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The light has dimmed for former Sonora resident Clarence McMaster, who was known as “Clancy” in his youth but most knew him as “Case” passed away Monday, September 4th. Born in Sacramento, he arrived in Sonora only a few days old and there spent his childhood and early adulthood. He was a member of the Sonora High class of 1945. After graduation he enlisted in the Navy one month before the Japanese surrender in WW2. After another year of service he followed numerous occupations until starting his own trucking business, Case Transport based in San Leandro. Among his most memorable life events were being allowed to become a bus driver while still in high school; learning to fly out of Columbia Airport; and becoming a personal friend of bodybuilder Norman Marks who nearly became Mr. America in 1947. He was also very proud of being a member of the Alameda County Deputy Sheriff’s Air Squadron. But the greatest mark in his life reached back to his Sonora youth. He had tragically lost his father during the depression and became a skinny penniless child. One day he was told by his aunt to meet her at the Western Auto store in Sonora. He didn’t want to go and was indifferent because this meant packing things home for her…to the south end of town. After further coaxing he trudged down the street in his heavily-patched overalls and badly worn canvas shoes. Upon arriving at the store he was drawn to a shinny new line of Western Flyer bicycles “with balloon tires and all”. As he stood admiring and dreaming, Auntie walked up and said “which bike do you like the MOST”? In a somber tone young Clarence replied “this one”, pointing to a red and chrome beauty. She then said “take it…it’s yours!” For a long while he couldn’t believe what she was saying, and thereafter spent the remainder of his life in wonder and gratitude for that simple but life-changing event.
He is survived by his son and daughter-in-law Darrel and Jan McMaster of Brentwood; two daughters, Debie McMaster of Chesterton, Indiana, and Lynne McMaster of San Leandro. He is also survived by daughter-in law Laurie McMaster of Sonora, 11 grandchildren, 17 great grandchildren, two nieces and two nephews. He was preceded in death by his former wife Jean McMaster, his eldest son Marshall McMaster and two grandchildren.

  • Date of Death: 09/04/2017
  • Age: 90
  • Services: A Memorial Vigil will be held Thursday, October 5y at 6:30pm at Terzich and Wilson Funeral Home, 225 E. Rose, Sonora, CA. A Memorial Mass will be held Friday, October 6th at 10:30am at St. Patrick's Catholic Church, 127 W. Jackson St., Sonora followed by military honors and committal service at St. Patrick's Catholic Cemetery, Sonora, CA.