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98-year-old shares personal stories in new memoir

Clement Douglas “C.D.” Mohr, a resident of Calder Woods senior living community in Beaumont, has a lifetime of memories and stories to share — ranging from his days as a midshipman in the U.S. Navy during World War II to his years as a devoted husband and father.

Mohr, who turns 98 this month, moved to Calder Woods in July.  These days he stays busy writing his autobiography entitled, “Facing Death 39 Times: The Life of Clement D. Mohr.”

“I’ve lived a pretty fascinating life and want to share many of my experiences with my family and others,” he said.  “When you read some of my stories you will be amazed at how lucky I was to have survived all these experiences. I really have escaped death 39 times.”

The first near-death experience happened when Mohr was just five years old. He was playing in his little red wagon, and while crossing the train tracks got his wagon stuck. A man nearby heard the train whistle and pulled him off his wagon just before the engine smashed it.

Another experience occurred on a Navy ship off the shores of Honolulu while he was serving in World War II.  He served as a Navy midshipman and graduated from the Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, N.Y., in 1945.

Mohr spent several years at sea as a U.S. merchant sailing officer until coming ashore to wed Mary Joyce Bryant in 1950.  He then began his career as a shipping agent and moved his growing family to several port cities along the Gulf Coast until finally settling in Beaumont, Texas,  in 1961.

In 1977, King Olav V of Norway appointed Mohr to the position of Norwegian Vice-Consul.  For the next 12 years, he served faithfully and honorably in this post while promoting commerce and favorable relations between Norway and the United States.

After working a majority of his career in the steamship business, Mohr launched into a number of entrepreneurial ventures until finally retiring around 1989.

Mohr, born on Thanksgiving Day in 1919, is especially proud of his five children, nine grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.  One more great-grandchild should arrive by Thanksgiving — maybe even on his birthday.

All four of his sons became Eagle Scouts, the highest rank you can earn in the Boy Scouts of America.  He has their Eagle badges proudly displayed in his independent living apartment, along with family photographs and mementoes he cherishes. All these make their way into Mohr’s memoir, which he’s excited to share with friends and neighbors at Calder Woods. 

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