Clarence L. Coward Jr.

October 3, 1922January 19, 2014

Col. Clarence Leroy (C.L) Coward, Jr. born October 3, 1922, passed away peacefully at his home in Tucson, AZ, on January 19, 2014. Born in his family's namesake, Coward, South Carolina, C.L. served his country for 40 years in the armed forces, starting as a Marine during the time of WWII. After the war he helped establish the first Air National Guard unit in Columbia, South Carolina, where he served as an aircraft mechanic before moving his family to Arizona in 1948 for his daughter's health. He also helped establish Arizona's original Air National Guard unit in Litchfield Park before the unit moved to its permanent base at Sky Harbor Airport. In 1956, he helped establish a new ANG unit in Tucson where he served as a non-commissioned officer before earning an opportunity to attend officer's training school. Upon graduation, he was commissioned from Mstr. Sergeant to Captain in 1958. He served in important leadership roles with the ANG, including commanding the 162nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, before being called into the Air Force to liaison between the Air Force and ANG units across the country. He is the recipient of multiple awards and medals, including receiving the Air Force Commendation Medal for Meritorious Service in 1965. In 1977, by order of the President, he was awarded the Air Force Meritorious Service Medal for his work at McClellan AFB. He earned the ranks of Major in 1962, Lt. Colonel in 1967, and Colonel in 1973. He retired with the rank of Colonel with full honors in 1982. C.L. is survived by Sybil, his lifelong love and wife of 71 years. C.L. and Sybil met when they were young children and have been inseparable ever since. He is also survived by his daughter, Clarice Schroeder; son-in-law, Norman Schroeder; his son, Michael Coward; his brother, Robert Coward; two grandsons and six and a half great-grandchildren. There will be a viewing on Saturday, January 25, 2014 from 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. at the EAST LAWN PALMS MORTUARY, followed by a private, family graveside service. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Pima Air and Space Museum. The family wishes to thank Soulistic Hospice for their fine care. - See more at:


  • Visitation Saturday, January 25, 2014

Clarence L. Coward Jr.

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William Ehinger

May 3, 2014

I worked for 1956 or 1957.(In the old hanger) He was a great guy to work for. I thought the world of him. He was a good man.My condolences.

Ralph Lares

January 25, 2014

Rough outer exterior with an air of strength, but a warm and kind hearted interior that lent itself to great leadership as a Commander. To his family I offer my prayers and my condolences for your loss. For C.L.: Look up my Mom and Dad, I'm sure they have freshly made tamales waiting for you. Prayers and Blessings.

Dennis and Linda

January 24, 2014

CL extended his hand to help many people during his life and carrier, as he did to me. Forever grateful. A man who had a distinguished carrier in the enlisted ranks and the officer ranks to a respected Commander of people. Proud to say I served with him. Rest in the peace of our Lord Jesus my friend.

Bob Coward

January 24, 2014

As my older Brother, he inspired me to succeed. Our Families have been blessed to have CL as a leading Sibling.

Susan Allen

January 24, 2014

Wonderful uncle. You will be missed

Bill & Carol Moody

January 23, 2014

Our sincere sympathy and prayers go out to Mike and all the family.

January 23, 2014

He was all you want in a commander

Jack Voorhies

Terry Madden

January 22, 2014

I was working in Supply in 1966 when C.L. offered me a job in Maintenance Admin. He gave me ONE HOUR to make up my mind, or he'd offer it to someone else. Well, I took C.L. up on his offer, and it turned out to be one of the best decisions of my life. I thouroughly enjoyed working for C.L. even though he could be pretty tough at times. Take care C.L. and thanks again for picking me!