‘Bob of all trades,’ WWII vet celebrates his 90th birthday

Staff Reports • Updated Jul 2, 2017 at 10:00 AM

Happy birthday wishes were given Friday to Bob Clower, known in his younger days as Bobby, and to his 18 grandchildren and great-grandchildren as Papaw. 

Clower was born in Detroit on June 30, 1927 to Harvey and Elsie Clower. Shortly after his birth, they returned to their roots in East Tennessee, settling in Midtown, where they owned and operated the Midtown Drive-In Theater. 

Clower graduated from Roane County High School, where he played football and basketball. 

Following graduation, he joined the U.S. Navy, serving active duty as a seaman second class. He was awarded a World War II Victory Medal for serving in the Asiatic Pacific Theater. 

After his honorable discharge, he attended and graduated from Tennessee Tech University with a bachelor’s degree in physical education. Returning to his hometown following graduation, he was employed as a teacher, basketball coach and football coach at Kingston High School. 

It was at a dance there he met his soulmate, Betty Lois Slemons. The couple moved to Lebanon, where they owned and operated the Cedar Drive-In Theater. They have four children, Mike, Kris, Tena and Jeff. 

Clower was known as a “jack of all trades” as he wore many hats throughout his adult life. To name only a few, he was a Lebanon High School assistant principal and teacher, Tennessee state trooper, ladies clothes salesman, security guard at TVA Nuclear Plant, car salesman, commercial fisherman and investor in rental properties. 

Clower also served as a deacon at Lebanon First Baptist Church. 

His hobbies include a love for fishing, hunting, golf, antique car collecting, dancing and raising bird dogs. 


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