Archived Story

Thanks due to Clatterbucks

Published 9:34pm Monday, June 10, 2013

There always comes a time when we have to say goodbye to folks who have made a tremendous impact on Suffolk.

Fortunately, we’re not saying goodbye to Calvin and Irene Clatterbuck just yet. It’s more like a “see you later.”

Maj. Calvin Clatterbuck, who retires this week after 33 years working full-time for the Salvation Army, promises to be back in Suffolk later this summer for the grand opening of the organization’s new physical education and health building, which Clatterbuck believes will make a tremendous impact on the community.

He knows a little something about how the Salvation Army can make an impact — and not just from his decades of employment.

His first contact with the Salvation Army was when a representative of the organization visited his grandparents’ home on Christmas Eve, where he and his 12 siblings were being raised. He doesn’t remember anything about the food and toys the man brought — only that the man had left his own family on the holiday and driven far into the countryside to bring Christmas to his family.

That experience ultimately led to Clatterbuck coming to a saving relationship with Jesus Christ at a Salvation Army evangelism meeting several years later. Later, Clatterbuck and his wife became full-time staff members with the Salvation Army and, after a string of other appointments, landed in Suffolk.

He says the Salvation Army saved the best for last because Suffolk has been his favorite station. We think that’s true, but we also believe Suffolk got a good deal in getting the Clatterbucks to serve here for six years — the longest appointment of their career.

With the Clatterbucks in the lead here in Suffolk, the Salvation Army’s influence has grown immeasurably. The lives it has touched with both physical and spiritual assistance will never be enumerated here on this earth, but the Clatterbucks and others will surely get their reward in heaven.

There’s no way of knowing how the ripple effect of the Clatterbucks’ service here in Suffolk will play out. Maybe someone who was touched will become a Salvation Army officer, just as happened to Clatterbuck himself.

Of course, Clatterbuck will take none of the credit. Everything the Salvation Army has been able to accomplish, he says, is because of ordinary people helping their neighbors. But we know his leadership and example has plenty to do with it.

We thank the Clatterbucks for their years of service here in Suffolk and welcome their replacements, James and Susan Shiels. We look forward to a continually profitable ministry from the Salvation Army.

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