Clarence Blaze

Obituary of Clarence Robert Blaze

Please share a memory of Clarence to include in a keepsake book for family and friends.

Clarence Robert Blaze was born in Toledo, Ohio on May 6, 1938, to Joseph and Josephine (Hester) Blaze. As an infant, he was baptized at St. Stephen Catholic Church in the ethnic Hungarian Birmingham neighborhood of Toledo. Clarence later received his Confirmation name of “Andrew” from the church. He attended Waite High School in Toledo where he excelled at Track, breaking several school records. As a young man, Clarence proudly served his country with honorable service in the United States Marine Corp.

On September 28, 1966, Clarence sanctified a lifelong bond of commitment with his love, the former Rita Thorpe. Born on September 28, 1930, she was the daughter of Grover and Carrie Thorpe. The couple enjoyed forty-two years of marriage and were blessed with four children of their own, three daughters and a son. A great team, Rita cared for their home, while Clarence provided for his family with his employment as an Ironworker. When he retired in 2013 after fifty-three years of service, Clarence was the highest seniority member of Ironworkers Local 55. He was always very well respected amongst his co-workers.

Clarence was a jokester and loved to make people laugh. He would often be heard saying “You know why my wife and I stayed married for so long…cause no one wanted custody of the kids.” Clarence would strike up a conversation with his hands and his most famous quotes while telling a story was, “This and that, back and forth.”

A proud “Hunky”, Clarence enjoyed Hungarian cuisine, which he learned to cook himself after his wife’s passing. A socialite, he looked forward to outings at Meijer and Aldi grocery stores. Clarence always struck up a conversation with the cashier and generously offered them a tip for good service. He also routinely provided soda for the garbage men on hot summer days and even brought a six-pack of beer to the ladies at the bank each month. Clarence was kind and good hearted to a fault. An animal lover, he wouldn’t harm even the smallest creatures. He even once climbed a tree to remove a baby bird from a snake’s grasp!

A car enthusiast, he had more than twenty vehicles. Clarence always seemed to be working on his automobiles and possessed the mechanical skills necessary to get them running and keep them maintained. He also loved being out on the water and always had a boat in his fleet. Clarence had a great sense of style. As being a collector was part of his nature, he had accumulated many shoes of all kinds. However, Clarence only chose to wear a particular pair of work boots. A manly man, he liked to work with his hands. Clarence did all the maintenance on his home and even put a new roof on at the age of 84!

Despite tough times, Clarence always found a way to make things happen for his children. Not the type to accept a handout, with his strong will he always found a way. Clarence could be a strict disciplinarian, when necessary, but always had their best interests at heart. He prepared his kids for adult life and taught them the necessary skills it takes to be brave, strong and knowledgeable in any situation. Clarence cherished spending time with his family above anything else.

Clarence Robert Andrew Blaze, age 85, of Erie, Michigan passed away peacefully at his home on Thursday; November 30, 2023. His passing was preceded by his parents, whom Clarence loved deeply; his beloved wife, Rita Blaze, on February 12, 2008; and his siblings.

To cherish his memory he leaves three children: Regina (Richard) Maurer of Fairmont City, Illinois, Renee Blaze (Robert Page) of Ypsilanti, Michigan, Robin Blaze of Ypsilanti; twelve grandchildren: Nicole Blaze of Clinton, Michigan, who Clarence looked at as a daughter, Adrianne (Cory) Matthews, Brooke (Connor) Thole, Kayla “Carrie” Blaze-Connolly, Alexis “Alexi” Blaze-Connolly, Zacariah Blaze, Kyle Blaze, Cole Blaze, Kayden Blaze, Michael Joseph Blaze-Connolly, Zailey Blaze, and Maizey Blaze; and canine companions: “Rocky”, a German Shephard, and “Clyde”, a Boxer, whom he adored.  

Clarence’s care has been entrusted to Merkle Funeral Service, Erie; 9156 Summit Street, Erie, Michigan 48133 (734) 317-7199. Cremation has taken place at the on-site crematory, Covenant Cremation, of Erie, Michigan.