HAPPY 100TH BIRTHDAY | Clarence Parks Custer



Clarence Parks Custer


Residence: Palm Coast, Fla., formerly of Youngstown

Date of birth: Oct. 24, 1915


Parents: James R. and Clara L. Parks Watkins. After the death of his mother, he was raised by his mother’s sister and husband, Nora N. and Millwood A. Custer of Midland, Pa.

Spouse: He married Rose Marie Shevenaugh on May 14, 1938. She died April 16, 1996.

Children: C. Maxine (Robert J.) Kling of Anderson Township, a suburb of Cincinnati, and Janet M. (Paul D.) Hershey of Boardman.

Grandchildren: Robert M. (Colleen) Custer, Gregory S. (Kim) Custer, Jeffrey P. (Michelle) Kling, Julie M. (Steve) Parks, all of the Cincinnati area; and Kristen M. (Brian) Schell, Nashville, Tenn.

Great-grandchildren: 11


Education: Graduated from Midland High School in 1933 and played on the school’s football team in 1931 that won the Western Pennsylvania championship.

Employment: Worked part time at Crucible Steel Co. in Midland. In 1933, he became a clerk at the Isaly Dairy store in Midland, then was manager. He relocated to Youngstown to become manager of the “big” Isaly store at the Mahoning Avenue plant location. He became district supervisor and general sales manager of the Youngstown Division. In 1965, he retired at age 50, and he and his wife opened the Mill Creek Dairy Store on Schenley Avenue and sold the business five years later. He then joined Paul Morris in a partnership and as general manager of Morris Sports on Market Street until it was sold in 1978. Custer then became manager of Youngstown Racquet Club of Youngstown, retiring in 1988.

Memberships: He was a longtime member of the Players Club in Palm Coast. When it closed, he was active in establishing the Palm Coast Tennis Center, where he played tennis regularly.


Other information/lifestyle: While with Isaly, Custer was involved in tennis and squash in the Valley. He won three city squash titles and placed third in Ohio. He also carried the Olympic torch for the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics. At age 90, he was featured in AARP magazine July-August 2005 edition for athleticism. In 2007, he was elected to Youngstown Curbstone Coaches Hall of Fame.


Date and location: This month, he is visiting family and friends in Youngstown and will celebrate his 100th birthday late this month with family in Cincinnati.