Claude Collier, Jr.                 Nell Clark
Claude Cherry Collier, Jr. (1925-1971)
Claude was born June 29, 1925 to Claude Collier, Sr. and Eula Futterer. He was born in Brownwood, Texas. In his early childhood, he moved with his family to Goldthwaite, Texas and graduated from Goldthwaite High School. He was a veteran of World War II. He had a short marriage to Floree Massey.
Claude married Cleo Nell Clark June 11, 1948. Nell was the daughter of Dick Clark and Eloise Gunter. She was born December 6, 1929 in San Saba, Texas.
After WWII, dad started his own trucking business. He bought his truck from his dad’s International Harvester’s dealership. The Korean War took stability away from the economy and his dad’s business went bankrupt. Unfortunately, there was a lean on dad’s truck that cost the trucking business as well. They moved to Rockdale when ALCOA was building a new plant there. Since dad had supervisory experience from the Army, he became a foreman almost immediately. His crew was credited with producing the first “pure grade” aluminum.
Dad started a wood “hobby shop” business that was a favorite of many men in Rockdale. Tools were still on the expensive side and unaffordable to most people. But for just a few dollars, a man could rent tools, buy wood, and use the facilities to do all sorts of projects. This was a real “man’s club” operation that won him a lot of admiration.
Dad brought home a 1928 Ford Model “A” in about 1968. It was in terrible condition. But after several months of working on it, dad started it up one day and asked me if I wanted to go for a ride. We went around the block two times. The thing was still a rust bucket, but I sure had a lot of fun. Dad and John did all the bodywork, mom made the upholstery, and Mark, Cherry, and I loved to ride in it.
When dad died at age 46, there was a large turnout at the funeral. In the years to follow we were never short on people reminding us of what a great man he was.
Written by Paul Collier, March 2002.