Dr. Fred Clemenz

A Celebration of Life will be held on June 13, 2019, from 7-9pm. at River Center at Saluda Shoals, 5605 Bush River Road, Columbia, SC 29212.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the American Cancer Society or to a charity of your choice in his honor.

Growing Up And Learning With Daddy

Christy Dunbar

I was born before Dad finished college. My mother had already graduated and was a 1st Grade teacher. So Daddy started teaching me to read early using her 1st grade materials. He bragged that I knew how to read when I was 4 so I started 1st grade when I was 5. This was just the beginning of my education. Dad had a box of vocabulary words by the dinner table and every night he pulled out a card. I had to spell it, give the meaning and use it in a sentence. The word I remember most is onomatopoeia. I have yet to use it in conversation except when I tell this story. An example of onomatopoeia “clang” which sounds like its meaning. By the age of 10 he had me reading the Iliad and the Odyssey. We also had a set of books containing all of Shakespeare’s plays but I did not finish them much to his chagrin. Of course after reading Papa had a list of questions for me and I usually failed the test. Daddy loved to travel and wherever we went we stopped to read the historical signs and were tested later that day. And of course current events and politics - I hated those inquiries almost as much as i hated history lessons. I still know the date of the Battle of Hastings is 1066 but have never found that knowledge to be useful. I did love learning card games but if you were his bridge partner you better bid and play correctly. We were all encouraged to play the piano and participate in singing in the choir. He was a difficult task master sitting beside me while I practiced piano. By the time I was 10 I rode with him early to church on the back of his scooter to get to choir practice on time. His teaching method was often immersion such as to learn to swim he threw me in the water. When he wanted me to learn to ski at age 10 I was not allowed to get back in the boat until I skied. And then when I was too afraid to go over the wake he just drove the boat in a tight circle so there was no other option but to go over the wake. And I still love to ski. His goal was to give us every opportunity he could for us to excel in life. He instilled confidence and supported all of our interests.

In Memory Of Papa

Chris Bowen

My grandfather, Fred Clemenz, was a man that always had a smile on his face. Whether he was discussing politics, philosophy, science, or just making conversation; he would always do so with a beautiful passion that was intense, yet calm. Whatever life threw at him, he was jolly and jovial, not allowing the small things to bring him down. He was also a man of many passions and his greatest love, besides his family, was his love for the water. He enjoyed waterskiing, cruises, swimming, and scuba diving, and he instilled this love in his children and grandchildren. Many of my early memories include spending time with my grandfather on Lake Murray, South Carolina. Like many of my relatives, I also enjoyed swimming and watersports. However, it was not until later that I would find my greatest passion. When I was seventeen I remember my grandfather speaking with my cousin, Jade and I. He had told us about his experiences while diving in Bonaire and asked if either of us were interested in learning. He didn’t have to ask me twice. My cousin and I were quickly enrolled in an open water course and gained our scuba certifications. While we really enjoyed the experience we did not find time to use our certifications in South Carolina, as there is not a lot to see in the murky waters.


Kimberly Cooney

Wednesdays. These are the days I will remember the most. My mother had these days off and Papa would frequently be there when we got home from school. The activities changed but his presence remained constant. As a child, it was sitting down at the piano to sing while he played. As an adolescent, it was trying to remember the things he taught me or expected me to learn since his last visit because he would absolutely ask about them at the dinner table. As a young adult, it was skiing on Lake Murray when we’d get the chance. It was when he pushed my sister off the boat and giggled that I realized that this man who always wanted me to learn something was pretty fun. As a college student, it was meeting at the Summit club for lunch or he’d drop off ridiculous amounts of milk, canned chicken soup, and mouthwash from the commissary. As a PA Student, it was talking about rotations while visiting him and Grammy in Hilton Head or meeting for dinner in Savannah. As an adult, it was talking about my patients while he sat making faces and joking with my nieces and mother on my lunch break. As a mother, it was realizing just how much he loved us grandchildren by watching him read to my own child and splashing us in the pool. So over the years the activities changed but my Papa stayed the same. I will forever be grateful for all the Wednesdays and any other days that I got to spend with him and I look forward to the one when I’ll see him again.

An Honorable Man

Chuck Bowen

I first met Fred at age 19. His daughter ,Kim, and i had started dating, and she wanted me to meet her parents.The meeting went well and before long I was part of the ever expanding Clemenz clan. What i quickly learned was that Fred was a very giving, honorable and loving man. As the saying goes, when someone shows you who they are the first time,believe them. That was Fred. What you saw was what you got, not a man of airs, but certainly a man of accomplishment. Born poor, Fred worked hard to obtain a college degree, working and attending classes simultaneously. One day the football coach saw this young muscular man, and asked if he was interested in coming to play for the football team. Fred said sure, though he said he wasn’t very good. That might have been the last thing Fred tried in that he didn’t reach proficiency, as he quickly became a very good water skier, tennis player, and was known for his excellent singing voice and his bridge playing abilities.

Happiness And Sunshine

Kim Bowen

My Dad was happiness and sunshine to me. I could not wait for him to come home. He worked long hours, but when he came home, he was not just a wonderful father, but he was also a great playmate. He spent hours swimming, skiing, playing games, especially card games, playing tennis, and I could go on and on. Oh, the joy he brought to us.

Marilyn Imboden

Marilyn Imboden

I am so sorry for the pain you are going through with soon to lose your father. He is a very special brother to me. I can remember one time when i was 6 or 7, when we lived in hammond. Fred was probably 12 or 13 and had a paper route and had a big bike. Well anyway he taught me how to ride it and then left with his friend jackie nance. He taught me how to ride it but not how to get off. I rode that bike for about an hour until i just fell off. Many things growing up i would not have been able to do if it was’nt for your father. I remember for 3 years getting to go to church camp because he paid the way and some times gave mom money so i would have what i needed in clothes and shoes for the camp and i have never forgotten that. He urged me to read, some of the books were long and boring, but i wanted to please him. to this day i remember some of the poems he urged me to memorize. he had quite an influence in my life. I love history partly because of your dad.

Carol Clemenz

Carol Clemenz

Fred and I were fortunate enough to share thirty-eight years of marriage from March 14, 1981 to April 12, 2019. During the first five months we celebrated the weddings of daughter Christy to CP Dunbar, son Layne Clemenz to Rebecca Lucas and Kimberly Clemenz to Chuck Bowen. In 2014, son Bryan Clemenz married his wife Olana Over the years we enjoyed many special occasions including graduations, honors, and holiday celebrations but more fullfilling the births of thirteen grandchildren and four great grandchildren. We survived the building of our dream home on Lake Murray where we lived for thirty years before moving to Hilton Head. While living on the lake we had great times boating, skiing, playing tennis, gardening and entertaining friends. Fred loved traveling and we took many trips. We especially enjoyed traveling around the world with the American Medical Tennis Association. Cruises were also one of his favorite things to do. We took our last cruise in August of 2018. Of course it was a bridge cruise. Duplicate bridge was another priority for him and he achieved ACBL Silver Life Master ranking. It was a close second to his love of reading history, biographies and was most astute regarding world news.