Saturday, July 20, 2024

Clarence Brazil, 98

| July 11, 2024 12:00 AM

Clarence J. Brazil was born in Petaluma, Calif., on April 19, 1925, to parents John Brazil and Louise Brazil. He passed away in Polson on Nov. 29, 2023, at the age of 98. 

A memorial for Clarence is being held July 20, 2024, at 11 a.m. in the North Lake County Public Library Conference Room in Polson. Clarence’s friends are invited to attend. Light refreshments will be served. 

Clarence served in the Army Infantry during World War II. He was the lead mechanic in charge of a motor-pool unit in Hawaii and did communications work for Army Intelligence in the Pacific.

He and his first wife, Jackie, had four children together. Lorianne Brazil VanderHoff, born in 1957, passed away in 2017. Julie was born in June 1959, but survived less than 48 hours. Clarence’s first son, David, was born two years later, in 1961 and passed away in 2022. His youngest son, Brian, was born in 1963 and resides in Eugene, Ore.

Clarence was truly a self-made man. He owned and operated several businesses, including a paving company and a meat-cutting shop near Oakland, Calif. He later moved to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, where he worked as a meat cutter at several businesses, eventually working at Rosauers Grocery. He represented members of the United Food and Grocery Workers Union for many years.

He retired from Rosauers at age 67 and moved to Polson, owning and operating a cherry orchard on Finley Point where he was active in county government and served on the Lake County Planning Board and Board of Adjustments for several terms. 

He was married four times, gaining three stepdaughters, Laurie Dunagan, Kathy Corbett and Mary Schmelz, who became his daughters for the rest of his life. 

Throughout his life, Clarence owned, built or remodeled almost every home that he lived in. He also owned rental offices and houses up until his death. He always charged reasonable rents and maintained good relationships with his tenants. 

Clarence had a great sense of humor. He especially enjoyed bantering with his younger brother Frank, with whom he shared the strongest of brotherly bonds.

Clarence took up square dancing later in life and was a regular at the local square-dancing club.

After a divorce, Clarence was going through a difficult period when he met the love of his life, Lorna. He said that meeting her gave him the motivation to start life over again. They met at the train station in Albany, Ore., over the Christmas-New Year’s holiday of 2003-2004, while both were visiting relatives. They often visited Lorna’s family home in Minnesota but spent most of their time in Polson, where Clarence spent the remainder of his life.

Clarence will be missed by his family and friends. He is survived by wife Lorna Brazil, son Brian Brazil, brother Frank Brazil, grandsons Christopher VanderHoff, Daniel VanderHoff and Joel Brazil, daughter-in-law Gemma Brazil, son-in-law Chuck VanderHoff, stepdaughters Laurie Dunagan, Kathy Corbett and Mary Schmelz, sister and brother-in-law Mike and Kathy Coleman.