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Clarence G. Matsuda

Company A-2

18 Jul 1937- 11 Feb 2023

Place of Death: Sioux Falls, SD.

Interment: South Dakota State Veteran’s Cemetery

It is with great regret and sorrow that we must notify you of the death of our Classmate, Clancy Matsuda, on February 11, 2023, in Sioux Falls, SD.

Clancy is survived by his wife; Connie, their son Matt; their daughter Leilani Komatsubara and her husband Takeshi; and their grandchildren Kohta and Kay Komatsubara.

Visitation will be at 4:30–6:30 PM, Saturday, February 18, 2023, at Spirit of Truth Lutheran Church, 112 E Annabelle Street, Brandon, SD 57005.

Memorial Services will be at 2 PM, Sunday, February 19, 2023, at Spirit of Truth Lutheran Church.

Burial will be at 2 PM, Tuesday, February 22, 2023, at the South Dakota State Veteran’s Cemetery, 25965 477th Avenue, Sioux Falls, SD 57104 with Full Military Honors. 

Condolences may be sent to Connie at 1517 Custer Parkway, Brandon, SD  57005-1533.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations in Clancy's memory be sent to the charty of your choice.

Well done, Clancy.  Be thou at peace.


Class Memorial Pages\A-2 Clancy Matsuda.pdf


Clarence “Clancy” Genji Matsuda

 July 18, 1937 ~ February 11, 2023

Retired Colonel Clarence (Clancy) Genji Matsuda, 85, died Saturday, February 11, 2023, at Good Samaritan Village, Sioux Falls, SD.  

Visitation with family will be 4:30pm – 6:30pm, Saturday, February 18, 2023, at Spirit of Truth Lutheran Church, Brandon, SD. Memorial Services will be 2pm, Sunday, February 19, 2023, also at Spirit of Truth Lutheran Church. Burial will be 2pm, Tuesday, February 21, 2023, at the SD State Veteran’s Cemetery, with Full Military Honors. A livestream link will be provided Saturday for viewing on Sunday. The stream will start at approximately 1:45pm Sunday.

Clarence “Clancy” Genji Matsuda was born on July 18, 1937, in Honolulu, Hawaii, to Genyei and Miyo (Miyashiro) Matsuda. He entered the U.S. Military Academy Preparatory School in 1956, and the U.S. Military Academy in 1957. He was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army through the Officers’ Candidate School in December 1961. Overseas assignments included Santo Domingo, two tours in Vietnam, and Korea.

After 21 moves with his wife (and later, his family), he retired from the Army on August 31, 1989. He and Connie settled in Brandon, SD in 1990. After his retirement from the Army, he spent three seasons as a volunteer football coach. His Christian faith guided much of his activity. Clancy graduated from North American Baptist Seminary before serving as a counselor at the West Farm and made missionary trips to Russia and Mongolia. He served in various leadership roles in his church.

Clancy is survived by his wife, Connie; his children, Matthew Matsuda, Brandon, and Leilani (Takeshi) Komatsubara, Sakata, Japan; his grandchildren, Kohta and Kay Komatsubara; and his brother, Charles Matsuda, Kaneohe, HI, and sister, Linda Kimura, Honolulu, HI.

Clancy was preceded in death by his parents, Genyei and Miyo (Miyashiro) Matsuda; one sister, Lily; and two brothers, Wilfred, and Michael.

Assembly/Taps Memorial Article:

Clarence G. Matsuda ex-1961

Cullum No. 617629 | February 11, 2023 | Died in Sioux Falls, SD
Interred in South Dakota Veterans Cemetery, Sioux, Falls, SD.


Clarence Genji “Clancy” Matsuda was born July 18, 1937 in Honolulu, HI. After graduating from Farrington High School in 1955, Clancy attended a year at the University of Hawaii. He was then selected for the U.S. Military Academy Preparatory School and a year later joined the Class of 1961. An outstanding athlete in baseball and football, Clancy set aside those skills to concentrate on his studies. It was to no avail. His bouts with academics over the next two years were unsuccessful, despite the best effort of his 1961 classmates and, after readmission, his 1962 classmates.

He demonstrated outstanding persistence and dedication to becoming an Army officer during that time, re-enlisting to attend basic, advanced individual, and airborne training and receiving his paratrooper wings from General Westmoreland as the honor graduate of his class. Less than a year after his departure from USMA, Clancy earned his commission from the Infantry Officer Candidate School in December 1961, followed by earning his Ranger Tab in March 1962.

Clancy often spoke about the next event, maybe the most significant in his life: “Happiness entered my life in 1963. I have been blessed in my marriage to Connie Waugh, homecoming queen from Hendricks, MN. She was my math teacher, the perfect counterbalance for my academic deficiencies. But most important, she’s my spiritual inspiration and the loving mother of my children.” The Matsudas were married for 59 years and 21 moves.

Clancy earned a B.S. from the University of Omaha and M.A.’s from Webster College and the North American Baptist Seminary. His military schooling included OCS, the Infantry Officer Advanced Course, the MATA Course, Command and General Staff College, and the Inspector General Course.

Prior to his retirement, Clancy was inducted into the OCS Hall of Fame.

After his retirement he was also inducted into the Ranger Hall of Fame. As a recon platoon leader in the 173rd Airborne Brigade, he had led the “aggressor” force on a field exercise which gained him considerable notoriety. Capturing a sleeping lieutenant, Clancy inflicted a wound during the ensuing fight, leaving a scar that the embarrassed officer carried for the rest of his career. That officer was Wayne Downing, one of two Class of 1962 four-stars, who became a lifetime friend.

Other Ranger assignments included the 82nd Airborne Division’s Raider Detachment in the Dominican Republic and the 9th Infantry Division’s Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol Company in Vietnam. Clancy also started the 9th Division Recondo School and was the G-3 advisor to the Vietnamese 1st Special Operations Brigade in I Corps.

His career also included U.S. Recruiting Command, a Korea assignment with the Eighth Army, battalion command with the 7th Division, the Pentagon with ODCDPER, Indiana Area Command and finally as commander of a readiness group. As an old paratrooper, the event he cherished most was a parachute jump he made with his son Matt (a West Point cadet) and Joe Stringham, his 1961 plebe roommate and the commander of the 75th Ranger Regiment.

Clancy was a natural leader. At West Point, a cadet from his Beast Barracks squad called Cadet Matsuda “a rigid taskmaster who instilled the necessary discipline and toughness to survive the system. And he did it with an open friendly style.” In combat, when his unit came under withering fire from an enemy force entrenched in bunkers, Captain Matsuda led a counterattack and was awarded the Silver Star. After that battle, Clancy recommended two of his soldiers for the Medal of Honor. Clancy later described these awards which were presented by the president of the United States as the most impressive ceremony he ever attended.

Clancy’s awards for his distinguished military career include the Legion of Merit, Silver Star, Bronze Star Medal with two oak leaf clusters, Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters, Air Medal, Army Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster, Army Achievement Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with Palm, Combat Infantryman Badge, Master Parachutist Badge, and Ranger Tab.

On August 31, 1989, after 26 years of service, Clancy retired from the Army as a colonel. The Matsudas settled in Brandon, SD, and Clancy became a high school football coach and religious counselor. He made missionary trips to Russia and Mongolia and served in various leadership roles in his church.

Clancy passed away on February 11, 2023. He was preceded in death by his parents, Genyei and Miyo (Miyashiro) Matsuda; his sister Lily; and his brothers Wilfred and Michael. He is survived by his wife Connie; their son, Matthew; their daughter, Leilani (Takeshi) Komatsubara; their grandchildren, Kohta and Kay Komatsubara; his brother Charles Matsuda and his sister Linda Kimura. Clancy is buried in the South Dakota State Veterans Cemetery. It is fitting that the song “Amazing Grace” was sung at his celebration of life. It captures Clancy to the fullest. He was a graceful, sensitive, wonderful man.

We will always remember Clancy for his mild demeanor, good humor, love of family and friends, and charisma. Simply put, everyone liked Clancy. He loved his God, his family, his soldiers, and his nation. He was a great American who served our nation in the finest traditions of our Army and West Point. We are all enormously proud of him. No one deserved a place in the Long Gray Line more than Colonel Clancy Matsuda. He was truly a soldier’s soldier.

Well Done, soldier, husband, father, and friend; Be Thou at Peace.

— His Wife, Connie, and Company A-2 Classmates from 1961 and 1962