Clem Larkin

Clement W. Larkin, 92, of Waukon died Tuesday, December 8, 2015 at Good Samaritan Center in Waukon. Funeral services were held Monday, December 14 at St. Patrick Catholic Church in Waukon with Rev. Msgr. Cletus Hawes, Fr. Donald Hawes and Deacon Mike Ward officiating. Burial was at Mt. Olivet Cemetery, Waukon.
Clement William Larkin was born December 29, 1922 near Rossville. He was the son of John Charles and Miranda Helen (Link) Larkin. Clem attended Jefferson country schools before graduating from Waukon High School. After high school, Clem went to California to assemble airplanes during WWII. In 1945, he became one of the first milk testers for the Dairy Herd Improvement Association (DHIA).
September 24, 1949, he married Ramona Jane McDowell at the Church of the Nativity in Dubuque. The couple rented a farm in the Waterville area for 13 years until 1965, when they bought their own dairy farm near Rossville and raised registered Holsteins. In 1994, Clem and Ramona retired from farming and moved to Waukon. In 2011, Clem received the “Distinguished Service to the Dairy Industry Award” from the Allamakee County Dairyman’s Association, reflecting 65 years of service to the dairy industry.
Clem was a member at St. Pius at Cherry Mound and St. Patrick Catholic Churches. He had been a member of the Waterville Creamery Board and a Jefferson Township trustee, and was a founding member of Southcrest Manor in Waukon. He loved dancing with Ramona, especially to the Toe Tappers band, and he enjoyed singing karaoke with friends.
Clem played shuffleboard and really enjoyed playing euchre and 500. He belonged to card clubs and taught his grandchildren and other local kids how to play as well. He “farmed” his backyard, growing veggies and flowers, and loved sharing his produce with the neighbors. He loved to help the neighborhood children grow pumpkins in his garden. Always the farmer, Clem enjoyed riding around to look at the crops.
Clem was quick witted and enjoyed talking about the history of the county. Clem’s greatest joy came from his six children, nine grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. He proudly smiled at the mention of their names.
Clem is survived by his six children: Helen (Verle) Guthrie of Highlands Ranch, CO, Michael (Janice) of Charleston, SC, Elaine (Brent) Logan of Reno, NV, John (Sherry) of Aurora, CO, Thomas of Erie, CO and Brian (Sara) of Vinton. He is also survived by nine grandchildren: Patti (Jim) Kula, Tim Larkin, Miranda Larkin, Elthia Larkin, John Skeels, Abby (Rolando) Morales, Rachael (Matthew) Schmitt, John Larkin and Katie Larkin; and three great-grandchildren.
Clem is also survived by five of his nine siblings: Eleanor Ryan of Waukon, Evelyn Reuter of Monticello, Herb (Patsy) Larkin of Waukon, Ray (Janice) Larkin of El Paso, TX and Alice Murphy of Minneapolis, MN; two sisters-in-law, Rose Larkin of Lansing and Gayle Larkin of Waukon; and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Ramona, who died in 2007; two grandchildren, Michael and Mary Ellen Larkin; four siblings, Marian (Charles) Ryan, Frances (Vernon) Gallagher, John B. Larkin and Charles Larkin; and four brothers-in-law, Edward Ryan, Charles Ryan, Vernon Gallagher and Roy Reuter.
Honorary casketbearers were Bob Heffern, Jim Byrnes, Gene Potts, Verle Guthrie, Jim Kula, Brent Logan, Rolando Morales and Matthew Schmitt. Casketbearers were Tom Reuter, Larry Ryan, Dan Gallagher, Duane Larkin, Kevin Ryan, Bob Larkin, Don Ryan and Dan Murphy.
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