William E. Clindaniel, 73, of Elkhart, passed away peacefully at home surrounded by his loving family on Wednesday, January 31, 2018.
Bill was born on December 20, 1944 in Elkhart, IN to the late Bettie and Morris Eugene Alley and later adopted by his step-father, Forest Clindaniel.
On July 26, 1991, he married his high school sweetheart, Jackie Huff, who survives. He was previously married to Bobbie Yon Rosenbalm.
In addition to his wife of 26 years, Bill is survived by his daughter, Cheryl Stirling of McMinnville, OR; two step-daughters, Deborah (Tim) Kauffman and Christine (Doug) Stacker, both of Elkhart; two step-sons, David (Michele) Rutter of Hudsonville, MI and Jay (Jeannie) Rosembalm of Amity, OR and a special daughter, Nicole Smith and her children of Elkhart. Also surviving are 21 grandchildren, six great grandchildren, a sister, Cindy (Randy) Peterson of Willamina, OR and a brother-in-law, Terry Owings of Otis, OR. He was preceded in death by his parents, a brother, Denis Clindaniel and just ten days before him, a sister, Linda Owings. Furry survivors include his three cats, Romeo, Louis and his best friend, Buddy.
Bill attended Osolo, North Side and Elkhart High School before moving to California where he graduated from Hemet Union High School in 1963. After joining the Army, he served in Vietnam during 1967-1968. He was always very patriotic and passionate about all those who served our country.
Returning from Vietnam, he lived in Oregon near his family. He spent most of his career in the mobile home industry working his way from factory to managerial positions. In addition to Oregon, he was transferred or took jobs in Texas, Alabama, Florida and California. He consulted on designing a factory in Mexico. He later started a high-end cabinet business in Sacramento with his cousin, Dan Rude. Upon shutting down that business, he moved to Redondo Beach, CA to take a job as general manager for in industrial modular company. It was there that he reconnected with the love of his life and six months later returned to Elkhart to be married. Everyone who hears their love story says it should be a book or a movie.
In Elkhart, he first worked as general manager for Hi-Tech Housing and then for Commodore Homes. In 1997, he purchased Interior Accessories and grew it from five employees to eighty-two. That business was closed in 2010 and he started Quality Blinds with Nicole Smith. He retired in 2017 when his dementia prevented him from being productive.
Everything Bill did, he put 100% into it and did it passionately. Before returning to Indiana, he was an avid racquetball player and participated in many tournaments. Once in Elkhart, he learned to play golf and became totally immersed in the sport. If it was daylight, he was either at work or the golf course. He was a member at Christiana Creek Country Club for 27 years and played every day that he could, even when the dementia made it confusing.
Another great love was music. He was a gifted self-taught musician. In California, he taught himself to play the guitar and was part of the band The Cendres in high school. Their claim to fame was opening for the Beach Boys at a county fair. After moving to Elkhart, he also taught himself the keyboard. He not only played but created many songs over the years, written for loved ones. His dry sense of humor brought smiles and laughter from friends and family, all of whom will miss him greatly.
Private family graveside services for Bill will be held at Rice Cemetery. Military honors will be rendered. A Celebration of Life Service will be held on Saturday, February 3, 2018 from noon until 3 p.m. at the Christian Creek Country Club in Elkhart. A time of sharing will begin at 12:30 p.m. Hartzler-Gutermuth-Inman Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
The family request that all donations be made to Alzheimer’s Association or Safe Haven, a women’s shelter.