He was born in Blackwater, VA, spending his childhood years in Stickleyville, VA, later moving to Pennington Gap, VA. and then to Piney Flats, TN. He served his country in the Third Armored Cavalry Regiment during the Korean Conflict earning the rank of Corporal.
After his military service, he returned to Pennington Gap and operated Bledsoe’s Gulf Service Station with his brother Ralph. Clarence later opened Bledsoe’s Hardware and Furniture Company and was self employed for over 25 years. He then worked for Quality Lumber Company of Knoxville, TN for 25 years traveling throughout Southwest Virginia and Eastern Kentucky. He was recognized as the top performing salesman many years until he retired in 1997.
Clarence was a member of the First Baptist Church of Pennington Gap. He was a member of the Miles Masonic Lodge #165 A.F. & A.M. in Pennington Gap for over 60 years.
Clarence was preceded in death by his parents, Marion W. and Tina Oaks Bledsoe; brothers, Lloyd, Coy, Donald, and Ralph Bledsoe; and sisters, Madge Harvell and Bessie Mae Ball. He was the last surviving sibling of his family.
Surviving are his wife of 34 years, Barbara Jean Bledsoe; his daughter, Debra Wharton and husband Sam of Wise, VA; son, Gary Bledsoe and wife Melissa of Jupiter, FL; and step-daughter, Jill Housewright and husband Chris of Kingsport, TN.; his grandchildren Samuel Wharton III, Adam Wharton and wife Melissa, Lora Lopez and husband Marco, Gary Michael Bledsoe II and step-granddaughter Marti Patterson and husband Mark; 7 great-grandchildren and 1 on the way; the mother of his children, Shirley Pearson; and several nieces, nephews, extended family and friends.
The family would like to thank the doctors and staff of the James E. Quillen VA Medical Center and the Hospice staff at the VA Community Living Center for the amazing care extended to Clarence and the family.
The family will receive friends Thursday, January 23, 2020 at 11:30 to 1 p.m. at Province Funeral Home in Pennington Gap, VA. The funeral service will immediately follow at 1 p.m. with Pastor Paul Davis officiating and burial at Lee Memorial Gardens in Woodway, Virginia.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network (BCAN) 4520 East West Highway, Suite 610, Bethesda, MD 20814.
Memorials and condolences can be made to the family by visiting www.provincefuneralhome.com We are located at 42098 E. Morgan Ave. Pennington Gap, VA 24277 Phone 276-546-2456 Province Funeral Homes are honored to be serving the family of Clarence Bledsoe.