|Sat, Aug 02, 2014 12:35 AM
March 12, 2014 | 08:35 AM
Palmyra's longtime funeral director, Clarence Love, died Monday night, March 10, 2014. He was 91.
Love had been in a single-vehicle crash just after 1:30 that afternoon along S.R. 64 near Mayden Trail, west of New Salisbury.
Clarence Love (click for larger version)
Officer Dennis Asher of the Harrison County Sheriff's Dept. said Love, who was driving a Silverado pick-up truck, was traveling east when he ran off the right side of the road and hit a large tree.
"He was conscious and alert, talking to us," said Asher, who arrived on the scene just one minute after the call came in about the crash. "He said he wasn't sure what had happened, said he maybe blacked out."
Love had lacerations to his head and one of his hands, Asher said, adding that Love was not wearing a seat belt but his air bag did deploy.
The 91-year-old was transported by ground ambulance to Floyd Memorial Hospital and Health Services in New Albany. One of the Harrison County Emergency Medical Services' personnel on the ambulance said Love "talked all the way there."
"I don't think anyone thought he was as bad as he was," Asher said.
Asher had a message yesterday (Tuesday) when he reported for duty to call the Jefferson County (Ky.) coroner. When he returned the call, the coroner told him Love had been transferred from Floyd Memorial to University Hospital in Louisville, where he had passed away at about 8:20 Monday night from multiple blunt force trauma to his chest area, Asher said.
Also assisting at the scene were members of the Ramsey Volunteer Fire Dept.
"It shocked me this morning when I came on" to learn that he had died, said Asher, who recalled knowing Love for many years, mostly going to the funeral home when relatives passed away. "He was a fine person from what I knew of him."
Norman Swarens, of Swarens Funeral Home in Ramsey, echoed Asher's sentiments.
"He was a very nice gentleman," Swarens said. "We always got along."
According to a book published in 1989 for Palmyra's sequicentennial, Love had been at the funeral home, which is now located along Greene Street north of U.S. 150, since he was 12, doing chores there when it was owned by L.A. Kahl.
On Jan. 1, 1959, Kahl sold the funeral home after 55 years of ownership to Love, who served in the Air Force during World War II.
Love graduated from the Indiana College of Mortuary Science, where he earned his Funeral Directors License, according to the publication.
In those days, nearly every funeral home had its own ambulance service. At the time the book went to press, Love had made more than 5,000 ambulance runs and handled more than 2,000 funerals.
Love's visitation and funeral will be at his funeral home, according to family members.
Visitation will be tomorrow (Thursday) from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., and the funeral will be Friday at 2 p.m. followed by burial in Palmyra Cemetery.