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Howard Claes

July 8, 1925 ~ November 19, 2023 (age 98) 98 Years Old
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Howard Claes Obituary

Howard William Claes, age 98, passed away November 19, 2023, at The Brixton at Horseshoe Bay skilled nursing facility in Texas.
He was born on July 8, 1925, to Carl and Blanche (Bartrum) Claes in Crestline, OH, and moved to Shelby when he was ten years old.  Howard was a lifelong resident of Ohio until moving to Texas in July 2022.
After graduating from Shelby High School in 1943, Howard enlisted in the Army Air Corps to become a pilot.  However, because he was such a good teacher, he served during WWII as an arial gunnery instructor from 1943-1946.  During this time, he also married Dorothy Ellen Snavely, Shelby class of 1944, on February 16, 1945.
Returning to Shelby after the war, he opened Shelby Sporting Goods, where he was sole proprietor until he sold it in 1972.  Most of the kids growing up in Shelby in the 1950s and 60s bought their first baseball glove from him.  When he was not at the store, he enjoyed hunting and fishing.  Howard’s respect for the outdoors and nature were traits he passed on to his sons.  After selling the store he and his wife, Dot, became “Airstreamers” and members of the Travel Club (WBCCI).  They enjoyed traveling around the United States, Canada, and Mexico where they attended Airstream Rallies.  A few times he even served on the advanced team for the National Airstream rallies. He filled in his time at home selling real estate.
Howard was very active most of his life.  He did volunteer work at the Shelby Help Line, as well as at Shelby’s First Lutheran Church where he was a member.  In 2010 he was even a census agent.  He also fulfilled his desire to become a pilot by obtaining his commercial pilot’s license and instrument rating.  At one time he worked as an air traffic controller.  More recently he drove a limousine and delivered cars for a local car dealer.  In the fall of 2022, he and son Drew (a Vietnam veteran), were the first father/son veterans to go to Washington, D.C., on an Honor Flight out of Austin, TX.  He proudly belonged to several Masonic Bodies for more than 75 years.  These included Shelby Lodge #350 F&AM, Shelby Chapter #178 RAM, Mansfield Council R&SM, Mansfield Commandery, the Scottish Rite Valley of Columbus, and Al Koran Shrine.
In addition to his parents, Howard was preceded in death by his wife of 75 years Dorothy “Dottie” Snavely Claes, sister Marilyn Claes Wickemeyer Kern, brother Richard “Dick” Claes, and grandson Carl Dan Claes.
He is survived by his two sons, Drew (Dolly) Claes of Meadowlakes, TX, and Tom Claes of Loudonville, OH, four grandchildren, Christy (John) Krant, Sean (Jodie) Claes, Ross Claes and Nick Claes, five great-grandchildren, Marlee Claes, Harper Claes, Sofia Krant, William Krant, and Mya Claes, one brother John Claes of Union Town, OH, as well as many nieces, nephews and other relatives.
Friends may call the Barkdull Funeral Home & Crematory Friday, December 8, 2023, from 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM, with a “Celebration of Life” to follow. There will be a Masonic Service at the funeral home and interment will be held in Oakland Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to the Al Koran Shrine Hospital fund, P.O. Box 81184, Cleveland, OH, 44181-0184, or Shelby Help Line, 29 ½ Walnut St. Rear, Shelby, OH, 44875.


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Celebration of Life

Barkdull Funeral Home
33 N. Gamble Street
Shelby, OH 44875


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