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Walter Eugene (Gene) Clair: May 6, 1940 – December 3, 2013

Co-founded live touring company that has blazed numerous trails in concert sound reinforcement over several decades

By PSW Staff December 4, 2013

Walter Eugene (Gene) Clair

The professional audio industry is deeply saddened at the passing of Walter Eugene Clair, who died yesterday (December 3, 2013) at the age of 73. With his brother Roy, he co-founded leading live touring company Clair Brothers, which has blazed numerous trails in concert sound reinforcement over several decades.

From the Clair Brothers Audio Systems website:

“Walter Eugene Clair, one of the Clair Brothers Audio entrepreneurs, died December 3, 2013. He was 73. Gene, as everyone knew him, was born May 6th 1940 to Roy B. Clair and Ellen Mae (Ulrich) Clair, in the Lititz area and lived here all his life. He graduated from Warwick High School in 1958 and was awarded as one of the top athletes of his class. He went on to get a two year degree in Engineering from the Penn State York campus.

While working in the Foreign Language lab and general electrician at F&M College, Gene and his brother, Roy, set up the sound for a visiting musical group – The Four Seasons. The group was so impressed with the sound they asked the brothers to tour with them, and so Clair Bros. began. Gene continued to be a sound engineer/mixer for bands such as Elton John, the Moody Blues, Michael Jackson and Peter Wolf, to name a few, and travelled all over the world.

Gene sold his end of the business to his son Troy in 1995, and split his time between Lititz and his mountain home in Sinnemahoning, Pa. Gene joined the Pennsylvania Forestry Association as the Board of Directors, and spent every Penn State home game entertaining friends and family with tailgating extravaganzas.

He is survived by his brother Roy Clair; his partner of 23 years, Betty Shenenberger; the mother of his children, Joan (Klopp) Clair; his children Troy (Katy) Clair and Gina (Stan) Zeamer; his grandchildren Shaun (Nicole) Clair, Matt (Natalie) Clair, Gail Clair, Kyle Keener, and Taylor Keener; and his Great Grandchildren, Bella, Lilly and Otto, who was born on Gene’s birthday. Preceding him in death were his parents and son, Cory Clair.

A service will be held at the Charles Snyder Jr. Funeral Home at 3110 Lititz Pike, the details of which will be available once finalized. Interment will be at the Moravian Cemetery in Lititz. In lieu of flowers, we ask that a donation be sent to any of the following: Moravian Manor, which took incredible care of Gene during his final days, 300 West Lemon Street, Lititz, PA 17543; Hospice of Lancaster 685 Good Drive, P.O. Box 4125, Lancaster PA 17604-4125; or the Lititz RecCenter, 301 Maple Street, Lititz PA 17543.”

More about Clair Bros here.


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