We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Smith Funeral Home - Sunnyside
Claire Ann O’Hara was born a Midwestern girl in Thief River Falls, Minnesota on September 22, 1931. She passed away on June 6, 2022 in Sunnyside, WA. Although she only lived in Minnesota for the first 21 years of her life, she always considered herself an “expert” driver in a winter snowstorm, much better than the other drivers in Washington, because, after all, she was born in Minnesota!
She was the firstborn child of Clair (Shorty) and Viola O’Hara. When she was 8 years old, her parents adopted her sister, Sylvia. They grew up enjoying ice skating on the ponds when they froze over and enduring the miserable, humid summers.
She graduated from Lincoln High School in 1949 and soon after got a job working at the Minneapolis/St. Paul airport. Right around Christmas of 1951, she met a handsome young man who was in the Air Force, named Tom Hall. After a whirlwind courtship, they were married six weeks later, on February 6, 1952, in Tom’s home state of Washington. In 1954, their son Rick was born and then Mary was born in 1959. The family settled into Seattle and then to Puyallup, WA. They lived there until Tom, then working for the WA State Patrol, was promoted to Sgt., which required a move to Sunnyside in 1970.
Claire found the perfect career opportunity when she became an Avon distributor. This allowed her to get out and meet new people and still have plenty of time for her family. After Tom retired in 1985, they bought a motorhome and enjoyed many years traveling to every state, except Alaska. They spent many winters on the Gulf Coast and then in Yuma, returning to the Valley during the summer. After Tom passed away in 1999, she remained active in Novella, hosting many bridge games, golfing with her Women’s group and her weekly appointments with HairWorks. She always strived to look her best.
Claire was an excellent card player and knew many games. She enjoyed her independence but due to macular degeneration she wasn’t able to drive any longer. Gradually, she had to give up golf, knitting and reading, which she loved to do. But bridge and casino trips still filled the gaps for many years. She also was a whiz at trivia games and always came out a winner; so she said. And she was always up for a trip to get ice cream!
In November 2019, Claire decided it was best for her to move into Sunnyside Assisted Living, where she was lovingly cared for through the pandemic and up until her death. She made many new friends there and they became special to us also. Thank you so much to Melissa and ALL the staff. A special thanks to Mona and Rosie for all the card games that she enjoyed so much and all the activities that you arranged. She loved shouting BINGO!
It was beautiful to see all her family gather around her in her last days. All the people who loved her. This included her son Rick and his wife Sylvia. Her daughter Mary Barrett. Her grandchildren, Jason and Bernadette Ledesma, Allison Hall and Tolan Barrett. Her great grandsons Andrew, Isaac, Jacob and Sam Ledesma. She is also survived by her son-in-law, Howard Barrett, her granddaughter-in-law Shelby Ledesma, and her first great, great grandson, Jason Matthew Ledesma. She was blessed.
Claire trusted in Jesus as her Lord and Savior and appreciated all the prayers that were being offered for her as her health began to decline. She was preceded in death by her beloved Tom, her parents, her sister and her great grandson Richard Ledesma. She is rejoicing with them now in heaven. And dancing away.
A private family inurnment was held at the Lower Valley Memorial Gardens, Sunnyside, WA. Those wishing to sign Claire’s online memorial book may do so at www.funeralhomesmith.com Smith Funeral Home is in care of arrangements.