Cletus R. “Clete” Ring
PLAIN – Cletus R. “Clete” Ring left this world a better place than he found it on February 3, 2017. Just shy of his 91st birthday, he was born February 15, 1926, in Plain to Raymond and Emma (Blau) Ring.
Clete enlisted in the U.S. Navy during World War II at the age of 17. He served on board the USS Gambier Bay CVE73, serving as a motor machinist in the engine room. On October 25, 1944, during the Battle of Leyte Gulf, his ship was sunk by enemy gunfire. Wounded badly, Clete survived two days in shark infested waters, clinging to a life raft. He was subsequently awarded the Purple Heart.
Returning to Plain after the war, Clete married Anna M. Schmitz in August of 1947. Subsequently he built and ran the Skelly Service Station in Plain for over 20 years. He also was a member of the United Steamfitters Local 601. Following retirement Clete could most often be found at his sons’ business, RingBrothers, where he would keep staff and visitors regaled with his stories and advice to all, (and on all subjects).
Clete is survived by what he undoubtedly would say is his greatest legacy, his seven children, Steve (Nancy) Ring of Scottsdale, Ariz., June (Charlie) Drott of Scottsdale, Ariz., Gail Byrne of Madison (Tim Byrne of Middleton), Betty (John) Kraemer of Paradise Valley, Ariz., Karen (John) Heinz of Scottsdale, Ariz., Mike (Nancy) Ring of Plain and Jim (Peggy) Ring of Spring Green; 16 grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; six sisters, Caroline Weiss, Elvy Weiss, Bernice Weber, Alice Swinehart, Charlotte Dischler, Audray Gerber and a brother, John (Jack) Ring.