Nanon Clare, former western Kansas resident, age 80, passed away on Thursday, Oct. 24, 2013, at Terrace Grove Assisted Living in Logan, Utah.
Nanon was born and raised on a farm 10 miles south of Sublette, Kan., on June 16, 1933, to Raymond L. and Mildred L. Black Bird. She had three brothers, Randall, Julian Lee (who died at the age of 2) and Donald Neil. She was valedictorian of her high school class and went to Southwestern College, where she majored in speech, drama and English, graduating with honors. While at college, she met her future husband, Dale Lee Clare, whom she married on June 19, 1955, in the United Methodist Church in Sublette, Kan.
Dale and Nanon moved to the East Coast in August of 1955, when Dale entered Drew Seminary. Nanon taught school for two years in an all-Black school until they moved to Englishtown, N.J., where Dale began his ministry. They were blessed with three daughters, Lisa Jolene, Lori Lee and Linda Diane.
Dale received a commission as Chaplain in the Navy in 1960, and the family moved to California for four years. When Dale left the Navy, they moved to Minneola, Kan., where Nanon taught high school speech and drama, directed plays and coached debate and forensics, beginning a career that she absolutely loved.
ln 1975, the family moved to Oberlin, and Nanon took a job teaching speech and English in Atwood, Kan. In 1984, Dale became pastor of Scott City United Methodist Church. Nanon taught Advanced Placement English and Senior English, helping with the drama department at the high school. They later moved to Johnson City, Kan., Dale's final church. Retired from teaching, she continued directing plays and helping with the drama classes in the Stanton County High School. Upon Dale's retirement in 1998, they moved to Garden City, where they were actively involved in the First United Methodist Church, until 2005, when they moved to Providence, Utah to live near their daughter, Linda, and their grandchildren.
Nanon's goal in teaching was to help students love English, especially Shakespeare and writing. Her greatest joy was to see students, who didn't think they could write, begin to blossom in her class.
Many people will remember that she loved to make people laugh, so her plays usually were good old-fashioned comedies. Even when she quit directing plays in the schools, she continued directing plays in the church. She knew that one of the most healing things she could do was to make people laugh together.
She was preceded in death by her parents; her brothers, Randall, Julian Lee and Donald; her sister-in-law, Marjoy; and nephew, Russell Bird.
She is survived by her husband, Dale of Logan, Utah; her three daughters, Dr. Lisa Jolene Clare of Salem, Conn., Lori and Kerry Cross of Helena, Mont., and Linda Clare of Providence, Utah; two grandchildren, Molly and Eli Clare of Providence, Utah; her special extended family, Melody, Gary and Landon Head; as well as many nieces and nephews.
Memorial services will be held at 10 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 1, 2013, at the First Presbyterian Church in Logan, Utah. Burial will take place at a later date in the Banner Cemetery south of Sublette, Kan.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be given to the Logan, Utah Presbyterian Church Construction Fund, in care of Price & Sons Funeral Homes.