Sunday, Dec 17, 2017
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Deaths

Clinton R. Longenecker, Jr. (1923-2017)

Clinton-Ralph-Longenecker-Jr

Clinton Ralph Longenecker, Jr.

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Clinton R. Longenecker, Jr., a partner in his father’s east side business who oversaw flooring projects large and complex — hospitals, factories, high schools — and on the scale of single-family homes, died Sunday in Hospice of Northwest Ohio, South Detroit Avenue. He was 93.

He had lung cancer, his son Rick said. Mr. Longenecker and his wife, Rita, longtime West Toledo residents, lived most recently at the West Park Place senior community

An Army veteran of World War II, his combat duty began with the D-Day landing at Omaha Beach and continued for nearly a year until VE Day. He returned home, and the business his father founded in 1932 was renamed  C.R. Longenecker & Son, 622 Front St.

“The business was booming at the time,” his son said. “Everybody was back from the war.”

The pace of construction picked up — houses for veterans and their new families, but also offices, shopping areas, factories, schools. The Longeneckers, father and son, attributed the firm’s success to their eagerness to tackle tough jobs, The Blade’s Sam Allen reported in 1962. Their big project then was the soon-to-open Bowsher High School. They also did flooring at Clay High School, Toledo Hospital, Champion Spark Plug as it converted a section of factory to office space, and Franklin Park Mall.

“He loved those big engineering kinds of projects,” his son Paul said, “because that’s the way his mind worked.” 

Before the war, Mr. Longenecker studied chemical engineering at the University of Toledo.

In addition, he prized the relationships made with customers and at the work site.

“He was a story teller, and he loved the personal interaction,” said son Paul, who with his brothers worked with their father and grandfather, especially during the summer.

His son Rick said: “My dad was a kind-spirited man, and he had a smile and would make you smile.”

He retired in 1978 and closed the business.

He was born Dec. 1, 1923, to Margie and Clinton R. Longenecker, Sr., and grew up on Mott Avenue near Waite High School. He was a 1942 graduate of Waite, where he was on the swim team.

In the Army, he was assigned to the 81st Chemical Mortar Battalion. He received five battle stars for his service.

“My dad talked about it a lot,” his son Rick said. “The main thing is, they were constantly on the move.

“He talked about the guys and about the positive and silly things they did, not the gloom and doom and horror of the war,” his son Rick said.

He also shared accounts of the war with students at Whitmer High School, which honored him in 2016 during halftime at a home football game. He was a volunteer with Junior Achievement and at Lourdes University, Mercy Health St. Vincent Medical Center, and the American Red Cross. 

“When you rang the fire bell he was there. He never asked why. He asked where,” son Rick said. “His hobbies were volunteerism and the grandkids.”

Surviving are his wife, the former Rita Pecord, whom he married Oct. 30, 1948; daughter, Marsha Hunt; sons Clint, Paul, and Rick Longenecker; 10 grandchildren; two step-grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.

Visitation will be from 2-8 p.m. Wednesday at Ansberg-West Funeral Home, with a military service at 7 p.m. by the Conn Weissenberger American Legion Post. Funeral services will be at 10:30 a.m. Thursday at Corpus Christi University Parish, where the family will receive guests after 9:30 a.m. 

The family suggests tributes to Blessed Sacrament Church, where he was a longtime member, or Hospice of Northwest Ohio.

Contact Mark Zaborney at mzaborney@theblade.com or 419-724-6182.

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