SIDNEY CENTER - Melvin R. "Bill" Clapperton of Sidney Center, passed away at the Norwich Rehabilitation and Nursing Center on Nov. 10, 2017.
Born in Middletown on July 21, 1932, the son of Ray and Edna (Bennett) Clapperton, he lived most of his early life in Downsville. He spent much of his time on the farm of his Aunt Mabel and Uncle Perry Champlin. It was during this period of his life when a neighbor began calling him "Bald Bill from over the hill." It was a name that stuck with him throughout his 85 years.
During his time on the farm he had the opportunity to live the dream of many children of the time when he "ran away and joined the circus." His circus career was cut short when the calendar turned to September and it was time for him to return to the farm and school.
When he wasn't helping his Uncle Perry with chores on the farm, he was either playing organized sports, with baseball and basketball being his favorite, or off in the woods hunting or fishing. These passions he carried with him the rest of his life.
After graduating from Downsville High School, he enlisted in the United States Navy, serving aboard ship during the Korean War.
When he returned home, he met Sherrie Terry, and the two were married on April 20, 1957, in the Sidney Center Methodist Church. The couple lived in Sidney for two years before moving to Sidney Center.
While working at Amphenol, he also was a volunteer fireman with the Sidney Center Fire Department, coached Pee Wee League baseball teams and assisted with the Pee Wee wrestling program in Sidney Center.
In pursuing his passion for hunting, he was a founding member of the Carroll Hill Hunting Club and was also a lifetime member of the National Rifle Association.
Never one to spend idle time, he competed in two General Clinton Canoe Regatta 70-mile races, once in a canoe he built with his paddling partner.
He also enjoyed family camping trips, starting out in a station wagon, before advancing to tent camping and finally a pop-up camper. Piseco Lake was a favorite destination for him and many of his friends and family.
After retirement, he purchased Kamp Ko-Man-Go on the Susquehanna River just outside Oneonta. He would spend much of the summer at the camp with his grandchildren and family members enjoying many chicken barbecues.
It was during this time that he found time to enjoy the many activities of his grandchildren, from dance recitals, basketball games, wrestling matches to field hockey contests, just to name a few.
He was predeceased by his wife, Sherrie, on Feb. 15. He was also predeceased by his sisters, Elaine Clapperton and Lois Baumes; and brother, David.
He is survived by his sons, Stephen Clapperton of Sidney, and Thomas (Sandy) Clapperton of New Berlin; grandchildren, Sarah Bennett and her fiancé, Shane Neer of Cairo, Brandon Clapperton and his fiancée, Morgan Winans of Deposit, Lindsey (Justin) Hodge of Smyrna, Skylar (Tyler) Pritchard of Columbia, South Carolina, Jordan Clapperton; great-granddaughter, Riley Neer; and several nieces and nephews.
Per his request, he was cremated and there will be no services.
His family will gather in the future for a private celebration of his life.
Share condolences with the family online at www.landersfh.com.
Arrangements are under the direction of C.H. Landers Funeral Chapel, Sidney.
Published on December 10, 2017