John “Pete” Allen St. Clair was born on December 28, 1928 in Lamar County, TX. He passed away peacefully at the Clyde Cosper Texas State Veteran’s Home in Bonham, TX on December 27, 2020, just one day from his 92nd birthday. His parents were Julius and Elma St. Clair.
John grew up along the banks of the Sulphur River outside Paris, TX in the community of Slabtown. The St. Clairs were farmers and lived almost completely off the land. John remembers when the first light bulb was brought into their farmhouse when he was a young boy. At the age of 18, after graduating from Delmar High School, John moved to San Pasqual Valley, California to find work. It was there that he met Edna May Hannaford on New Year’s Eve, 1949. John and Edna married on January 26, 1951. After returning from their honeymoon, John was informed that he was being drafted to serve in the United States Army. He actively served our country from February 1951 until November 1952, with 11 months in combat during the Korean War. After honorable release from active duty in the military and returning home to his bride Edna in California, they raised three children: Barry Ray, Cliff Allen and Brenda Kay. John and his family worked in the dairy business for 22 ½ years, raising and milking Jersey and Holstein cows first on their farm in Caruthers, CA and then in Riverdale, CA. In 1980, John and Edna decided to sell their dairy farm and business and move to northeast Texas near where John was raised. All three children and their growing families moved to Texas, as well. The St. Clairs purchased a 1000-acre cattle ranch in Klondike, Delta County, TX where they operated a cow-calf business until 1995. John and Edna then sold the ranch and settled in Campbell, TX. John was a talented and avid gardener and cattleman. He loved being out in his garden, going to church, tending to his cows, and spending time with his beautiful wife Edna and his family. His grandchildren called him “Papa” and remember Christmas Eve gatherings with the whole St. Clair family, Papa’s stories about how the vegetables he grew were so good that they made you want to “swallow your tongue”, his one-of-a-kind laugh, and sitting on the front porch hearing stories about Papa’s childhood and fishing trips. John was a member of the Commerce Church of Christ.
John is survived by his loving family: wife Edna St. Clair; Barry St. Clair and his wife Gail and their three children and two grandchildren (with another on the way!); Cliff St. Clair and his wife Kristen and their four children and four grandchildren; and Brenda Latson and husband Dick and their three children and four grandchildren.
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