Clara D. Sullivan Lear, 98, of Rushsylvania, passed away at the Kenton Nursing and Rehabilitation Center on Saturday, December 7, 2013. She was born on August 6, 1915 in Bellefontaine, Ohio to the late George Scoffield Sullivan and Nellie Maude Ellsworth.
On April 29, 1939 she married George Frederick Lear at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Wapakoneta, Ohio and he preceded her in death on February 28, 1983. She is also preceded in death by her son, H. Richard (Dick) Lear; granddaughter, Debra Bray; great granddaughter Christine Steggeman; great-great granddaughter, Haylee Hampton; and four sisters, Hazel Hunt, Ethel Breaston, Helen Tracy, and Opal Kneif.
Clara is survived by her children, George E. (Sylvia) Lear, Carolyn A. (Paul) Taylor, and Judy K. (David) Huffman; 10 grandchildren, Lisa (William) Wilson, Kathy Bray Linebaugh, Michele Lear Steggeman, Pam (Dean) Schneider, Judy (Joe) Rea, Sandy Taylor, Richard (Colleen) Lear, John (Jessica) Bray, and Tom (Niki) Bray; 19 great grandchildren and 29 great-great grandchildren; several nieces and nephews; and one very special and loving niece, Shirley (Peg) Tracy Arledge, who spent a lot of time living with Clara and her family as did her granddaughter, Kathy Linebaugh, who has been her devoted caretaker the past few years. Raising other people’s children was second nature to her.
During her lifetime she loved gardening and always had many flowers. She always had a big garden so she could share her vegetables with her family. When she and her husband first started dating, they were always roller skating and continued to do so even after they started their family with all four children in tow to the skating rink. Skating was a big deal for them as they often would take other children along with their own family to the rink. In later years after George’s death, Clara found a new love of mowing the lawn. As time went on the neighbors could see this little 94 year old woman taking on the task of mowing with a mower bigger than she was and often walking behind the hand mower with her big floppy hat on her head. The only thing that stopped her from continuing was a broken back. She loved the outdoors.
Clara’s greatest love was her family. Clara often helped raise several of the grandchildren, great grandchildren, and even the great-great grandchildren. Her biggest goal in life was to take care of children and being a homemaker. She always said she couldn’t cook but she had several dishes she prepared that everyone wanted her to fix for them as only she could do. She will be missed by her family. Until later years when she was unable to drive, Clara would go to St. Mary of the Woods to mass where she was a member for several years.
A memorial mass will be celebrated Saturday, December 14, 2013 at 10AM at St. Patrick Catholic Church. Burial will follow in Calvary Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the St. Vincent de Paul Society, c/o St. Patrick Catholic Church, 328 E. Patterson Ave., Bellefontaine, OH 43311.
Eichholtz Funeral Home, Bellefontaine assisted the family with arrangements and condolences may be expressed at www.edsfh.com.