September 19, 1937 - July 25, 2020
Clara was born in New Lexington, Ohio in 1937 to Pietro and Josephine Gasparro. She grew up on Fulton road in Cleveland with her four brothers Lawrence, Martin, Angelo and John and two sisters - her twin Rosalie and the older Mary. The nine of them lived in a small 2 bedroom house that overflowed with laughter, tears, love and the best meatballs you can imagine. Life changed for Clara at Lincoln High School where she first laid eyes on who she knew instantly would become the one love of her life. A Greek boy from Clark Avenue. Johnny K. She saw her future the minute she heard him sing. The courtship was long. She’d write his name on her folders and follow him in the halls and ‘urge’ his buddy Pete to help. She’d buy a dress that just happened to match his suit for a dance he sold her a ticket to. She’d wait for him when he was late for their dates (because he was still at the pool hall). And she’d wait for him when he was stationed in the army in Texas. Her love for him was so intense that she took a two day train ride - there and back - with his mother. A woman who, not only did not speak English, but if she had wouldn’t have been too keen on talking to her anyway. But that Christmas while on leave and before leaving for a new station in Germany, John proposed. The engagement, equally long, ended on August 18th, 1962, when they became husband and wife on a sweltering hot day with an air conditioner on the outs and a broken down catering truck. But none of that mattered. Nearly 58 years later and their love was still strong and evidenced by all those around them. They cared for each other and took care of each other. After a brief stint in Pittsburgh they welcomed their son Dean (Patricia, Carmen, Yianni). (And with him the long awaited full approval from Johns mother!) Sixteen months later and Sandy (Frank, Stella, Ursula) was born. Two little ones in tow and John’s career brought them to Chicago where they would welcome Angela (Patrick, Clara). The family of five was now complete. Life and career sent them to new towns, on new adventures. Clara welcomed it all with eagerness and excitement. She made friends easily; her smile and warmth infectious. She spread her kindness and joy for life wherever it took us. Clara’s love for her family was fierce. Being the best wife, the best mother, was her career. And she pursued it with the highest degree of dedication, strength, professionalism and love. Unwavering Love. She never swayed from her goals: To make our lives rich. Full. Happy. And she succeeded. She made us all feel protected and taken care of always. She made us laugh, sometimes made us cry and always made us dinner. To the very end Sunday dinners were a constant, anticipated joy. It was with a special gladness that John’s new post took the family back to Cleveland. To our whole, collective family. Surrounded by family and loved ones, we were Home. Clara quickly became a fixture at St. Paul’s Greek Orthodox Church and it’s festivals - first as booth coordinator where she’d get anyone in a sailor’s hat or a ‘kiss me I’m Greek’ tshirt; and then as point woman in the food line. She loved being useful, helpful. And always worked with a smile on her face. Welcoming loved ones and strangers alike. She was everyone’s Aunt Clara. She loved deeply and openly and fully. After years of encouraging, Clara finally got all 3 of her children married off. And then blessedly, one by one, her cherished ‘grand babies’ arrived. Clara, Stella, Ursula, Carmen and Yianni. They made her sun shine even brighter. And the feelings are reciprocated. There were no better arms to fall asleep in. No better voice to sing them to sleep. This love has no end. Clara leaves us with her dreams realized. A beautiful wife. A cherished mother. A beloved YiaYia. Our loss is huge. But our blessings are immeasurable. Your love and support is so incredibly important to us at this time and while we’d like nothing more than to share a hug in honor of our beautiful wife, mother and grandmother, the health and safety of us all prevents us from doing so. Please know we feel your love. VISITATION THURSDAY JULY 30, 2020 from 10:30-12:30 at St. Paul Greek Orthodox Church, 4548 Wallings Rd. North Royalton, OH 44133. FUNERAL SERVICE TO FOLLOW FOR FAMILY ONLY. Interment St. Theodosius Cemetery. Masks and social distancing will be required during visiting hours. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the St. Paul Benevolence Fund. 4548 Wallings Rd. North Royalton, OH. 44133.
Clara was born in New Lexington, Ohio in 1937 to Pietro and Josephine Gasparro. She grew up on Fulton road in Cleveland with her four brothers Lawrence, Martin, Angelo and John and two sisters - her twin Rosalie and the older Mary. The nine... View Obituary & Service Information
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