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Clyde John Cerniway


Former Ignacio and Silverton resident Clyde John Cerniway died Friday, May 18, 2012, at his home in Grants, N.M. He was 86.

Mr. Cerniway was the youngest of four sons of Frank and Clara Cerniway and was born Nov. 8, 1925, in Durango. His childhood was spent in Ignacio, and his youth was spent in Silverton.

In the early 1940s, he began his working life skiing the San Juan Mountains for Western Colorado Power Co. as a meter reader. After graduating from Silverton High School in 1944, he immediately enlisted in the Army. Mr. Cerniway served in the Philippines in the Pacific Theater during World War II as a noncommissioned officer.

On April 15, 1951, he married Karen Waggoner in Silverton.

He later became an electrician, and spent his career in the mining industry. His family said Mr. Cerniway worked in the big uranium mine in San Mateo, N.M.

“His fascination with machinery and processes gave life to his work,” his family said. “After retiring, he found his true calling as a master handyman; if it was broken, Clyde could fix it. He loved to work with his hands, and the engineering of a clever solution to everyday problems served him for his lifetime at home and at work.”

In the 1980s, Mr. Cerniway found something he enjoyed even more, giving summer jeep tours for Don Stott.

The Cerniways returned to Silverton for a couple of years in the mid-1980s before returning to their home in Grants, where they had lived for the last 49 years.

“Clyde loved his family and the outdoors,” his family said. “Mountain climbing, fishing, hunting, the companionship of a good dog in the San Juan Mountains were a passion of his life.”

Mr. Cerniway was an active volunteer with the Grants Beautification Committee. As a member of the Presbyterian Church, he worked on an outreach mission in collaboration with the Prewitt Assembly of God Church. The project, known as the Noah’s Ark Bus, served members of the Navajo Nation.

Mr. Cerniway is survived by his wife of 61 years, Karen Cerniway, of Grants; daughters Ivona McCrary of Placitas, N.M., Marian Davies of Apex, N.C., and Claire Miazza of Richardson, Texas; son, Michael Cerniway, of Grants; four grandchildren; two nephews; and extended family members.

A celebration of life will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, June 9, 2012, at Memorial Park, 1905 Greene St., in Silverton.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be sent to the San Juan County Historical Society, P.O. Box 154, Silverton, CO 81433.

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