Clinton S. Fraley, age 78, of Sioux Rapids, Iowa died on May 28, 2021 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
A Celebration of Life for Clinton Fraley, age 78, of Sioux Rapids, will be held Saturday at 2:00 at the Scharnberg Park near Everly. Friends and family are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to the Clay County Conservation Board for trail repairs at Kindlespire Park. Sliefert Funeral Home of Sioux Rapids is in charge of arrangements.
Clinton Sherman Fraley was born August 9, 1942, in Wichita, Kansas, the first child of John Sherman Fraley and Betty Jane (Eberhardt) Fraley. The family moved to Des Moines where Clint spent his early elementary school years. They moved near Anabel, Missouri in 1952, where Clint and his sister Margaret and brother Dan attended a one-room school whose teacher rode to school each day on her horse, sometimes offering rides to the children. Each grade was taught every other year, so Clint (sometimes called Butch) skipped a grade because he arrived the wrong year for 4th grade. Because of this, when the family moved back to Iowa, Clint had the distinction of being the youngest person to graduate from Milo High School, as he was the youngest, at age 16, in the last class to graduate from Milo in 1959.
Following high school graduation Clint wanted to enlist in the Army, but he had a heart murmur due to having rheumatic fever as a teen-ager and was declared 4F. He enrolled in Iowa State University for one semester. It was shortly after this that he met Esta Mae Fridley whom he married five years later on September 4, 1964. He was called for the draft and this time passed his physical. He joined the Signal Corps of the Iowa Army National Guard stationed at the Red Horse Armory in Des Moines, took training at Ft. Leonard Wood, Missouri, Ft. McClellan, Alabama, Ft. Gordon, Georgia, and Ft. Monmouth, New Jersey. Clint graduated from the Iowa Military Academy at Camp Dodge as a 2nd Lieutenant in June 1967. In 1965 Clint and Esta moved to Woodward, IA, where Esta taught math and Clint returned to Iowa State University where he completed his degree in Fish and Wildlife Biology in February 1970.
Clint took employment with the Boy Scouts of America as District Director of the North Star District of the Prairie Gold Area Council. They moved to Spirit Lake where their daughter Devona was born. He later worked for Ferguson Manufacturing in Spirit Lake and then moved his family to Muscatine where he was Director of the Muscatine County Conservation Board. When Clay County established the position of Director of the County Conservation Board in 1974, Clint was hired and served in that position for more than 27 years until his retirement in 2002. In 1976 the Fraleys moved to their acreage east of Cornell where they worked for many years to design and build their own home with Clint taking on all the roles of architect, carpenter, electrician, plumber, and more - with Esta and Devona learning more about construction than they ever wanted to know.
Following a long family tradition, Clint was raised to the sublime degree of a Master Mason in Evening Shade Lodge #312 in Spencer, Iowa. He was also a member of the Sioux City Scottish Rite and the Abu-Bekr Shrine in Sioux City, IA.
For many years family vacations featured camping on the South Dakota prairie with tepees, prairie dog shooting, good food, and bluegrass music (and even rattlesnakes) shared with thirty-some friends.
Clint found plenty to occupy his time in retirement with his many hobbies: fly fishing and fly tying, target shooting and hunting, leather working, working with his donkeys and mules, mowing in his CRP acres, and visiting with friends on the front porch, etc. He always loved sharing and teaching his hobbies to others, especially young people.
Clint was preceded in death by his parents and brother-in-law Loren Ripperger.
Left to cherish his memory are his wife Esta, his daughter and son-in-law Devona and Fred Perkins of Emmetsburg, IA, sister Margaret Ripperger of Winterset, IA, brother Daniel Fraley of Palmer Lake, CO, brother and sister-in-law Charles and Nan Fraley of rural Woodburn, IA, nieces and nephews, a host of other relatives, and many, many friends.
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