Clement
Clement Surprenant was born January 1, 1935 in Detroit, Michigan to Louise and Fabien Surprenant. He was the fourth of five children, Andre, Marcelle, Irene, Clement and Pauline. Growing up, his family spent summers at their cottage. He enjoyed water sports in the summer and also skiing in the winter. He graduated from Visitation High School in Detroit and was drafted into the United States Army where he served a brief term. He graduated from General Motors Institute in Flint, Michigan and graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering. His thesis book was entitled "Gear Shavings". He worked at General Motors, then took a sabbatical to ski across the country and taught skiing at various resorts along the way. He met his soul mate Virginia (Ginny) Morle at a ski function. They were married March 2, 1963 and moved to California where they started their family and had 3 children, Christan, Leo and Jennifer. Clem worked at several aerospace companies on many projects including the NASA Gemini missions before starting his own Inquiry Service Company. He retired in 1998. His hobbies were fishing, woodworking, gardening and wine making. He and Ginny traveled to Maui, Hawaii for their 25th wedding anniversary and it became their home away from home. He loved the ocean and snorkeling thus his email name was snorkeldude. Clem was raised Catholic and he would often attend The Church of Jesus Christ with Ginny. The church family dearly loved him and he found himself spending more time with them in his later years. God took him quickly and left a hole in our hearts. Clem was the nicest, kindest, patient and helpful person to everyone. He never had a bad thing to say about anybody except discussing politics where he was a staunch conservative. We thank God for allowing us to have him for the years he was with us. It is hard to say good-bye so we will say "Arrivederci" translated from Italian to mean "Until we meet again". He leaves his wife Ginny, children Chris, Leo and Jennifer, grandchildren Jeffrey and Jessica, brother Andre and his wife Susie, sister Marcelle and sister Pauline along with many nephews and nieces.

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  1. Dear Aunt Virginia (& family), Uncle Clem will be so missed. I am so grateful that you both were able to attend my daughter, Lindsey’s wedding last June. Wish I could have spent more time with you, the evening went so fast. It was wonderful to have 3 or the 4 Surprenant siblings together! I have such fond memories of my time living with you in Manhattan Beach. Uncle Clem got me through my 7th & 8th grade math; he was so patient with me. It was the first time I ever had help at home with school work. My brother, Greg & I had our first family vacation to Yosemite Park and Lake Tahoe, what fun that was! I remember your visit to the family cottage in northern Michigan, Uncle Clem going for a kayak ride saying, “ I’m going up the coast” on our small inland lake. We always laugh and think of him as we head out for a kayak trip around the lake as we say “we’re going up the coast.” Wish we could be there with you as you celebrate the life of such a wonderful caring and giving person, Uncle Clem. We’ll be thinking and praying for you all. Love to all, Margo & Clay Dees

  2. Aunt Virginia and Family, Nancy and I are so shocked and saddened to hear of Uncle Clem’s sudden passing. Although we lived on other sides of the country and did not get to see each other as often as we would have liked, I have fond memories of the times we were together; from when my brother Eric and I spent time with you guys at quite a young age, (chicken anyone?), or during your visits to Michigan when we were fortunate to be able to meet up, later at Andre’s 80th birthday celebration, and of course Lindsey’s wedding last June. Despite the distance between us I always felt close to Uncle Clem, (and not only because I inherited his hairline!). I suspect that my fondness for being in the water even more than on the water and my desire to get away to experience God’s wonderful creation in nature, in Northern Michigan for me, and Hawaii for him, are somehow related. We will miss you Uncle Clem. Please know that our thoughts and prayers are with you all. Love, Carl & Nancy Ballou

  3. First I want to express my deepest sympathy to Ginny and the family. I was shocked and saddened when I got the news of Clem’s passing. Clem and I had recently exchanged emails updating each other about what’s going on in our lives and how blessed we felt we were. Clem and I met at GMI when we belonged to Alpha Gamma Upsilon Fraternity. We took up skiing together and got addicted to the sport. Every weekend we could we went up north to Cabrafae and skied bell to bell on 200 ft. slopes using rope tows. We had no money so we slept on bunk beds for $1 and printed our own lift tickets. During our Christmas break in 1957 we drove my car to Aspen, Colorado for our first experience with skiing mountains. I fell in love with Aspen and have spent the last 10 years skiing here most every day. Hardly a day goes by that I don’t think about the early days in Aspen with Clem. Clem and I also did more traveling together to Cuba, Mexico, Jamaica and Europe in the early 60’s. We were very close friends. The last time we met was during my business trips to LA in the late 70’s and early 80’s. I am grateful that I had the opportunity to be Clem’s friend and enjoy his humor and his love of life. He may be gone but he will never be forgotten.

  4. Ginny, We just received an email from Jim and Sue letting us know about Clem. We are so sorry for your loss and know that you will miss him deeply. He was a special person always willing to help – in fact when we owned the condo he helped hang the ceiling fan, look at our leak, helped with the washing machine, and never would take a dime for helping. Our thoughts are with you. Regards, Denny and Diane Maley

  5. ALOHA'”GINNY” MY HEART AND PRAYERS AND THOUGHTS ARE WITH YOU AND YOUR FAMILY” IT LOOKS LIKE YOUR LIFE WITH “CLEM” WAS FULL OF LIVING “LOVING” and SHARING” YOUR CLASSMATE FROM “FORDSON” joe palazzolo

  6. ALOHA'”GINNY” MY HEART AND PRAYERS AND THOUGHTS ARE WITH YOU AND YOUR FAMILY” IT LOOKS LIKE YOUR LIFE WITH “CLEM” WAS FULL OF LIVING “LOVING” and SHARING” YOUR CLASSMATE FROM “FORDSON” joe palazzolo

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