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Birth: 1938

Death: 2024

Myers, Clinton “C.C” Obituary

CLINTON “C.C.” MYERS March 31, 1938 – February 14, 2024 Highland, CA Clinton “C.C.” Myers, officially finished his life’s work on February 14, 2024, passing away peacefully at his home in Meadow Vista, California. He had been cared for and comforted by his wife, Janelle, and their “doggies,” Skittles, Sugar, and Spice. A steady flow of calls and visits from his children, grandchildren, extended family members, confidantes, friends, business partners, employees, and those who simply appreciated who he was, kept his spirits high. Also known as Myers, Mr. Myers, Clinton, Clint, or Dad, C.C. was 85 years old. From the beginning, his life was big. C.C. was the second oldest of thirteen children. Wallace and Violet raised the family in Highland, California, near San Bernardino. They farmed “row crops” which they sold from the back of a truck, and there was often a reason for C.C. not to attend school. When he was 16, he left home, moved to Long Beach, and found work building houses and schools. On his way to and from those jobs, he often passed a bridge construction project and decided that bridges were “the ugliest things I’d ever seen.” Yet, when the day came that he needed a steady income, he stopped by that same bridge site, and contractor Benny Benedict hired him. He “fell in love” with the work and said that after one week, he knew “building bridges would be my life.” He remained grateful to Benny and years later, hired him at his own company. At 19, C.C. was made a foreman while only an apprentice carpenter which violated the union’s rules. He was sent to classes to get his journeyman’s license, a serious roadblock for a teenager who had only finished 10th grade and was not a very good reader. The rest of the story, though, is one C.C. told over and over with apologies and some amazement. A man had stood behind him during the licensing test, leaned down, and whispered most of the answers. C.C.’s score was the highest in the class. The union knew, of course, that he had a job waiting for him, though some might say this was destiny. That same year, C.C. married his first wife, Bernice. They had two daughters, Darla and Debbie, and moved to northern California to follow the bridge work. The couple later divorced, and by 1973, C.C. was ready to begin a new phase of his career. With Jim Carter and Richard Myers (his younger brother), he started a highway and bridge-building business in North Highlands, a suburb of Sacramento. This team of Myers, Carter, and Myers named their company MCM Construction. In 1977, C.C. was out of the partnership and became founder and CEO of his own highway and bridge-building firm, C.C. Myers, Inc., based in nearby Rancho Cordova. His first employee and future Vice President, Gary Janco, would become his lifelong best friend. He married his wife and life-partner, Janelle, later that same year. With a team of hard-working people and a family-like office, his business grew. He and Janelle expanded their family with two sons, Clinton and Troy. A busy future was taking shape. In 1989, when the Loma Prieta earthquake caused the collapse of a double-decker section of Highway 880 in Oakland, C.C. Myers, Inc. employees happened to be working nearby. C.C. shut down the work immediately, and the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) directed his crews to the emergency effort. They searched for victims and stabilized whatever structures they could, even while the freeway was still shaking. This was the first and only the beginning of the emergency work that would come to define C.C. Myers and his teams. In 1994, the Northridge earthquake demolished four bridges along the Santa Monica freeway in southern California. C.C. Myers, Inc. won the rebuilding contract and used round-the-clock shifts to finish the work in just 66 days. C.C. motivated the crews with equal parts gruffness and kind generosity. For completing the work 74 days early, the company earned a $14.8m bonus, the largest ever awarded by Caltrans. There were cheers, photos, press conferences, accolades, thanks, honors, and awards. C.C. Myers’ name and his unmistakable 6’5″ presence – even taller in his cowboy boots – became known across the country. More winning bids and more work would follow. C.C. became a self-made millionaire and enjoyed his life with Janelle lavishly and boldly. He was constantly looking for new investments, which included the Pikes Peak International Raceway in Colorado, a casino in the Czech Republic, and a housing development in Utah from which he donated land for the 2002 Winter Olympics. In northern California, he started Winchester Country Club, an ambitious community carved into the Sierra foothills on terrain that perhaps only a heavy construction master could have taken on. He invested deeply in the project, choosing one of its majestic home sites for his own family. He focused much of his attention on Winchester, and in 2005, he transferred a majority ownership of C.C. Myers, Inc. to his employees. If it seemed that he might be looking toward retirement, no one who knew him could imagine that he would ever stop working. C.C. was always good with numbers and in 2007, his stunningly low bid and dramatically fast repair of the MacArthur Maze sent his reputation to new heights. In just 17 days, this Bay Area interchange that had been melted by a highway fire, was repaired and reopened, earning C.C. Myers, Inc. a $5m bonus. Later that same year, with the clock ticking, the company’s crews replaced a 350′ section of the east span of the San Francisco Bay Bridge. The football-field-sized slab of concrete had to slide and fit perfectly into place – it did – and the work had to be finished within the four-day Labor Day weekend bridge shutdown. It was. C.C. would later say this was one of his favorite projects. When asked about accomplishing so much in such a short period of time, he said, “We’re tryin’ to get the public back on the road as soon as possible.” In the summer of 2008, C.C. Myers, Inc. handled a critical Sacramento project called Fix I-5, which targeted the “boat section” of the highway. C.C. was proud to be able to work with his daughter, Darla, who was the area manager for the company that delivered the concrete. As was typical, he could be seen walking the job site in his hard hat and safety vest, often on the phone with his office, his crews, his subcontractors, his daughter, or Janelle. He also took calls from Caltrans, the media, and virtually anyone who had his personal cellphone number. He solved problems in out-of-the-box ways and held press gatherings whenever there was a construction update. The reporters seemed to enjoy him as much as he enjoyed them. Fix I-5 proved to be another safe, fast, and highly awarded project for C.C. Myers, Inc. Life moves up and down, however, and this was true in the “bigness” of C.C. Myers’ world. By late summer 2008, he was forced to file personal bankruptcy related to the deepening recession and decisions made outside the highway company. He suffered greatly, losing his remaining ownership of C.C. Myers, Inc. and his Winchester community. It was no understatement to say that C.C. Myers’ own life had suddenly become an emergency project. Again, building and rebuilding would pull him through. In 2010, with his son Clinton, he started a new company in Sacramento called Myers & Sons Construction. This business had the potential to be the family’s most successful venture, reaching beyond highway and bridge construction. Life started to feel good again. C.C. and Janelle’s younger son, Troy, had a thriving car business in Arizona, his daughter, Darla, was in southern California with a prominent position in the concrete industry, and his younger daughter, Debbie, was living nearby in Sacramento. His drive to and from work every day allowed plenty of phone time with a wide circle of people. He had his favorite restaurants, music that he loved, parties in his home, reasons to travel, and most of all, his grandchildren. His role as “Papa” brought him happiness that he could now fully embrace. “I have lived an interesting life,” he would say. Indeed, C.C. Myers had constructed or fixed some of California’s best infrastructure, and the ways in which he did it, became as legendary and mythical as he was. He had come from an era when business was done with a conversation and a handshake, yet he took on high-wire projects with a can-do spirit, fearlessness, and the determination to win. He led with patriotism, pride, and trust in those who were closest to him. He started each workday by walking through his offices and saying hello. From simple beginnings, C.C. Myers became someone with enough vision, work ethic, street smarts, humor, and charm to fill any storybook. He was a giant, with a heart just as big, and perhaps a little magic, too. C.C. Myers is survived by his wife, Janelle; his children, Darla, Clinton (Erin), and Troy (Brooke); his grandchildren Tiffany, James, Nicholas, Tyler, Clinton, Stella, Caroline, Emily, and Paisley; his siblings Joan, Dandy (Dewey), Shirley (Rick), Marilyn (Les), Jeannie (Gary), Steve (Laurie), and David; and many nieces, nephews, cousins, and extended family members. He has lovingly rejoined those who passed before him, including his father Wallace, his stepmother Violet, his brothers Frank and Richard, his sisters Antoinette, Kathy, and Rosie, his brothers-in-law Craig, Derrell and Manny, and his dear daughter, Debbie. A Celebration of Life will be held on Thursday, February 29, 2024, at the Sacramento Scottish Rite, 6151 H Street, from 2 5pm. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you honor C.C. Myers with a donation to the AGC Construction Education Foundation. Please contact Erin Volk at volke@agc-ca.org or (916) 478-1695.

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