Clara Migden

12 entries
  • "Hedy, I am so sorry for your loss. You will be in our..."
    - Nancy Van Wormer
  • "Dr Migden, I am so sorry to hear about your mom. I will..."
    - Sharon McDonald
  • "Dear Hedy, My sister just told me today 1/16/2012 that your..."
  • "Hedy and Jake, So sorry to hear about the passing of your..."
    - Jeff Loomis
  • "Hedy, So sorry to read about your mom. I know she lived a..."
    - Barbara Potter
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Migden, Clara ALBANY Clara Migden, 94 died peacefully on Monday, January 9, 2012 at Our Lady of Mercy Life Center surrounded by those who loved her. Multiple illnesses including Parkinson's disease, breast cancer, and stroke never diminished her desire to go on living, in spite of her physical limitations. Those who knew and cared for her were continually inspired by the humility, wisdom, and grace with which she faced life's challenges and adversities. Clara was predeceased by her husband, Dr. Jacob I. Migden; her daughter, Paulette Migden; two sisters, Anne and Pearl, and a brother, William. She is survived by a daughter, Dr. Hedy Migden; grandchildren, Mollie A. McSparron, Dr. Jakob I. McSparron (Dr. Allison Schulman), and great-granddaughter, Maia. Born to Jacob and Mollie Nadel on the lower east side of New York City on November 11, 1917, Clara attended New York City public schools where she distinguished herself as an outstanding student and violinist, however circumstances prevented her from continuing her education following graduation from Newtown High School. At an early age, Clara assisted her father, after school, in his tailor shop. She became a skilled seamstress, and throughout her life, she enjoyed altering her children's and grandchildren's clothing; like everything else she did, it had to be perfect! Her father's untimely death while she was still in high school dashed her dreams of college and instead, she found employment as a bookkeeper in the garment industry, in order to support the family. On September 1, 1940, Clara married Jacob Migden, a recent emigre who was to lose his family in the holocaust. A native of Poland, Jacob earned his M.D. in France, however he arrived at Ellis Island without speaking English and without credentials to practice medicine in the U.S. Once again, Clara was destined to be the social, financial, and emotional support to her future husband, so that he could learn English, gain his citizenship, and eventually set up his medical practice on the lower east side. Following the birth of their first child, Dr. Migden enlisted in the Army Medical Corps. and Clara was again left to support the family. Their second child, Hedy, was born following Dr. Migden's military service and now Clara assisted her husband in the running of his practice, and at the same time, caring for her children and mother who resided with them. Those times were not easy, and yet the Migden's tiny apartment was always open to friends and relatives, with a pot of coffee on the stove and a tray of pastry on the table. During her children's growing-up years, Clara was actively involved in their schooling and activities, much of which she handled on her own, since her husband's practice consumed long hours, including nights, weekends, and emergencies at all hours. Clara never complained, in fact she was always proud of her family's accomplishments, happy to be the silent force, behind the scenes. Following the untimely death of her husband in 1977, Clara moved to Albany to be closer to her family. Nothing gave her greater joy than helping to care for, and "spoil" her grandchildren. In 1984, when her daughter made a career change to attend Albany Medical College, Clara played a pivotal role with her two young grandchildren, Mollie and Jakob. At the same time, she became an active participant and volunteer in the local Jewish community, enjoying travel, lectures, and the company of her many friends she met at AJCC. Even as her health started to decline, she remained active, while residing at Fountainview Assisted Living Community. Following a life-threatening illness six years ago, Clara required a higher level of care and moved to Our Lady of Mercy Life Center. Her family will be forever grateful for the compassionate and skilled care she received there from her entire "family" on the Lourdes Unit. Special thanks to Andrew Jennings, R.N., whose skill, compassion, humor, and Yiddish provided that extra measure of comfort; also to Dr. Peter Forman who truly understands and respects the complex needs of the elderly and infirm. Services will be at the Levine Memorial Chapel, 649 Washington Ave., Albany on Wednesday January 11, 2012 at 9 a.m. Interment will follow in the Beth David Cemetery in Elmont, N.Y. Memorial contributions in Clara's memory may be made to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, P.O. Box 7023, Albert Lea, MN 56007-8023, Our Lady of Mercy Life Center, Activities Dept., 2 Mercycare Lane, Guilderland, NY 12084 or the . For directions or to sign the online family guestbook, visit,
Published in Albany Times Union on Jan. 10, 2012
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