Quaid, Cleburne Walter


Cleburne Quaid was born in Milburn, Oklahoma, the second of four children of Tommy Jane King Quaid and Rev. John Wesley Quaid. His father served in the ministry for 45 years, first in the Methodist Protestant Church, then the Methodist Episcopal church of the South, and finally the Methodist Church. His grandfather, Rev. Thomas Quaid, had been a circuit rider. Cleburne and his brothers and sister lived in many small Oklahoma towns as preacher’s kids. As a young boy, his education often followed the agricultural needs of the community, with school often interrupted by work in the fields. His father taught them to hunt and fish at an early age, and this became his favorite pastime. A deep fascination for the land and its wildlife grew within Cleburne and remained a major motivation throughout his life.
He grew and matured in a Christian home where he learned the value of a sense of humor as well as a work ethic. Track was a favorite sport in school, and he was fast in the mile run. A creative capacity and natural talent for drawing emerged when he was quite young. Art classes in college established his skill, and henceforth, art served as a great comfort (and extra source of income). It was in college that he was called to the ministry.
During his years at Perkins School of Theology in Dallas, he met Jane Victoria Sanders and rapidly fell in love. Cleburne was ordained as a third generation Methodist minister in 1941 and assumed his first appointment in Westlake, Louisiana. Courtship involved many trips to Dallas, and in June of 1942, Jane and Cleburne were married and moved to his new assignment in Gueydan. In 1944 their son, Thomas Perdue was born. Then in 1946 their daughter, Leska Diane arrived in DeQuincy.
Cleburne loved his ministry and stayed busy with volunteer and civic work, even serving as a football coach once. His artwork and signs were seen throughout Louisiana wherever he served: Many, Shreveport, Lake Charles, Hammond, Bogalusa, Bastrop and finally Homer. He was active in the Lion’s club and Kiwanis. He had a particular interest in the work of Alcoholics Anonymous and actually helped start several chapters.
Cleburne lived with Jane in his beloved Homer for 20 years. He retired from First United Methodist church there in 1979, but continued to preach in many of the rural churches of the area until he completed his 51 years in the ministry in 1992. He had single handedly built a studio where he worked as a prolific wildlife artist for many years, donating countless pieces to Ducks Unlimited and never turning down a request for his art. He loved the beautiful woods and quiet ponds around Homer, where often he could be found hunting or fishing or sketching his next project.
With failing health, he and Jane moved to Tempe, Arizona, where their daughter, Diane, could care for them more closely. He was a man of great energy and joy. He once wrote, “I believe now that God can, and does, bring to mankind an optimism; a positive attitude and hope that can be realistic and obtainable. I believe that God wants to break through to everyone of us and reveal such. I believe that this is the work of the Holy Spirit.” Cleburne Quaid died early on a beautiful Sunday morning and joined the Master he loved and served.
Source: Journal Louisiana Conference, 1997; p. 268 By Thomas P. Quaid, M.D.

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