Clement Kea, age 93 of Redwood Falls, passed away Sunday, April 10, 2016 at his home. Funeral services will be at 10:00 a.m. Friday, April 15 at St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church in Redwood Falls. Visitation is 4:00-7:00 p.m. Thursday at the Redwood Valley Funeral Home and will continue one hour prior to services at the church on Friday. Online condolences may be sent at www.stephensfuneralservice.com. Stephens Funeral Service – Redwood Valley Funeral Home in Redwood Falls is assisting the family with arrangements.
Clement Armistic Kea (Clem, Papa or Buddy to friends and family) began his earthly journey on November 11, 1922. He peacefully ended that one at home, surrounded by love, and set out on his heavenly life on April 10, 2016. Clem was one of nine children born to Clement E. and Margaret (Dixon) Kea in Modoch, Georgia. He spent his early years in Swainsboro, Georgia, attending school and learning the plumbing trade from his father. Clem enlisted in the US Army in 1940, ultimately volunteering for the First Special Service Force (a unique, highly skilled and much decorated joint force of American and Canadian military personnel, designed and trained to complete the “impossible” missions). After serving with the FSSF in Europe during WWII, the Force was disbanded and Clement went on with the 474th to participate in the liberation of Norway from the German Army. His FSSF unit was honored by Congress last year, being awarded with the Congressional Gold Medal for their WWII service. Clem was also, this year, presented with an award and medal from the King of Norway for his participation in the liberation of that country. Clem went on honorably serving his country in the Korean War and also in the Vietnam War during which he was awarded a Purple Heart. He retired from the military life in 1971. In July 1942, while headed to training for the FSSF, God intersected his path with that of a young woman named Dorothy. They married in October 1942, shortly before he headed off to war. Clem and Dorothy enjoyed just shy of 60 years of marriage before God called her home. After his military career, Clement fulfilled his promise to his beloved wife Dorothy and retired to her part of the country in Minnesota, following the path God opened for him and settling in Redwood Falls. He opened his plumbing business which he ran for many years, always with the philosophy that he was there to serve others.
Clement was an extremely active and faithful member of St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church in Redwood Falls, serving in many capacities and was a fervent champion and supporter of St. John Evangelical Lutheran School in Redwood Falls. To the end, he worked tirelessly in support of his Heavenly Father, developing his own ministry of crosses he handmade and distributed to all the students, over the years, as well as many, many others whose lives were blessed enough to cross his path. His faith in God was amazing to behold and impacted countless others and was truly reflected in his compassionate caregiving for his disabled wife until her death in 2002. Clem firmly believed that God places each of us on this earth to serve Him through serving others and he did that faithfully throughout his earthly life. After twenty years Clem “retired” again and went on to a full time hobby of woodworking, creating many beautiful pieces, crosses, and picture frames and always fixing things. As his granddaughter Bayley put it, “Give it to Papa. If he can’t fix it nobody can”. He also indulged his passion for working with God’s earth through gardening, always sharing with everyone, the volumes of delicious produce God blessed him with. Clement spent ninety three and a half years serving God, family and country with all the faith, love, honor and dedication he possessed. Nowhere was his love more evident than in the joy he received from his relationships with his grandchildren and great grandchildren. He treasured these and was thankful to God for the blessing of being able to meet and enjoy his new and first great-great grandchild Joshua.
Clement is survived by his children: Susan Morris of Redwood Falls, Carolyn Little of St. Paul, William Kea of Marshalltown, IA, and Paul (Glenda) Kea of Allen TX; grandchildren: David (Allison), Rebecca, Erin, Jamie, Morgan, Jed, Adina; great grandchildren: Bayley, Logan, Grace, Eli, Aliyah, Lucas, Dashia, Joshua, Aleshya, Donovan, Dallas, Nigel, Mike, Samantha, Matt, Frankie, and Katrina; great-great grandson Joshua; many nieces and nephews; and the many “adopted kids” in Redwood who called him Dad. He is preceded in death by his beloved wife Dorothy, his parents, all his siblings, daughter Kathleen, and granddaughter Patience.
Whether through his military, civilian or personal life, Clem was a hero to all for his selfless giving. He will be sorely missed and his passing leaves a hole in many lives but there is rejoicing that he is now reunited with the love of his earthly life, Dorothy and the rest of his late family members in God’s glorious presence. He touched many, many lives and those who were blessed to know him will forever treasure the impact and influence he had on them. He was a pure and shining example of faith and love, given by God and practiced on earth.