Clara Imogene Smith Williams was born in Atlanta, Georgia on April 1, 1921, to Rosa Lee and Clarence Smith, she was the youngest of 3 daughters. At an early age Clara's mother moved to East Orange, New Jersey with Clara and her two sisters.
She graduated from East Orange High School in 1939. After high school she attended Nannie Burroughs National Trade and Professional School for Women and Girls, one of the nation's first vocational training schools for African American girls and women in Washington, D.C.
When she returned to New Jersey, she married Richard Williams in 1941. During this union they had three children. After years of marriage, she divorced Richard. Clara became a Nurses Aide to support her family and later became a License Practical Nurse (LPN). She worked at Martland Medical Center/City Hospital in Newark, New Jersey for several years.
Eventually Clara and her daughter move to Chicago, Illinois where she continued nursing at Cook County Hospital and later doing private duty nursing. She later moved to Gary, Indiana and was employed at Gary St. Mary's Hospital until she retired in 1983. she still continued working doing private duty cases for several years. Clara loved her nursing profession.
She witnessed lots of changes in the world during her 102 years and she would often share stories with today's generation, she loved to recite poetry, some clean, some not so clean.
On April 28, 2023, Clara transitioned into eternity.
She was preceded in death by her mother, Rosa L. Smith; two sisters, Katherine Turley and Julia E. Gilbreath; her sons, Douglas and Richard Williams; grandson, Trevor F. Banton; and great-grandson, David W. Williams, Jr.
Clara leaves to cherish her memory: her daughter, Rosa L. Brown (Beedie) of Valparaiso, Indiana; 6 grandchildren, Douglas (Nelda) Williams, Darrin (Mary Jane) Williams, Joy R. Davis, Derek (Lisa) Williams, David W. Wiliams, Sr., and Debra (Dylon) Dudley; 12 great-grandchildren; 2 great-great- grandchildren; daughter in-law, Joy Williams; nephew, Leonard N. Turley; and niece, Julia E. LaRue. She also has a host of extended family, friends, and close friend Courtney Overton. "Give Me My Flowers While I'm Living". Courtney did just that, giving Clara flowers every week when she came to visit.
Visitation Friday, May 5, 2023, 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. with Homegoing Service 12:00 p.m. -1:00 p.m. from Graceland Cemetery Chapel 1505 Morthland Drive Valparaiso, Indiana. Entombment Graceland Cemetery.
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