William Eugene Clair, son of the late Lawrence and Ruby Clair (nee) Wimer of Grant Town, passed away peacefully Saturday (July 23, 2016) after a long struggle with Alzheimer's disease.
Bill was born at home in Grant Town, March 25, 1928. He attended school in Grant Town, was Fairview High Senior class president, and played football for Fairview High and Fairmont State College.
During The December snowstorm of 1950, Bill married his Grant Town sweetheart and the love of his life, Peggy Ann Nine "Peg O' My Heart."
Bill served in the U.S. Army in postwar Germany. Returning home he and Peg relocated to the D.C. area and he received his master's degree in education from the University of Maryland.
In 1963, Bill and Peg bought what became the family homestead on a creek in Urbana, Maryland, where they raised six children, an unusual menagerie of beloved pets, farm and wild animals, and grew a large garden every year. Bill worked hard maintaining a pond and creek dam so family and friends could spend summers swimming and winters ice skating.
Often, the family was woken at dawn from Bill's whistling or his stentorian, "Rise and shine, up and at 'em!" He liked to take the family camping and hiking and taught about forestry along the way. He loved playing with, playing jokes on and teaching children. His zest for life and learning was infinite.
Bill taught elementary grades in the Montgomery County, Maryland, school system until his retirement in 1983. On school breaks he worked as a carpenter and in his limited spare time liked to work with wood, and collect wood and antique tools.
Following retirement, Bill enjoyed many happy years at home, busy on the property, or visiting family and friends. He never met a stranger, was always ready with a helping hand or a handout, and believed that people the world over should be treated equally.
His children remember that whenever they needed help, no matter how far away they lived, Bill and Peg dropped everything, got in car or on a plane and traveled to help.
Bill is survived by his beloved sister, Florence K. Nine of Grant Town; his wife, Peggy Nine Clair of Hancock, Maryland; sons, Brady Eugene (wife Stephanie Felton) of Brunswick, Maryland, Phillip Morgan of Salt Lake City, Utah, Michael Christopher of Hancock, Maryland; daughters, Molly Ann Clair (husband Ronald Gallahan) Portland, Oregon, Rebecca C. Hall (husband Thomas Hall) of Parker, Colorado, and Cecily Nine Fritz of Martinsburg; and grandchildren, Meaghann Eliza Julliard (Madison, Wisconsin), Nathaniel William Clair (Silver Spring, Maryland), Daniel Ian Gallahan (Portland, Oregon), Rebecca Scout Clair (Portland, Oregon) and Thomas Nicholas Hall (Boulder, Colorado); and two great-grandchildren, Max and Lily Julliard.
He is predeceased by his brothers, Charles Clair (Annapolis, Maryland), Merrell Clair (East Lake, Ohio); and sister, Wilma Schultz (Oakdale, Pennsylvania).
Bill's remains were donated to the Maryland Anatomy Board. No service is planned. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made and sent to: Frederick County Public Libraries, Development Office, 110 East Patrick St., Frederick, MD 21701; note the donation is for The Bill and Peggy Clair Literary Fund.
Personal condolences can be sent to the family at 223 Myers St. Hancock, MD 21750.
Published on July 29, 2016