Clara HalsteadNovember 16, 1921 ~ February 16, 2018 (age 96)
November 16, 1921 - February 16, 2018
Friends from church, water exercise and book club will remember
Clara for her love of knitting hats and giving them to friends. Her hats have traveled the world on the heads of friends and family.
Clara loved her home and garden, AD Barnes swimming pool and
Baptist Hospital duck pond. She always used to say “its the little
things in life that bring happiness.”
She was an avid quilter and loved to crochet, stitch needlepoint and embroider.
Clara loved to tell of her happy childhood in St. Louis, with her mom, dad, two sisters and brother. She was the baby of the family.
As a young woman she sang in the St. Louis Municipal Opera at
Forest Park and earned a Bachelors Degree in Public Administration from Washington University. Upon graduation, she worked for the Bell Telephone Company.
After WWII Clara’s manager at Bell Telephone introduced her to a
handsome young Coast Guardsman, John Halstead, who was
stationed at the Customs House on the Mississippi River.
They married in 1946 and Clara accompanied him on all his duty
station changes. Like most WWII veterans, Clara and John wanted
most to have a family and buy a house. And that they did: Phillip in
1949, Susan in 1952 and Sherry in 1953.
After retiring from the Coast Guard in 1958, Clara and John returned to Miami. John attended University of Miami on the GI bill, and earned Bachelors and Masters degrees. He then began a second career as a Dade county classroom teacher and counselor.
Clara and John built a new home on an acre in the Sunset area. In
1960 they moved in with their three children. It was a wonderful life.
That part of Miami was still wild and undeveloped. There were lots of birds, frogs, foxes and occasionally even rattlesnakes. The family spent seemingly endless weekends at Matheson Hammock and Crandon Park. Spare time was spent in pursuit of Brownies, 4-H, and Boy Scouts.
Clara continued to reside in the family home after John’s death in
2003. Upon Susan’s retirement in 2007, she joined Clara and they
became best buddies and friends.
Clara and John set a wonderful example for their children. They
valued education, and were proud of the seven college degrees
earned among their three children.
Clara read The Wall Street Journal every day for the past 40 years.
She was an avid read of history, philosophy and nonfiction and was a member of a book group comprised of friends from the swimming
pool. They named their group “Classy Ladies Reading Classics.”
Her favorite sayings were “use your common sense” and the
philosopher Kierkegaard’s quote “we live life going forward, but we
understand it looking backward.”
Looking backward at Clara’s life we see that hers was a life well lived.
She is an example for us all.
Clara will be buried with John at Arlington National Cemetery in