Ward, Clara Mae 88, passed away Wednesday, August 11, 2010, after an ll-year battle with Alzheimer's Disease. Her beloved daughter, Janet, was at her side. Clara was born September 29, 1921, in Ada, Oklahoma, to Julia May and George Elliott Smith. She married the great love of her life, Carl Ray "Boots" Ward December 6, 1943, in Arizona, and they became proud pa rents on September II, 1952, in Dallas, when they adopted their only child, Janet Raye. Clara loved God, a good laugh, nature, hard work and honest people. Clara was a member of America's Greatest Generation, and after graduating from Hills Business College in Oklahoma City in 1941, she was recruited to Washington, D.C., as the executive assistant to Edward R. Stettinius, the head of the U.S. Office of Lend Lease Administration, a critical component of the eventual success of the Allies in World War II. After Ray's death in 1970, Clara assumed the presidency of the family business in Dallas, Tower Premium Servicing, Inc., which was the first auto insurance premium financing company in Texas. She retired in 1986. Clara was a successful businesswoman, a fiercely independent soul, and a devoted daughter, sister, wife, aunt, mother and friend. She was preceded in death by her parents; sisters Louise, Pauline and Thressa; and brother Walter. She is survived by her daughter, Janet Bradford; sisters Alice Warren and Frances Halstead; brother Fred Smith; and many beloved nieces and nephews. She will be sorely missed by all who knew her and benefited from her boundless generosity. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations in Clara Ward's name to the Alz-heimer's Disease Center, UT Southwestern, c/o Memory Unit Development Office, Dr. Myron Weiner, PO Box 91088, Dallas, TX 75391-0888. Funeral services and a celebration of Clara's life are at 2:00 p.m. Saturday, August 14, at Laurel Land Funeral Home in Dallas.
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Published in Dallas Morning News on Aug. 13, 2010