top banner

Obituary Listings

Clarence Vander Bleek, Jr.

January 7, 1934 October 6, 2019
Clarence Vander Bleek, Jr.
There are condolences waiting approval on Clarence's Tribute wall

Plant a tree in memory of Clarence

An environmentally friendly option
1 tree planted in memory of Clarence Vander Bleek, Jr.
Obituary for Clarence Vander Bleek, Jr.
CLARENCE VANDER BLEEK, JR., 85, of Fulton, IL, passed away peacefully at OakCrest DeKalb Area Retirement Center on Sunday, October 6.

A funeral mass will be held at 10:00 a.m. Thursday, October 10, 2019 at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Fulton with Rev. Father Matthew Camaioni officiating. There will be a visitation from 3:00 – 7:00 p.m. Wednesday, October 9th at the Fulton Chapel of the Bosma-Renkes Funeral Home, followed by a Rosary Service at 7:00. Interment will be at Calvary Hill Cemetery in Fulton. A memorial has been established to the Father Matthew A. Vander Bleek Scholarship Fund.

Clarence was born on January 7, 1934, in Chicago, IL. He was the oldest child of Clarence, Sr. and Gertrude (Vogel). He attended Chicago Public Schools and Fulton High School. At the age of 17, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and earned his GED. He later returned to college as a non-traditional student and earned his Bachelor’s Degree from Mount Saint Clare College in 1988. A Master’s in Business Administration from St. Ambrose University in Davenport, IA, would follow in 1991.

He was united in marriage to Sally Ann Olson on July 2, 1960. They had 12 children in the span of 13 years.

Clarence proudly worked as the Refinery Superintendent at Clinton Corn Processing, later ADM. He was proud of the plant, his “guys” in the refinery, and the innovative work that they accomplished. In his 39 years there, Clarence never counted down the days to the weekend. He never counted down the years to retirement. He jumped out of bed each morning and counted up the days. After his first retirement, Clarence worked for the next twenty years as Head Bookkeeper at Fitzgerald Pharmacy in Morrison, IL. He was honored to have worked alongside Mr. Steve “Steve-a-Reno” Van Osdol.

Clarence’s interests were many and varied. He made a seamless transition from tough love father to the Opa who bought lots of treats. His favorite grandchildren were Olivia and Hillary (the latter was his “second favorite” only because she was born after the former). Their immunity to Opa’s tormenting made them especially suited for his companionship.

Clarence loved family picnics and celebrations. He attended countless music performances and plays for his children and grandchildren. With his wife, Sally, they enjoyed plays at the Clinton Area Showboat and Timber Lake Playhouse. Clarence welcomed to his home all the friends of his children. From his rocker in the den, he always enjoyed the noise of a full house; even after his strict, 10 o’clock bedtime each night, the main floor was raucous with noise, and he never complained.

Clarence was a dedicated blood donor for many years and served as a Cub Master with his sons’ Cub Scout Pack.

Clarence was an avid reader of the news, subscribing and reading cover-to-cover the Quad City Times, The Clinton Herald, the Wall Street Journal, and The Fulton Journal.

Clarence and Sally went on several cruises and took many trips to visit their children in the U.S. and in Europe.

Clarence is survived by his wife, Sally Ann (Olson) Vander Bleek, of Fulton and eleven children. Five daughters: Elizabeth (Joel) Hoppenworth of DeKalb, IL; Gillian (Thomas) O’Malley of Santa Maria, CA; Jessica (Richard) Winkel of Fulton, IL; Cassy (Gregory) Mate of McHenry, IL; Rachel (Timothy) Frick of Fulton, IL. Six sons: Mark (Julia) of Cookeville, TN; Luke (Joan) of Morrison, IL; John (Lisa) of Hoffman Estates, IL; Bartholomew (Maureen) of Clinton, IA; Peter (Julie) of DeKalb, IL; Paul (Sarah) of DeKalb, IL. Clarence was proud of his forty-six grandchildren and his great granddaughter. He also leaves behind a brother, David Vander Bleek, of Moline, IL, and a sister, Barbara Mask, of Fulton. Clarence was preceded in death by his parents, one son (Reverend Father Matthew Vander Bleek), and one grandson (Benjamin).

The family wishes to extend special thanks to the staff at OakCrest DeKalb Area Retirement Center for the special care they gave Clarence. To Jessica, who was Dad’s staunchest advocate and favorite daughter until the end, bless you. Dad couldn’t have had a better person in his corner
Read More

To plant a tree in memory of Clarence Vander Bleek, Jr., visit the Tribute Store.

Previous Events





3:00 PM 10/9/2019 3:00:00 PM - 7:00 PM 10/9/2019 7:00:00 PM
Bosma-Renkes - Fulton Chapel

1500 10th Avenue
Fulton, IL 61252

Followed by a rosary service at 7:00 pm.

Bosma-Renkes - Fulton Chapel
1500 10th Avenue Fulton 61252 IL
United States





10:00 AM 10/10/2019 10:00:00 AM
Immaculate Conception Catholic Church

703 12th Avenue
Fulton, IL 61252

Immaculate Conception Catholic Church
703 12th Avenue Fulton 61252 IL
United States

Create new album
Subscribe To Obituaries


We appreciate your support
In accordance with the wishes of the family, this
message has been declined.