Former Greensburg grocery co-owner was famous for classic cars
When Ellis G. Claar married Geraldine Waugaman, he married into the family business.
He spent about 50 years as part owner and bookkeeper of Waugaman’s Market, a Greensburg grocery that remains beloved by longtime residents even though it’s been closed for more than 25 years.
“It was a landmark,” said Lynn Waugaman, Mr. Claar’s nephew.
Ellis G. Claar, 92, of Greensburg died Sunday, July 7, 2019, in William Penn Care Center.
Mr. Claar was born May 18, 1927, in Altoona, to the late Samuel W. and Cora Irene (Fether) Claar, and could trace his ancestry back to the American Revolution.
He served in the Navy and, during World War II, he was stationed on an aircraft carrier in the South Pacific.
“He was unique,” Lynn Waugaman said. “He was a very religious man. He probably read the Bible 10 times.”
Mr. Claar’s friends and family jokingly called him “Walter B. Chrysler” because of his love of classic cars.
He would buy classic cars from junk shops, usually Chrysler Airflows and DeSotos. He’d fix them up, show them off at car shows, sell them off and start again.
His cars regularly won best in show at the Antique Automobile Club of America’s show in Hershey, one of the country’s biggest classic car shows.
He owned 67 cars over the course of his life.
He sold one of the last antique cars he restored to actor Dan Aykroyd’s father, Samuel Aykroyd.
Mr. Claar was a longtime member of Trinity United Church of Christ in Greensburg, where he was treasurer for 53 years.
He was a life member of the Greensburg Volunteer Fire Department Hose Company No. 6.
Mr. Claar and his wife loved traveling and visited all 48 states in the continental U.S.
Mr. Claar was preceded in death by his wife, Geraldine “Gertie” W. Claar.
He is survived by his nephews, Byron Waugaman and his wife, Kathleen, G. Lynn Waugaman, Charles Waugaman and Keith Waugaman.
Family and friends will be received from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday in the Kepple-Graft Funeral Home, 524 N. Main St., Greensburg.
A funeral service will be held 10:30 a.m. Friday in the funeral home, with internment to follow in Westmoreland County Memorial Park, with military honors bestowed by VFW Post 33.
The Greensburg Volunteer Fire Department will conduct a memorial service 5 p.m. Thursday in the funeral home.
Memorial donations may be made to Trinity United Church of Christ, 139 N. Main Street, Greensburg.
Jacob Tierney is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jacob at 724-836-6646, [email protected] or via Twitter .