Flood knew computers, but he loved clocks

  • Article by: TIM HARLOW , Star Tribune
  • Updated: June 20, 2009 - 9:32 PM

Raymond Flood was a decorated soldier who, in retirement, made house calls as "the clock doctor."

Whenever Cheryl Currier's antique clock stopped running, she called Raymond Flood, who came to her home and made it tick again.

Known by many as "the clock doctor," Flood took on the hobby of repairing malfunctioning clocks in his basement in the early 1990s, and over the years gained a reputation for his quality work, high standards and resourcefulness, and for making house calls without charging extra to those who could not make it to his Minneapolis home.

"He always said it's my job to complete the job," said Currier, a customer of five years. "He picked up my clock four times and he'd never take money. He was willing to teach me how to maintain it. And he said he'd make me a special wood ball to use when I am not strong enough to wind it any more. He was always on top of everything."

Flood, 83, died in his sleep June 1 at his home in Minneapolis.

He had been an early adopter of computer technology. In 1967, he moved from Kansas City, Mo., to Minneapolis to become director of systems and programming at Northwest Airlines, where he oversaw improvements to the airline's reservations system. He later worked for Dayton Hudson and did network security work for Honeywell and Alliant Tech, said his wife of 59 years, Joan.

When Flood retired in 1991, one of his sons was taking a watch repair class. That piqued Flood's interest, and he opened the Clock Doc Clock Shop.

"He was an inquisitive-type guy who liked to learn new things other than computers," said Richard Zielike, colleague and past president of the Minnesota Clockmakers Guild and the Minnesota Watchmakers and Clockmakers Association.

He developed a loyal customer base and became active in the Minnesota Clockmakers Guild, the American Watchmakers Institute and the National Watch and Clock Collectors Association, and was past president of the Minnesota Watchmakers and Clockmakers Association.

Born in Kearney, Neb., Flood graduated from the University of Nebraska with distinction in 1950. He was a decorated Army soldier who earned one Silver Star, two Bronze Stars and five Purple Hearts while serving as a combat infantry unit commander during World War II and the Korean War, his wife said.

Flood had many avocations, including painting, woodcarving, hunting and fishing. He also enjoyed building canoes, sailboats and many of his own tools, pens and pencil sets, and making jewelry and clocks out of objects such as hockey pucks for his children and grandchildren. He also served as a Scoutmaster, Joan said.

In addition to his wife, Joan, Flood is survived by four sons, Patrick of Denver, James of Detroit, Thomas of Seattle, and Paul of Plymouth; two daughters, Mary Flood-Maneely of St. Paul and Kathleen Skinner of Rockford; a sister, Audrey Shuler of Arlington, Va.; a brother, Gordon, of Edinboro, Pa.; 14 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

Services have been held.

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