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R. Thomas McClive, 88, former president of the Lions Club of Kenmore and well-known inventor and innovator, died Thursday (Feb. 1, 2001) in Millard Fillmore Hospital after a short illness.

The Buffalo native was owner and president of the former Crown Casket Co., which made prefabricated casket containers for cremation use. He also developed snap-in casket interiors that are in use today by all manufacturers involved in casket production. He was with Crown until 1996. He later owned Tamon Industries, which manufactured foam products.

McClive attended School 51 and was a graduate of Lafayette High School. He was a member of the Hobart College Class of 1932.

He worked in purchasing, production and management in the Buffalo area and was a manager of the tool crib at Curtiss Wright Aircraft Co.. In 1953, he went to work in sales for Eastern Fabricating Co. and later established his own company.

McClive was president of the Lions Club of Kenmore in 1996 and 1997. In 1998 he received the Melvin Jones Fellow Award, the highest honor awarded by the Lions Club, for his work in the organization.

A Mason, he was a member of Master Builders Lodge 911, F & AM, and Lodge Council Chapter of the Consistory of the Valley of Buffalo.

A resident of Kenmore for 50 years, he taught Sunday school for 40 years at Kenmore Methodist Church. He previously was a member of Ripley Methodist Church.

McClive was a member of Central Park Men's Club.

His first wife, the former Elsie Miller, died in the 1940s.

Survivors include his second wife of more than 50 years, the former Elizabeth "Betty" Gretzinger; two daughters, Susan M. Odojewski of Kenmore and Carol M. Forden of Williamsville; two sons, Ralph T. Jr. of Syracuse and Richard A. of Kenmore; 10 grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

Services will be held at 10 a.m. Monday in D. Lawrence Ginnane Funeral Home, 3215 Delaware Ave., Kenmore. Burial will be in Elmlawn Cemetery, Town of Tonawanda.


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