A Visitation for Clara Westphal, 90, Lawrence, will be from 5-7 pm, Friday, August 9, 2019, at Rumsey-Yost Funeral Home.
Clara Westphal passed away peacefully at Lawrence Memorial Hospital on August 2, 2019, surrounded by family.
She was born in Argentine, Kansas on July 13th, 1929, to James Reade Childers and Clara Amelia St. Bonnett. Clara was the youngest of seven children and the last surviving member. She is preceded in death by her son Hugo Westphal III and grandson Tristan Westphal. She is survived by two sons, Steve Westphal and wife Michelle; Matt Westphal and wife Karla; grandchildren, Schuyler Westphal and Chanelle Ludwig and seven great-grandchildren.
Clara demonstrated a love and talent for music at an early age and learned to play piano, violin and tuba as well as tap dance. She graduated from Argentine High in 1947 and went on to study at Kansas University, earning a Bachelor of Music Education in 1951. She played in orchestra, symphonic band and marching band as well as being involved in journalism.
She taught instrumental and vocal music for 38 years in public school systems in Kansas, Minnesota, Iowa, Oklahoma and Nebraska. Countless lives were touched by her kindness and direction in the classroom. After retiring from teaching in 1994, she moved to Lawrence to be near family. She worked for Pearson Government Solutions until her health forced her to retire in 2009 at the age of 80.
Clara had a great passion for music, teaching and literature, but her greatest love was her family. She was a supportive and guiding force to her sons and grandchildren, never missing any of their concerts and sometimes playing as an accompanist for their solo performances. She lovingly doted on her grandchildren, spending most of her free time with them.
A source of great love and stabilizing force in her family, she will be greatly missed.