Claud D. Folds, 71 Awarded Silver Star for gallantry

In Memoriam

Claud D. Folds, 71

Awarded Silver Star for gallantry

Claud D. Folds

HARTWICK – Claud D. Folds, better known to his family and friends as Flip, joined Our father in Heaven in the early morning hours of Tuesday May 11th, 2021.

Born in Oneonta on April 2, 1950, Flip was the only child of John and Doris Folds. Because of his father’s service in the US Air Force, Flip had the unique opportunity to grow up in a variety of locations, including Texas, Alaska (moving there just two days before The Great Earthquake,) Izmir, Turkey, and Northern Africa, just to name a few. This life afforded Flip a perspective on the world that few people have the chance at.

Flip enlisted in the US Army in 1968 to serve his country during The Vietnam Conflict. He received sniper certification at Fort Benning, Georgia in November of 1968 as one of the first members of the hand-picked group of volunteers from each battalion to be a part of the class.

Flip served in many capacities, including the 23rd Infantry Division (formerly known as The Americal Division; the very same as his father during World War 2.) Flip was part of the Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol- a team of 6 well-armed men that performed patrols and missions deep in enemy territory- holding the rank of Sergeant. LRRPs would eventually become today’s Army Rangers.

Flip finished his time in the Army as part of the 198th Infantry Brigade until an injury sent him home.

During his four years of service, he was awarded The National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal, the Vietnam Campaign Medal, the Combat Infantry Badge, four Overseas Service Bars, The Purple Heart for wounds received in combat, and the Silver Star Medal for gallantry in action against an enemy of The United States—the third highest honor awarded by the Armed Forces for valor in combat. Flip returned home to Hartwick in 1972 following his Honorable Discharge from the Army.

In June of 1975, Flip married Connie Andrews in a small ceremony to “make me an honest man,” he would often joke. The truth is he loved Connie deeply. They had two daughters and adopted a grandson. Flip worked a variety of jobs in home improvement—particularly painting—and even formed his own company, partnered with his best friend Paul Mullins in the late 1980s.
Flip enjoyed many outdoor activities, particularly salmon fishing, trapping, and hunting in the fall. He also loved gardening…especially marijuana, which he partook in as a way of coping with the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder that plagued him following his service in Vietnam.

Above all else, Flip enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren, often telling the parents they were too strict for having simple rules. “Grandpa Prerogative”, he would declare.
After 37 years of marriage, Connie passed away peacefully in her sleep following a series of heart issues on February 2, 2012 with Flip at her side.
While Flip would have easily been content to spend his remaining days alone, drinking coffee at his kitchen table and still spoiling grandkids, Our Lord had other plans for him and delivered to him another opportunity for love.

Flip met Nellie Loomis, and they began a relationship in late 2012. Nellie brought to Flip what he had been missing since Connie’s passing—she was his peace, his boss, his best friend, and his love.

Of course, there was the additional bonus of Nellie having several children…which meant even more grandchildren to spoil!
In 2016, and only after Nellie said she was out the door if he refused to go, Flip’s doctor at the VA discovered esophageal cancer. Flip began treatment immediately and beat it. He credited Nellie’s love and “nagging” for saving his life. He teased, but it was always good natured.

In August of 2020, following routine tests, it was discovered that Flip’s cancer had not only returned, but had metastasized. Several treatments were attempted to slow the cancer until late April of 2021, when it became clear that the difficult choice between quantity and quality of life needed to be made.

Demonstrating the same gallantry that earned him that Silver Star, Flip chose quality and asked to go home with the assistance
of family and hospice.

On May 6th, 2021, following the long engagement period of 8 years, Flip married Nellie at his home; fulfilling his final wish of making Nellie “an honest woman.” His grandson Sam and his daughter Nicki (there was no step-anything in Flip’s vocabulary…you were family. Period.) stood at their sides.

Having completed his last request, Flip peacefully passed away a few days later, but only after reminding Nellie that he loved her.

Left behind to share Flip’s adventures and stories are Lisa (Brian) Morgan, Lynn (Owen) Wellman, Charlotte (Michael) Thayer, Christine Schorer (Ashley Renwick), Nicki Wakefield (Kyle Crispal), Sheon Wakefield, and Jeremy Folds; his 16 grandchildren; and several great grandchildren. Also Darlean Roe and family, and Jennifer Deselets and family.

Flip was predeceased by his parents John & Doris Folds, his prior wife Connie, one granddaughter, and two great grandchildren.

At the family’ request, there will be no calling hours.

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