Clara Frances (Green) Withnell, 89 died Wednesday, December 10, 2014 and Frank Withnell, 92, died Wednesday, January 7, 2015. They were married for 68 years.
Clara was preceded in death by her siblings, Laura, Dorothy, Herbert and Warren. Frank was preceded in death by his two brothers, Robert and Geoffrey.
Clara was born on March 28, 1925 in Weehawken, NJ. She was the daughter of the late Herbert Green and Ocenia (Kelsey) Green. She was a homemaker since the birth of her first child in 1947.
Frank was born on July 22, 1922 in Leigh, Lancashire, England he was the son of the late Harold Withnell and Mary (Davies) Withnell. His family immigrated through Ellis Island to the United States in 1930.
Frank and Clara graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School in Weehawken, NJ in 1940 and 1942. Frank served in the U.S. Navy from November 6, 1942 to January 4, 1946. Frank and Clara wed on November 29th of that year.
Frank earned a Bachelors Degree in Electrical Engineering in 1951 from Clarkson College of Technology in Potsdam, NY. He became a Licensed Professional Engineer in 1968 and worked for Westinghouse Electrical Company for over 30 years. He retired as Senior Project Engineer on Feb. 17, 1983.
Frank and Clara loved to volunteer and in their free time they enjoyed square dancing. From 1959-1997 they were avid square dancers and also taught others. They were members of The Thunderbirds and The Square Dealers both in Anne Arundel County, MD. Together they started the "Friends of Blackwater" volunteer association for the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, which now has over 800 members, and they volunteered there for five years. They volunteered for many organizations: "Meals on Wheels" in Berkeley Springs, WV, Berkeley Springs Library, Goodwill Mennonite Nursing Home, Grantsville, MD and the Grantsville Senior Center for 5 plus years. Frank was also a Red Cross Blood Donor and donated more than 7 gallons of blood throughout the years. Frank was a lifetime member of the VFW and the NRA.
A veteran of U.S. Navy, Frank served in WWII on the USS Oakland CL-95. He was awarded the Good Conduct Medal. He earned the following USS Oakland Medals: Navy Combat Action Ribbon, China Service Ribbon, American Theater Service Ribbon, Asiatic-Pacific Theater Service Ribbon, World War II Victory Ribbon, Navy Occupation Service Ribbon, Philippine Presidential Unit Citation and the Philippine Liberation Service Ribbon. He was awarded many USS Oakland Battle Stars: Gilbert Islands Operation, Marshall Islands Operation, Bismarck Archipelago Operation, Asiatic-Pacific Raids Western, New Guinea Operations, Marianas Operation Western, Caroline Islands Operation, Leyte Operation, Okinawa Gunto Operation and Third Fleet Operations Against Japan. He was honorably discharged as a Seaman First Class.
In 1985 Frank became an amateur radio operator and maintained his license through 2009.
Clara and Frank are survived by their four sons, Geoffrey Withnell of Montgomery Village, MD, Glenn Withnell of Salisbury, PA, Gary Withnell of Westminster, MD and Brian Withnell of Leesburg, VA; twelve grandchildren and fifteen great-grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held for Clara and Frank in Leesburg, Va. where they attended church while visiting their son Brian. Wilhelm-Eakin Funeral Home, P.A., Lonaconing assisted the family. Condolences may be sent to the family at www.wilhelmeakin.com.
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