Nov 24, 2020
Clara was the most selfless person. With a heart larger than life, being a child to her parents, a sister to her siblings, a mother to her own, a grandmother “Nana,” an aunt, great aunt, and great-great aunt, Clara’s life’s love was shown through her love for anyone fortunate enough to be called family. Claria, (Clara) was born on Sunday, March 11, 1923 in Chicago, she was 14lbs! Her parents, Attilio and Nicolina were born in Italy and came to America when they were young adults. She had two sisters, Irene and Louise, and a brother, Danny. She dedicated her life to caring for everyone and shared a special bond with each of her siblings. Irene was her older sister who always made sure to take care of her, they were literally each other’s right and left hand. Danny was her younger brother, that she cared for very much. Being the two middle siblings, they always stuck together and took turns caring for one another throughout their lives. Louise, her baby sister and she shared each others hobbies including shopping, bingo, cooking, and many late nights together. They were two peas-in-a-pod. It was clear that all the siblings shared in their love for one another. Clara said her ambition was “to be a tap dancer or movie star as a young child, but later wanted a good future based on the foundation her parents instilled of, honesty, respect and hard work. She wanted to be a good wife and mother which of course meant she needed to be a good cook and baker. Clara was always in the kitchen; she loved having family and friends over and of course, the first thing she would say is, “are you hungry!!” Her specialty was Gnocci and no one made it better. Clara met Mike, her late husband when she was 15 years old, they got engaged while Mike was in the army, married 4 years later on September 29th, 1946 at Holy Family Church in Chicago. Mike was the love of her life; he always called her his Sweetheart. Mike and Clara wrote love notes and letters to each other to express their love to one another…. This love was shown later though their two children Robert and Donna. Robert was their first born and the proud son of her life; they shared their love for “I Love Lucy” playing card games and going to the casino together. Donna came along seven years later and had a heart-filled mother daughter bond that grew even deeper in time. Their family was now complete. A few of their favorite childhood memories included fishing together, vacationing in Wisconsin, and family time during the holidays. Specifically driving through the city of Chicago, seeing the Christmas lights while Mike sang Silver Bells is one that will be cherished forever. The next chapter of Clara’s life started when her daughter Donna blessed her with her grandchildren. Clara and Donna became inseparable and shared many days and nights caring for Danielle and Michael. These two quickly became the center of her world. Depending on which one of them you ask, you may get a different answer on which was her favorite. She would always say to them; “you are my heart” and “I love you and I always will.” She loved them more than life and enjoyed every moment with them. She loved playing dolls with Danielle, reading stories, cooking and baking. Passing on her innate ability for cooking lives through Danielle to this day. From playing baseball with Michael- “her favorite grandson” to driving his scooter, remote control car, or anything with a motor, she was always able to adapt to his favorite activities no matter how unconventional it may seem for a grandma to be doing. Clara was very loved by all of her nieces and nephews; she was very blessed to be part of all their lives and celebrate in all of the many births, holiday’s and celebrations. She loved her family with such amazement, there is no question that all 97 years of her life were cherished and celebrated through them. Clara will always be remembered through a plate of pasta, a chocolate Nana cookie, and a sliver of something sweet.