Arthur Austin St. Clair, Jr., of Dimondale, Michigan, passed away Sunday, January 22, 2023; 3 days shy of his 89th birthday. Arthur passed away of natural causes at McLaren Hospital in Lansing, Michigan, with his wife, Janice, and son Jeff by his side. Arthur is survived by his wife, Janice Elaine (Crispin) St. Clair. Also surviving are children: John and Jill St. Clair and their children: Jamie and Kenton Fowler, Nikki St. Clair and David Fisher, and Allie St. Clair; and son, Jeff St. Clair and his son Shane St. Clair. Arthur is also survived by his sister, Mary A. Crispin and brother-in-law, Leonard B. Crispin.
Arthur, known as Art, was born in 1934 at home to Arthur Sr. and Hazel St. Clair. He grew up in Dearborn, Michigan, and graduated from the University of Michigan in 1957 with a Mechanical Engineering degree. Shortly after graduation he left Michigan for San Francisco. Art met Janice, a stewardess for American Airlines, in the fall of 1959 in San Francisco. They were married in September of 1960 in Michigan. After marriage Art and Jan lived in an apartment in Lansing for 2 months before moving into a farmhouse in Dimondale, owned by Jan’s parents. Art was employed by John Bean, a division of FMC Corporation, as a mechanical engineer designing and building potato harvesters.
Art and Jan continued to live on the farm and started a family in 1962. At this time they designed and built a new home on the farm (where they live to this day) and raised their two sons. As time passed, farming became a bigger part of Art and Jan’s life. John Bean eventually moved out of the Lansing area and Art worked at other engineering jobs until he gave in to the calling of fulltime farm life; a big change for a “city boy.” He enjoyed being his own boss, spending more time with family and friends, and being outdoors. Art and Jan eventually bought more land, raised beef cattle and grew cash crops. It was a family farm and his sons and wife were involved in every aspect of farming.
Throughout life, Art loved the challenge of fixing things. At one point he took a tractor fully apart, literally broke it in half to repair the transmission and engine. Some people had doubts if it would ever run again but when he got it back together it ran like a champ and is still operational today. There was never a challenge he would not take on.
In 1976 he ran for, and was elected, as the Township Supervisor and Tax assessor for Windsor Charter Township. He occupied this position for 32 years, while continuing to farm. In 2008 he chose not to run for re-election and retired.
This is when full retirement kicked in for Art and Jan. Art and Jan began spending summers at the family lake house on Gun Lake in Barry County. Michigan. Over the last 14 years there have been many good times enjoyed at the farm and lake with their children and grandchildren. Art loved watching his children and grandchildren enjoying the lake life; and was by their side when they learned to swim and ski. He enjoyed watching his grandchildren grow from babies to mature adults, and proud of all their accomplishments. He enjoyed being able to share stories of life and how cheap college was back when he went vs. what college costs today.
His wife, family, extended family and friends will dearly miss Arthur. His family enjoyed listening to him reminisce about his childhood and college stories; amazed by his ability to remember the address of where he lived in San Francisco, what he paid for a tractor, car, or even gas in any given year; along with his quick wit and laughter.
A celebration of life to pay respects will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to: Gun Lake Protective Association, P.O. Box 319, Shelbyville, MI 49344.
Arrangements are by the Estes-Leadley Greater Lansing Chapel.