Vidalia onions, and was part of the Greeters unit. He also was one of the drivers that transported children to the Shriners Hospital.
Clarence loved his church, Memorial Drive United Methodist Church, where he was a long-time member. He worked as a volunteer in the church office on Friday mornings running “Clarence’s Café”, serving coffee and donuts to anyone that walked through the door. He sang in the church choir and participated in many other church groups throughout the years.
After losing Virginia, his wife of 55 years, Clarence remarried in 2001 to Anna Dorris. He got such joy from taking Anna and his family on vacations. During a recent family vacation to Florida, Clarence and Anna got to sit on the beach together and watch the ocean. Clarence loved traveling and could usually tell you the best route to take to get to where you were going because it was likely he had been there on a trip at some time.
Clarence was preceded in death by his parents Ethel and Vernie Pleake; wife Virginia Nevins Pleake; and son Larry Pleake. Clarence is survived by his wife, Anna Pleake of Tulsa; daughter Linda Pleake Calhoun of Tulsa; daughter-in-law Kathy Pleake of Tulsa; brothers Clifford Pleake of Maybank, Texas and Ford Pleake of El Paso, TX, and one sister Virginia Pleake Gabriel of Springfield, Missouri; grandchildren Charlie (Mary) Calhoun of Owasso, Laurie (Derek) England of Tulsa; Brandon Pleake of Tulsa; and Lainie (Jerry) Garrison of Tulsa; great-grandchildren Jade (Geric) McNeil of Owasso; Brock and Blake Calhoun of Owasso; great-great-grandchildren Rylan and Everett McNeil of Owasso, and many cousins, nieces, and nephews whom Clarence loved to pieces.
Flowers can be sent to:
Floral Haven Funeral Home
6500 S. 129th E. Ave.
Tulsa, OK 74012
Or gifts in his honor can be made to
Memorial Drive United Methodist Church Stained Glass Fund
7903 E. 15th St.
Tulsa, OK 74112