Clare (nee Theobald) Wilkins, 92, passed away peacefully on February 25, 2020 at her residence with the Little Sisters of the Poor in Washington, DC with her daughters by her side. Clare was also surrounded by two monsignors and the community of the Little Sisters of the Poor, with apostolic blessings, prayer and song as she entered Eternal Life.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Marguerite (nee Fowler) and Leo Theobald Sr.; younger brother, Leo Theobald Jr.; brother-in-law, Len Gutkowski; and daughter-in-law, Janet Sniezek.
She is survived by her children, David Wilkins of San Francisco, CA, Patricia (Wes) Lowzinski of Marietta, GA, Tim (Jan Holmgren) Wilkins of Challis, ID, and Mary (Ken) McNeill of Warrenton, VA; grandchildren, Alina (Joe), Galen (Mary), Mary (Brian), Michael (Rachel), David (Crystal), Stephen (Karen), Tracy (Michael), Andrew, and Matthew; 13 great grandchildren; sister, Margaret Gutkowski; sister-in-law, Shirley Theobald; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Clare always had a smile on her face. She walked through all stages of life with perseverance, grace, and humility. She had a kind word for everyone. Her friends and family remember that she was a good, kind, and lovely person. She had gentle humor and dry wit, which always left everyone in the room with a smile.
She was born in Lorain, Ohio on April 25, 1927. After graduating from Lorain High School in 1945, she was accepted into the Cadet Nurse Corps program at St. John’s School of Nursing in Cleveland, Ohio. Clare received her RN degree in 1948 and spent her entire nursing career at St. Joseph Hospital in Lorain, working in the Emergency Room, Recovery Room, and Utilization Review. She retired in 1988. Her classmates and coworkers described her as being a true leader and organized. Clare was true to her vocation and always ensured things were being done the right way.
Clare’s life was rooted in faith and family. She had a daily devotion to the rosary and the Divine Mercy chaplet. As a parishioner of St. Anthony of Padua in Lorain, Ohio, she was active in the Marian Guild, Cursillo, Parish Nursing, RCIA, weekly Scripture study, Pastoral Visitor, Extraordinary Eucharistic Ministry, and Eucharistic Adoration. In the community she also volunteered with hospice and the Adult Literacy Program.
Moving to Warrenton, VA in 2001, she joined St. John the Evangelist Parish and became active in The Legion of Mary, Eucharistic Adoration, and the Women of St. John’s. In 2016, she took up residence at the Little Sisters of the Poor in Washington, DC where she was able to attend Mass and receive Jesus in Holy Communion daily.
Clare’s large extended family in Lorain was very dear to her and never far from her heart. She and her sister, Margaret, began an annual Theobald reunion that lasted for 50 years. She was always game for new adventures when traveling to and with her children and great-grandchildren. Her travels took her to Wisconsin, Colorado, Idaho, Virginia, Georgia, Tennessee, California, Hawaii, Australia, Jerusalem, and Rome, Italy. Her love of life was evident and her passion rubbed off on everyone around her.
Clare will be deeply missed but leaves us with wonderful lasting memories. We know that God holds a special place for her in heaven, where we are sure she will continue her prayers for all of us.
The family will receive friends at Reidy-Scanlan-Giovannazzo Funeral Home & Cremation Services, 2150 Broadway, Lorain (440) 244-1961 on Friday, March 6, 2020 from 4:00 – 8:00 PM. Closing prayers will be held at the funeral home on Saturday at 10:20 AM. Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:00 AM, Saturday, March 7, 2020 at St. Anthony of Padua, 1305 E. Erie Avenue, Lorain, OH, Fr. Gerald J. Keller, officiating. Christian burial services will be held at Calvary Cemetery in Lorain, OH. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Little Sister of the Poor 4200 Harewood Rd. NE, Washington, DC 20017 or St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church Marian Guild, 1305 E. Erie Ave., Lorain, Ohio 44052. Online condolences and gifts of sympathy may be shared with the family by using www.rsgfuneralhome.com.
St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church Marian Guild
1305 E. Erie Avenue, Lorain OH 44052
Little Sister of the Poor
4200 Harewood Rd. NE, Washington DC 20017