David E. Clapperton
November 11, 2016
David E. Clapperton
On November 3, 2016, surrounded by his immediate family, David E. Clapperton passed away peacefully at his home in Santa Paula after a long illness. He was born on December 11, 1929 in Fillmore, California, where he lived until he joined the Navy in June of 1948. He married Helen Turner on December 7, 1951 and they moved to San Diego. He was a rather humble man, with a good sense of humor, who didn’t want attention focused on himself, but was proud of his family; his service to his country; and his work.
Dave was stationed in San Diego onboard the USS Boxer. At the beginning of the Korean conflict, June 1950, the Boxer was ordered to sail from San Diego to Alameda, CA to pick up and transport aircraft to the Korean Peninsula. They set a record trans-Pacific sailing time of 8 days and 7 hours to deliver the aircraft. Dave was one of the men working the engine room on that sail with shifts of 4 hours on, 4 hours off, for the whole trip. Three days after making its delivery, The Boxer was sent back to Alameda for supplies, and broke its own record on that return trip by making it in 7 days, 10 hours and 36 minutes. Dave was again in the engine room, on the same work schedule, and it was on that trip he thought he might investigate other jobs available onboard. On one of the Boxer’s 3 tours to Korea and Japan, Dave discovered he had a talent for working with metal and he built the foundation of his life long career as a master craftsman of sheet metal onboard that ship.
After his discharge in June 1952, Dave and Helen moved to Santa Paula, and he went to work for the F. M. Pearce Company, retiring from there 42 and half years later. He enjoyed working with different metals and he also enjoyed making the design plans to build the jobs given to him. Some of the “jobs” he enjoyed include making the big candy cane decorations that lit up Santa Paula’s Main St. from 1959 to 1996; the ornate exterior copper work and large chimney cap for the Piru Mansion’s rebuild after it burned down; exterior parts that went on the DeLorean car for the movie “Back to the Future”; a copper fireplace for Steve McQueen to use at his airport hangar. And his family’s favorite piece (after the candy canes) is the fireplace hood for his own living room, which has warmed them since 1959, and will continue to do so.
Dave enjoyed the 13 and a half, years he was on Santa Paula’s volunteer fire department and became a Captain before leaving. He also had hobbies he enjoyed very much which included golf; fishing; RV travel; watching Dodger games & football on TV; and his computer. His favorite fishing spots are around Bishop, CA and for 30 years he and Helen loved going to Bishop’s Mule Days. They traveled in “Big Heep” towing their Jeep aka “Lil Heep” to many states. He liked transferring old family pictures and slides into his computer and then putting them on DVDs to give to family. He was a very skilled wood carver, and enjoyed doing small pieces with great details, such as the wrinkles in a cowboy boot or feathers on an eagle’s head. He made a wooden steering wheel for an old fire truck SPFD once restored. And in the past couple of years, he made walking sticks for family members, each with carvings and wood burned designs of special things pertaining to each recipient, with hand-braided grips he learned to do by watching YouTube videos, and was working on sticks for more family before getting too sick to finish them.
Dave’s family includes his wife of almost 65 years, Helen; their three daughters and sons-in-law: Jan & Randy Allen; Kristin & Scott Coleman; Shirley & Sal Lopez; five grandchildren: Justin (Lena) Allen; Dawn (Billy) Lindsay; Keri Coleman; Christopher (Stephanie) Lopez; Kevan (Stacey) Lopez; six great-grandchildren: Riley, Shelby, Layne & Kailey Allen; Ryan & Taylor Lindsay; Sam Coleman & Lucian Kohr; brother Harold (Mary Lou) Clapperton; brother-in-law Dale (Margo) Turner; special nieces & nephews; and his little 4 legged shadow, Shardonnay. He was preceded in death by his parents, David P. and Lillian Clapperton; and his sisters Betty Swinney & Ruth Durham.
A Graveside services will be held on Monday November 14, 2016 at 10:00am at Pierce Brothers Santa Paula Cemetery 830 W. Santa Paula St. Santa Paula, CA.
A reception/celebration will be held immediately after at the ranch home of Dawn & Billy Lindsay located at 13123 Ojai Rd., Santa Paula (near the Ojai Summit), one of Papa Dave’s favorite places to spend time with his family.
For map and directions to ceremony locations and to sign the family’s online guestbook, share stories and post pictures please visit our website: www.santapaulafuneralhome.com and click on David’s name located below “Recent Obituaries”.
Funeral Arrangements are under the direction of the Family Owned and Operated ROBERT REY GARCIA JR FUNERAL SERVICES, Santa Paula, CA 93060. 805.229.7054