M. Nanon Clare
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logan - Nanon Clare was born and raised on a farm 10 miles south of Sublette, Kan.; June 16, 1933, to Raymond L. Bird and Mildred L. (Black) Bird. She had three brothers: Randall, Julian Lee (who died when he was 2 years old) and Donald Neil. She graduated valedictorian of her high school class and went to Southwestern College, where she majored in speech, drama and English. She graduated with honors.
While she was at Southwestern she met her future husband, Dale Lee Clare, and they were married on June 19, 1955, in the United Methodist Church in Sublette.
Dale and Nanon went back East in August 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. While there, their first two daughters, Lisa Jolene and Lori Lee, were born. In 1958 they moved out on the top of Long Island to the town of East Hampton, New York, where Dale had his first full-time church. Linda Diane, their third daughter, was born there.
In 1960 Dale received a commission as Chaplain in the Navy, and the family moved to California for four years. When Dale left the Navy, they moved to Minneola, Kan., where they lived in the United Methodist parsonage for 10 years. Nanon taught high school speech and drams, directed plays, coached debate and forensics, beginning a career that she absolutely loved.
In 1975 the family moved to Oberlin, and Nanon took a job teaching speech and English in Atwood, Kan. She loved the school there so much that she stayed there until they moved to Scott City, even when a job opened in Oberlin.
In 1984 Dale accepted the call to become pastor of Scott City United Methodist Church. Nanon taught advanced placement English and senior English and helped with the drama department at the high school. She retired from teaching when they moved to Johnson, Kan., but she continued directing plays and helping with the drama classes in the Stanton County High School.
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 - even in church.
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 three daughters, Dr. Lisa Jolene Clare of Salem, Conn., Lori and Kerry Cross of Helena, Mont. and Linda Clare of Providence, Utah; and two grandchildren, Molly and Eli Clare, Providence, Utah. Melody, Gary and Landon Head are her special family as well as many nieces and nephews.
A Service of Witness to the Resurrection will be held on Friday, Nov. 1, at 10 a.m. at the First Presbyterian Church of Logan, 178 W. Center St., Logan, UT, 84321. An informal reception will follow at the church.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to First Presbyterian Church of Logan in memory of Nanon Clare.
Published in Logan Herald Journal from Oct. 26 to Oct. 27, 2013