April 15, 1934 – Oct. 24, 2013

David L. Clouser, of Newfane, a retired construction worker who once biked across the continent, died Thursday in his home after a lengthy illness. He was 79.

Mr. Clouser, who was born in Wheatfield and grew up in North Tonawanda, moved to California in the 1950s and worked in construction.

He was known for his muscular build and loved waterskiing, horseback riding, biking and, in his youth, holding impromptu wrestling matches with his friends at area field days, where he usually played the “bad guy” and sometimes ended up being chased by an angry crowd.

In 1988, he rode his bicycle with two friends, Ted Lane and Jess Baker, from Marina Del Ray, Calif., to Nova Scotia, beginning with his rear tire in the Pacific Ocean and ending with his front tire in the Atlantic.

Along the way, in the desert in California and then again in Arizona, he met another cyclist, Ed Welch, a young man from the Town of Tonawanda, who was biking back to Buffalo. At the time, Mr. Clouser told a reporter, “It was really funny to be in the middle of the desert and meet a man going to Buffalo.”

He retired to Idaho, where he and his wife lived for several years before returning to Western New York in 2003.

Mr. Clouser was active in his churches, serving as usher and Sunday school teacher. While attending Living Water Community Church in Newfane, he and his brother Richard finished much of the interior of the new church building.

He is survived by his wife of 41 years, the former Nanette Farris; four sons, David, Michael, Brett and Sean; three daughters; Susan Leal, Linda Mace and Lisa Young; two brothers, Richard and Daniel; and four sisters, Marlene Miller, Sandra Miller, Rebecca Hakes and Jennie Stearns.

Services will be at 11 a.m. today in Ridgewood Bible Church, 7073 Ridge Road, Lockport.