Clarence (Clarney) William Steilen was born March 4, 1931 in Farmer SD to Nicolas and Mary (Schladweiler) Steilen. He grew up on a farm and went to St. Peter’s Elementary School and Farmer High School graduating in 1950. After high school he helped on the family farm until being drafted into the Army in January of 1952. He served in the Korean War where he was a heavy weapons operator and was on the front lines when the war ended in July of 1953.
He met Delia Kuder at a Farmer dance in 1949. They were married on November 24, 1953 in Farmer. He worked at the Chevy dealership in Mitchell and later he and Delia opened a small café and gas station in Alexandria. In 1962 they opened a salvage yard in Alexandria which over the years evolved into Clarney’s Auto Supply. He and Delia owned and operated Clarney’s until retiring in July of 1995. For many years he was a volunteer fireman in Alexandria and also a member of St. Mary of Mercy Catholic Church in Alexandria. He was a member of the VFW and the American Legion.
After retiring he enjoyed wood working, gardening and spending the winters in Arizona with his children and grandchildren. He was a kind, wonderful, loving dad and grandpa, not just to his own children but to many others who also looked up to him. He was known to many as “grandpa”.
He is survived by his children, Debra Ann Steilen-Toyne and husband, Todd Toyne of Tempe AZ, David Lee Steilen of Tempe AZ; three grandchildren: Hayley Anne Toyne, Mason Wills Toyne, John Axel (Jack) Toyne and two sisters: Julie Wagner of Alexandria and Dorothy Brown of Spencer.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife, Delia on Feb 26th 2011 and three brothers: Edward, Herbert, and Bernard; two sisters: Rose Thompson and Lori Anton.