Cover photo for CF Clemon Fielding Sirmans, Jr.'s Obituary
CF Clemon Fielding Sirmans, Jr. Profile Photo
1949 CF 2024

CF Clemon Fielding Sirmans, Jr.

July 2, 1949 — March 25, 2024

Tallahassee, Fl.

Clemon Fielding Sirmans, Jr. (CF) was the seventh of ten children born to Clemon Fielding, Sr., and Myrtice Vining on July 2, 1949. He grew up in humble circumstances on a farm in Pearson, Georgia, a true country boy at heart. He spent his childhood hunting, fishing, and farming. He had an aptitude for scholarly activity from an early age and his eighth-grade math teacher told him he should attend college, an idea with which, at the time, he had little familiarity. In his teenage years, he taught himself to play guitar and spent nearly the rest of his life in a band and/or picking guitar. He dabbled in songwriting while attending to his academic life at Valdosta State College where he earned a bachelor’s degree in economics. He continued at the University of Georgia where he earned a master’s degree in economics and a Ph.D. in real estate and urban development. In 1973, he married Elaine Ruark and, together, as they built his career, they lived in Athens/Watkinsville, Georgia; Champaign, Illinois; Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Storrs/Bolton, Connecticut; and Tallahassee, Florida. They raised six children and shared sixteen grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Along with his secular studies, he was a devoted and faithful lifelong member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. In every place he lived, he served his fellow church members often as a Sunday School teacher and in myriad Church leadership positions including Branch President, Young Men’s President, High Council, Bishopric Counselor, and Ward Missionary. He delighted in reading the scriptures and teaching others of all ages to understand and appreciate the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He truly had a talent for breaking down complicated subjects in a way that was engaging and interesting. He loved to study and learn a topic and share it with anyone who would listen! This talent served him both in his work with the church and in his professional life. CF had a notable career as a successful professor, contributing greatly as one of the most prolific researchers in his field of expertise. He was hard-working, creative, innovative, smart, and thoughtful and he loved his life’s work of problem-solving and offering advice and wisdom to others. There are many who consider him a trusted colleague, mentor, advisor, and friend.

Even with all his professional success, CF insisted that his greatest accomplishment in life was his family. He admitted the smartest thing he ever did was marry Elaine who is a brilliant and caring household and family manager. Sometimes he thought his children and grandchildren were too loud (interrupting his naps and whatnot), yet he loved nothing more than having his family members and loved ones hanging around laughing and carrying on. He was a dedicated father, accepting and guiding each of his children. He believed his grandchildren were life-saving and they brought him immense joy and pride. He believed in them and supported their passions and pursuits and he never turned away a chance to see them, particularly in the summer and over holidays, when he delighted in their long visits. In retirement, his younger grandchildren would often wait at the window for him to pick them up for a ride on the lawnmower/tractor or around the neighborhood in his beloved old red Ford Ranger. The grandchildren remember fondly his ‘uniform’ consisting of a short-sleeve button down shirt, FSU basketball shorts, gray ankle socks, and Crocs. He could often be found watching their TV shows with them, learning their favorite songs so he could play for them on the guitar, and telling stories of his childhood as he drove them to the local gas station for snacks.

Toward the end of his life, CF made sure he lived not far from his hometown in South Georgia. Even after he and Elaine traveled extensively both domestically and internationally, his love and fondness for his hometown of Pearson, Georgia and the surrounding areas of Coffee and Atkinson counties never wavered. He was always ready to answer questions from his children and grandchildren regarding his childhood and upbringing. As he shared stories of his ‘coming up’, his eyes would twinkle and the timbre in his voice

would go up. He was so proud of his heritage and the family and community who nurtured and raised him and welcomed him home whenever he made his way back.

Sadly, CF was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2021 and eventually lost his ability to do everything he loved so much – chatting with loved ones and friends, playing guitar, walking, reading, and studying. He was cared for by family in his last months of life and he was surrounded by his loving wife of 51 years and several of his children and grandchildren when he passed away just before sunrise on Monday, March 25, 2024.

He is survived by his wife, Elaine, and his six children Lori (Chad), Sally (Joseph), Tice, Clemon Fielding, III – “Fiel” (Natalie), Rex, and Lane (Claire). While he wasn’t perfect, he was a man among men. There were few people on Earth he loved and adored more than his grandchildren and he is survived by all of them – Christian, Jake (Julia – Hudson and Wyatt), Caroline (Hunter - Finn), Kirk, Kelly (Chris), Laurel, Kylie (Cody), Jack, Ellie, Tycen, Emme (Coltrane), Clemon Fielding, IV – “Clee”, Andrew, Eileen, Sam, and Lucy. He is preceded in death by his parents and siblings, Berkeley, Dale, Maxie, Marie, Carene, and Judy. He is survived by his three younger siblings, Stacy (Elaine), Stevie (Cathy), and Dawn, along with numerous nieces and nephews and many other kinfolks, friends, and loved ones.

A memorial is being planned for summer of 2024 and will be held in Pearson, Georgia. More details to follow. Messages and condolences can be sent to Elaine at 3329 Plowshare Road Tallahassee, FL 32309 and/or ersirmans@gmail.com and/or posted on https://neptunesociety.com/obituaries/tallahassee-fl/clemon-sirmans-11726899 and/or posted on https://www.relihanfuneralhome.com/obituaries.

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