Viola Ruth Bowdry Clemens HOF

Emerson & Viola Clemens   2009 HALL OF FAME WINNER Viola Ruth Bowdry Clemens (1908 – 2004) Clemons was born in London, Ohio and moved to Piqua in 1925 with her husband Emerson. Clemens took Red Cross nurses’ training during World War II and volunteered hundreds of hours at the Piqua Memorial Hospital. During the 1940’s, she was an active member of the local chapter of the N.A.A.C.P. She participated in several sit-ins that helped end segregation in restaurants and movie theaters in the city. She began a catering business in Piqua in 1951 that stayed active until 1983. Clemens was the first African-American member of the Piqua Altrusa, a local women’s professional group. She served on the board of directors of the YWCA, a leader with the Negro Girl Reserves and treasurer of the Miami County Republican Women’s Club. She was awarded the Chamber of Commerce’s Order of George Award in 2001.