June 19, 1928 – March 3, 2020
Clarence Thomasson entered this world on June 19th, 1928 in Warren, Arkansas to the parents John O. Thomasson and Maggie Thomasson. Born the second from the last of six boys, Clarence always created a way to forge through life and overcome obstacles thrown in his path. At a young age he jumped on a freight train and headed to California determined to make a better life for him and his family. In 1953 he was drafted into the army serving in Korea, Germany and other places abroad. After serving two years active duty and eight years in the reserves, he was honorably discharged and returned home to the Central Valley to begin his legacy.
Overcoming the stereotype of being “just a country boy from Arkansas” he went back to school and achieved his GED and went on to become a licensed cement mason and credentialed teacher. Many of the buildings you visit each day were constructed by Clarence and his teams, and many of the cement masons working to this day were taught by him. Clarence worked diligently and broke many racial barriers throughout his 41-year career in construction and cement masonry until he retired in 1987.
Aside from his family, Clarence also had a love for horses. Popularly known throughout the cowboy world as “Papa Clarence” he would yet again create a legacy to remember. After retiring from construction, he poured his time and heart into his community and horsemanship. He once said in an interview, “there were folks out there who needed food and clothing. Young people who needed help getting vocational training or a chance to go to college” and Clarence stood by his words. In 1987 he founded the San Joaquin Valley Boys, a nonprofit organization of cowboys whose mission was to service the homeless, seniors and children of the Central Valley with food, clothing, scholarships, and vocational training opportunities. In addition, they aimed to spark a passion for horsemanship in those whom otherwise would never have experienced such a life. Clarence also founded and hosted the first Juneteenth Celebration in San Joaquin County and thereafter annually for many years to follow.
While Clarence was many things and held many titles, his greatest asset was his heart. He gave many the shirt off his back, the shoes off his feet, the food off his plate, loaned money that was never repaid, and gave the last dollar in his pocket to those in need.
- Visitation Saturday, March 14, 2020
- Chapel Service Saturday, March 14, 2020
March 14, 2020
UNCLE CLEARENCE WORD ARE NOT ENOUGH TO EXPRESSED HOW YOU ENCOURAGE MY LIFE AND HOW YOU TAUGHT ME HOW TO FISH. EVERY SUMMER YOU WOULD COME DOWN AND TAKE US FISHING AND YOU WOULD COME GO TO THE RODEO. THAT WAS TWO OF YOUR LOVES BESIDE LOVING AUNT DORETHA. I WILL TRUELY MISS MY RICH UNCLE. YOU WERE THE BEST UNCLE ANYBODY COULD HAVE. WE ALL WAS GLAD TO KNOW THAT YOU GAVE YOUR LIFE TO CHRIST AND THATS MORE THAN LIFE ITSELF. TAKE YOUR REST AND I WILL SEE YOU LATER. LOVE YOUR NIECE ARVERIA DORETHA FORD KING.
March 13, 2020
Rest in peace daddy/grandpa...you will be missed but forever in our hearts. Love, Clarice, Tre & Dajah💕
March 12, 2020
On Behalf of the WilTown Rider's,
We LOVE YOU PaPa Clarence and we will MISS YOU!
You were the example of which we tired our best to follow.
You left us with many wonderful memories for us to cherish.
We remember seeing you at the campout riding your scouter in the sun. We knew we couldn't allow that and figured out a way to get that big umbrella to stay on the back of your mobile chair. We got it together and told you to come back in the morning so we could get our umbrella back. We saw you riding in the shade and we said there is no way we are taking our umbrella back. You followed your word and returned it but we refused. We loved you and we wanted you comfortable! Sending Prayer to your lovely Wife Alma and the entire family! You will be continually in our Thoughts and Prayers. Rest Well Sir! We ALL Love you! WILTOWN RIDER'S (Wilton, CA)
March 11, 2020
Wow.. Beautiful & a great reminder of how special of a man he truly was. He taught me a lot... I've always loved horses since I was 3 but he was the first to make that dream come true, taking me along with his children to ride pony's & horses. 🤗 The best God Dad (& Mom) ever. Growing up, their house was my second home where you were treat as their own. (& had to eat your veggies) He was really a sweet, caring & strong positive man. I am thankful for the moments I was able to share with this excellent father figure/ role model.
March 10, 2020
Best Dad ever! Strong mind .... extremely generous heart ❤️