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Clarence, Henry


Nov 6, 1923 - June 17, 2017


After 93 years of adventure, exploration and an enormous array of life experiences, Henry peacefully left his body the morning of June 17 in Grass Valley, CA in the Sierra Foothills, following complications of asthma and other lifelong lung conditions.

Henry was born in New York City, proudly attended DeWitt Clinton High School, and graduated from Purdue University with a degree in Engineering. Following a brief stint in the Army during World War II, he began a career in the field of combustion engineering only to feel a calling for the Roman Catholic Priesthood. After a period of spiritual exploration, he entered the Benedictine order in St. Vincent Archabbey in Latrobe, PA, and was ordained in 1963. More spiritual exploration followed, heavily influenced by his strong belief in the principles of social justice, and he moved into parish work in Chicago and upstate New York. He found himself questioning some aspects of the church hierarchy; he took a job with W.B. Saunders, a medical publishing company, and moved to the San Francisco Bay Area.

In Berkeley, at a church Mardi Gras party in 1973, he met his future wife, Judy, and her son Colin Mosher. Henry and Judy were married a year later, soon welcoming into the world their daughter Amanda. The family lived in Berkeley for many years.

There, Henry took on a leadership role in the Federation of Christian Ministries, serving on its Board and forming a house church, The Seekers, a small community of people of varying faith backgrounds who explored spirituality in all its many dimensions.

Ever faithful to the inner spirit central to his life and purpose, in later years he continued his ministry with an Internet outreach to many friends as he analyzed social and political issues in light of the Gospel and the Buddhist principles that informed his conscience. He served on the Board of Directors of the Gray Panthers of the East Bay, and of Berkeley's Ohlone Dog Park Association. He enjoyed his family, lively political and theological discussions, movies, opera, ballet, classical music, and good food.

In the fall of 2015, Henry and Judy moved to the Grass Valley/Nevada City area to be closer to Amanda and her family. His last weeks were spent at the excellent Golden Empire Nursing and Rehab Center in Grass Valley, whose wonderful spirit and expert medical and palliative care made his final days more bearable.

Henry is survived by his wife Judy, son Colin Mosher, daughter Amanda Clarence and her husband Nathan Bauman, and grandchildren Damiano Quattrocchi-Mosher, Giuseppe Mosher, Cyrus Bauman and Sierra Bauman.

Published in San Francisco Chronicle on July 2, 2017