Clare M. Musgrove



Clare M. Musgrove, 94, of Plymouth, Minnesota (formerly of St. Joseph) died Sunday, April 6, 2014 at The Waters of Plymouth.

A Celebration of Life Service will be held at 1 PM Monday, April 14, at First United Methodist Church, 2950 Lakeview Ave., St. Joseph, with Pastor Harris Hoekwater officiating. Burial will follow in Riverview Cemetery with Military Rites performed by North Berrien Military Rites Team  in St. Joseph. Visitation will be held from 2 to 4 pm on Sunday, April 13 at Starks & Menchinger Chapel and Cremation Services, 2650 Niles Road, St. Joseph. Memorials may be made to First United Methodist Church or Berrien County 4-H Foundation. Those wishing to sign Clare’s guestbook may do so online at

Clare was born July 8, 1919, to Fred and Edith (Kraft) Musgrove in Hersey, Michigan. Clare was a 1937 graduate of Hersey High School and earned his teaching certificate at Osceola County Normal. He taught in rural schools until 1942 when he enlisted in the US Army Air Force. He served with the 15th Air Force, 465th Bombardment Group, 782nd Bombardment Squadron. Clare’s bomber was shot down over Yugoslavia (now Serbia) while on a bombing mission. An account of his experience as a downed airman behind enemy lines was included in the book, The Forgotten 500 by Gregory Freeman. Clare returned to Serbia twice with US service members to honor the people who risked their lives to save Allied forces. It was his great joy to be able to share a trip with each grandson. The Serbian people will always be close to the hearts of Clare’s family. Clare was proud to be associated with SW Michigan Lest We Forget.

Clare married Florence Ulrich on September 5, 1946. They enjoyed 61 years of marriage.  He attended Michigan State University for his Bachelor of Science and Masters Degrees. He began his career with the Michigan State University Cooperative Extension Service as a 4-H agent in St. Clair County and served as County Agricultural Agent in Newaygo County, MSU Farm Management (TelFarm) District Coordinator in Southwest Michigan and Berrien County Extension Director. In 1972, Clare was awarded a Distinguished Faculty Award from Michigan State University. Clare was an avid Spartans fan and wore green and white with pride as recently as the 2014 Elite Eight MSU-UConn game. Go Green!

Clare was a faithful member of the St. Joseph First United Methodist Church. His church family supported Clare with visits, letters, cards and prayers during his 3 1/2 years in Minnesota.  Clare was a member of the St. Joseph Kiwanis and was the ‘corn guy’ for many years.

Clare is survived by his daughter and son-in-law, Jeanne and Bill Armstrong of Plymouth MN, his son David of Kehei, Hawaii; his grandsons, Adam (Grace Bell) Herman of Montreal QC Canada and Corbin Herman (Amanda Hammond) of East Lansing Michigan; and his great-grandson, Otis Herman of Montreal QC Canada. Clare is also survived by sister Donna Cooper, sister-in-law Louise Ulrich and his loving Cooper nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his wife Florence, his parents, and his sister Norma Basinger and brother Robert Musgrove.

Clare’s family would like to thank his many friends and the staff at Copperfield Hill and The Waters of Plymouth for their kind and loving care.

Clare lived his life in service to others as demonstrated through his lifelong career of teaching and stewardship to his family, church and agricultural communities. “Your deeds are your monuments.”