Clarence Howard Black, 80, of Banning, died peacefully at home Monday night, Feb. 28, 2005, ending a long life of duty and honor.

Grandson of pioneer citrus rancher and Redlands City Councilmember M.L. Black, he was born Dec. 7, 1924 in Redlands and grew up on a 20-acre citrus grove on Prospect Street in Loma Linda.

While attending Redlands High School, he assisted his father, C.E. Black, in the family’s citrus operation. World War II interrupted his freshman year at Los Angeles City College. He served in naval aviation after the Pearl Harbor attack.

In 1951, Mr. Black graduated from the CHP Academy in Sacramento. He proudly served as a sergeant in the CHP from 1951 to 1977 where he made many lifelong friends.

He retired to the 100-acre Black Ranch on Highway 243 near Idyllwild where he managed the HB Cattle Co. throughout the 1980s. Most recently, he resided in Banning.

A treasury of Western history who patterened his life after John “the Duke” Wayne, Mr. Black personified true “grit.” His larger-than-life presence will be dearly missed by friends and family.

A memorial service will be held from 2 to 3 p.m. Wednesday, March 30 at the American Legion Post 106, 820 W. State St., Redlands. Interment will be at the Hillside Memorial Park in Redlands.

Survivors include his dearest friend and companion, Wilma Black of Cherry Valley; two daughters, Susan C. Black of Costa Mesa and Nancy Black of Lafayette; a son, Charles D. Black of Laguna Beach; and four grandchildren, Mark Black of Idyllwild, Andy Black Gause of Lafayette, and Samantha and Charlie Black Jr. of Laguna Beach.