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Family business owner's legacy to continue



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August 20, 2014 - Longtime Clarkston business owner David McNeven planned to retire years ago, but he never did.

"He could never stop working," said Christina Calka, his stepdaughter. "When we thought he would retire, he'd wake up and go back to work. He lived and breathed this place."

The owner of Coach's Corner and Village Apparel and Gifts on Main Street for 36 years, McNeven passed away suddenly, Saturday, Aug. 16, 2014, at the age of 74.

"He loved Clarkston," Calka said. "He'd go to Village Bakery for breakfast, for some banana nut bread and a cup of coffee. He'd go to the Village Cafe. He always loved it up here."

He'd mosey around town, saying "hi" to everybody, she said.

"He will definitely be missed," Calka said.

McNeven supported Clarkston High School sports with his selection of Wolves spirit wear and went to almost all the games, as well as sponsored several local teams.

"He loved local sports, that's for sure," Calka said. "He loved talking sports with the kids who would come in here."

McNeven closed Clarkston's Coach's Corner earlier this year and Village Apparel in 2010, but still had Coach's Corner locations on Sashabaw Road and another on Dixie Highway in Waterford Township.

Faced with whether to close the stores at this time, Calka and her brother John Paul Calka decided instead to keep the family business going.

"This is the best way to carry on his legacy, carry on his work," Christina Calka said. "We'll continue to do what he did, hopefully."

The plan is to consolodate and renovate the varsity jacket, spirit wear, and screen printing business at the Dixie Highway location.

"Give it a facelift and update the computers for quicker orders," said Calka, who also owns Village Fashion Boutique on Main Street in Clarkston. "Become part of the community like he was. That's the best thing to do."

David Allen McNeven was born May 1, 1940, in Almont, Mich. He grew up in Romeo, Mich., before settling in Clarkston and Drayton Plains. For nearly 40 years, he was the successful business owner of Coach's Corner with stores in Clarkston and Waterford, Mich.

An avid lover of all sports, he actively played baseball and softball as a pitcher, played platform tennis, and sponsored numerous youth sports leagues.

He is also survived by his wife Anne, his sister Barbara (Bill) McNeven Lepech, and four nephews and their families.

Arrangements are entrusted to Coats Funeral Home - Waterford. A funeral Mass will be held at 11 a.m., Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014, at Our Lady of the Lakes Catholic Church, 5481 Dixie Highway, Waterford, Michigan 48329. Relatives and friends are welcome for visitation starting at 10:30a.m. at the church, and for lunch immediately following Mass. Interment will be held in private at the Romeo Cemetery.  Memorial contributions to the American Diabetes Association, www.diabetes.org or 800-342-2383, are welcome. To share condolences online go to www.CoatsFuneralHome.com/obituaries.

Phil is editor for The Clarkston News. He is a veteran of the first Iraq war, having served in the U.S. Army.
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