Donald Lee Clute, 91, of Alexis, IL passed away at 9:54 am, Monday, May 22, 2023 in Galesburg, IL.
He was born March 6, 1932, at the family home, rural Alexis, IL the son Lee Landon and Ruth Valentine (Donaldson) Clute. He was raised, educated and lived his entire life around Alexis. Don graduated from Alexis High School in 1950. He received a Bachelor of Science and later his Master of Education Degree from Western Illinois University.
Don married Marilyn M. Hennenfent at the Norwood Church on June 15, 1957, and she preceded him in death on July 17, 2020.
Don was a teacher, counselor and principal for 34 years for the Aledo School District, now Mercer County Schools, before retiring in 1994.
He was very active with the Norwood Presbyterian Church where he served as an elder, sang in the choir and was the Sunday School Superintendent for 25 years. Don was a member of several teachers’ organizations including IEA; NEA and IRTA. He also served several years as president of the Mercer County Teacher’s Association. He was a member and served on the Board of Directors for the Alexis Cardinal Manor, the Mercer County School Employees Credit Union where he was the treasurer/manager for over 25 years, a trustee of Lake Warren and Warren County Diabetic Club.
Don started playing in a dance band while a senior in high school eventually starting the band “The Stardusters.” With Marilyn on piano, they played for many dance clubs and area high schools. He continued playing with Dick Higbee’s big band until Dick passed away.
He enjoyed traveling to Tucson, AZ and spending the winters there with Marilyn at the Rincon West Resort where he was active in a mixed chorus. While in Arizona they took trips to Hawaii, Las Vegas, the Rose Bowl Parade, Mardi Gras Parade and other day trips from Tucson. He enjoyed working with wood, had a membership with the wood carving club and was the woodshop secretary for several years. He was also a member of the photography and stained-glass clubs.
He helped Marilyn with planting and caring for flowers and landscaping the lawn at their home.
Survivors include his daughter, Jane (Tony) Helms; granddaughter, Tiffany Helms and grandson, John Church all of Greer SC; Sister-in-law, Sharon Hennenfent of Alexis; nieces, Cristin (David) McGrath of Wayne, IL. and Kerry (Mike Anderson) and Kole of St. Petersburgh, FL.
He was preceded in death by his wife Marilyn, parents, grandparents and brother-in-law, Dean Hennenfent.
Funeral services will be 11:00 am, Wednesday, May 31, 2023, at the Norwood Presbyterian Church, Alexis, IL. Burial will be in Norwood Cemetery. Friends may call Wednesday morning from 9:00-11:00 am at the church. Memorials may be given to the Norwood Cemetery, Norwood Presbyterian Church, or to help support their Haitian Child (Lovely) with SERVANTS Gift INC. Larry Roberts, Treasurer, 365 West 3rd Ave., Woodhull, IL 61490. McGuire & Davies Funeral Home and Crematory, Monmouth, IL, is in charge of the arrangements. For more information or to leave an online condolence, please visit www.mcguireanddaviesfuneralhome.com
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