Clarence Floyd Hummel
December 16, 1924 — June 22, 2023
Clarence Floyd Hummel, 98 passed away at his home in Richfield on June 22, 2023. He was born December 16, 1924 in LaJunta, Colorado to Clarence Edward and Grace Agnes Bates Hummel. He married Mary Evlyn McMillan, she preceded him in death.
His children are: Becky, deceased (Craig) Ross, Jacky (Terry) Mascher, John (Sheila) Hummel and Mac (Kamie) Hummel. He has 15 living grandchildren with one deceased and numerous great and great-great-grandchildren.
A member of the “Greatest Generation,” Floyd Hummel, “Buddy” to his family, had a varied and interesting life. Buddy was born and grew up in LaJunta, Colorado where he, along with his younger brother, Frank, hunted, raised chickens, managed the city swimming pool and, during the Great Depression, Buddy used his creative mind to build swamp coolers from discarded metal pieces and random electric motors. Buddy’s plans for college and career were interrupted by World War II when he joined the Army Air Corps and became a pilot of B25, B17 and B24 bombers. Buddy later flew B29 and B50 heavy bombers for the U.S. Strategic Air Command. Following WW II, just as he was rejoining his family, Buddy again left to serve in the Korean War, this time in the U.S. Air Force. In the Air Force, Buddy volunteered to serve as a first-generation helicopter pilot. His experiences in Korea included daring special operations night flights behind enemy lines, dangerous flights supporting troops through enemy-occupied mountains and emergency flights to rescue downed pilots. Following one such rescue, Buddy was awarded the coveted Sikorsky gold “S” award.
After Korea, Buddy once again returned stateside to resume his civilian life which included becoming a newlywed to his sweetheart, Mary, an adoptive father to Becky and Jacky, an oil and gas salesman, a master finish carpenter, an aerial cropduster, a Colorado Highway Patrol Trooper and, finally an employee of Georgia-Pacific’s gypsum division. At GP, Buddy’s work ethic and sharp intellect served him well and he very quickly moved up through the ranks to become a Plant Manager. As Plant Manager, Buddy was sent to rescue and revitalize failing plants which he invariably turned into successful operations. Numerous cross-country transfers took Buddy, along with his family, which in addition to children Becky and Jacky, now also included sons John and Mac to several states and, eventually to Sigurd, Utah. Sigurd, and then Richfield, Utah became home for the rest of Buddy’s life, even though he always considered himself a native son of his beloved Colorado.
Later in life, during his tenure with Georgia-Pacific and following his retirement, Buddy became a farmer, rancher, inventor, woodworker, backyard mechanic and master handyman for his family. Buddy loved rock hounding and always had his trusty rock pick at the ready. Throughout his life, Buddy remained a curious life-long learner; he often took college courses for knowledge rather than for credit. With his broad knowledge, Buddy could ruin any simple question with an hour-long answer. Buddy was an outspoken (at least within the family) “corrector” of political “knuckleheads” (or worse), and a caring grandfather and husband. When his beloved Mary was stricken with blindness from macular degeneration and, later, kidney disease and cancer, he became her eyes, her chauffeur, her nurse, and her tireless caretaker. No husband could have been more devoted to his spouse than Buddy was to Mary during the last decade of her life. His example will resonate through his family for generations.
Buddy was a great pet lover and he especially loved dogs of all shapes, breeds and sizes. In an amazing streak of good fortune, Buddy’s dogs were always the world’s smartest and most talented; if you didn’t know that to begin with, you certainly were made aware of it when you talked to Buddy. Throughout his life, Buddy was never without a dog constantly at his side. Buddy lived a full and happy 98 years, much of his longevity no doubt the result of his diet of Twinkies which he regularly consumed with abandon. Buddy will be deeply missed and always remembered for his sharp wit, his stubbornness, and his unequivocal devotion to and love for his family. Indeed, Buddy was a great man, worthy to be remembered as a member of America’s “Greatest Generation.”
Cremation Services to be held at Magleby Mortuary Crematory. Funeral Directors: Magleby Mortuary, Richfield, Salina and Manti