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Obituary Stories

Car dealer's knowledge of vehicles was 'boundless'

Patrick Varine
| Friday, Feb. 10, 2017, 11:00 p.m.
Garry J. Clawson, 69, of Greensburg, passed Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2017, at his home, from complications from a double lung transplant performed Oct. 17, 2011.
Garry J. Clawson, 69, of Greensburg, passed Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2017, at his home, from complications from a double lung transplant performed Oct. 17, 2011.

Garry Clawson's avocation was his vocation.

“He loved all aspects of cars,” said his wife, Karen Clawson. “Classic cars, racing, just everything about cars.”

Garry J. Clawson of Greensburg died Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2017, at home following complications from a double-lung transplant performed in 2011. He was 69.

Mr. Clawson was born Feb. 26, 1947, in Derry, a son of the late Lloyd R. and Cora (Calhoun) Clawson. Prior to his retirement, he was owner and president of G.J. Clawson Auto Sales in Youngwood and Greensburg for more than three decades.

He met his wife of 41 years at the former Red Rooster nightclub in Unity. She said his knowledge of cars was boundless.

“In addition to being a car dealer, he was able to do all kinds of repairs and small body work,” she said.

Longtime family friend, Margy Wadyko of Greensburg, agreed.

“My husband got up this morning and was having trouble with his car,” she said, “and the first thing he thought was, ‘Oh, I'll go talk to Garry. He'll know.'”

Mr. Clawson was a Chevrolet enthusiast, according to his wife.

‘Those were his favorites,” she said. “Corvettes, Camaros, muscle cars … he's had Chevelles and Camaros over the years.”

The Clawsons' son, Brandon, recently bought a Camaro SS “and (Garry) was very grateful that (he) brought it over and let him drive it,” Karen Clawson said.

Wadyko said she will remember Mr. Clawson's unfailing helpfulness.

“We moved (to Greensburg) the same day, and I was without my husband at the time,” she said. “Garry was just unbelievably kind. He went out of his way to help me, even though they were moving in, too. And that's the way he's always been. He has a huge heart.”

Karen Clawson said her husband was the same way with his child and grandchildren.

“Garry just adored our son,” she said. “He would stop anything to help him. He was always there for him no matter how busy or sick he was.”

Mr. Clawson was diagnosed with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis in 2010 and had a successful double-lung transplant in the fall of 2011. He regularly sent thank-you cards to the donor's family, although they had never met.

“It was a big regret of his, that he never got to thank the donor's family face-to-face,” his wife said.

Mr. Clawson showed devotion to both his family and his customers.

“One of the things he took pride in — and we would sometimes tease him about — is that he pretty much remembered everyone he ever sold a car to. He could even remember what brand he'd sold them,” Karen Clawson said. “He was a workaholic, but he was also a wonderful family man.”

In addition to his wife, Mr. Clawson is survived by son, Brandon Clawson and his wife, Heather, of New Stanton; and two grandchildren.

Prayers will begin at 9:30 a.m. Saturday at Leo M. Bacha Funeral Home, 516 Stanton St., Greensburg, followed by a 10 a.m. funeral Mass at St. Paul Parish, 820 Carbon Road, Greensburg.

Memorials may be made to UPMC C.T. Transplants, 200 Lothrop St., Pittsburgh, PA 15213 or CORE, 204 Sigma Drive, Pittsburgh, PA 15238.

Patrick Varine is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-850-2862 or pvarine@tribweb.com.

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