Clara Hirose
1931 - 2020
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Hirose, Clara
Feb.17, 1931 - Aug. 2, 2020

Clara Reiko Shindo Hirose, 89, believed good recipes and good food should be shared. Recipes should never be family secrets. Once single-handedly, she whipped up some 20 courses after taking a class on authentic Chinese cooking. Her cookbooks are filled with hand-written notes: V.G. (very good). Made for Hidi on Valentine's Day 2014. Next time, less salt.
She nourished her family. Her husband of nearly 66 years, Hideo Hirose, M.D. doesn't know what he will do without her. Her children Lorie Hirose (Michael Simon), Melissa Hirose Wong, Ph.D. (Peter H. Wong), Scott Hirose, PsyD (Timothy Sullivan), Christopher Hirose, M.D. (Takako), and grandchildren Sarah Simon, Sydney Simon, Emily Wong, Zoë Wong, Andrew Wong and Madeleine Hirose will strive to carry on her legacy. She is also survived by her brother Richard Shindo (Elene) and dozens of nieces and nephews.
She was driven to perfection. Named Manual High School's Class of 1948 Valedictorian, she ranked higher than her future husband. A home economics major and education minor at the University of Denver, she graduated Phi Beta Kappa. She sewed couture clothing, a polka dot swing dress for her three-year-old of silk organza, a fabric remnant from her bridesmaid dresses. She knitted dozens of baby booties, wool-felted slippers in rainbow colors for friends and family, and blankets for babies with HIV/AIDS. She showed her grandchildren how to knit on spools and nails. She excelled at everything but was poor at self-promotion. Her defining characteristic was "quiet excellence."
She taught first grade at Ellis and Wyatt Elementary Schools in the Denver Public School system and English to the Vietnamese in Vietnam. She expected her children and grandchildren to excel. She believed that education was the key to the future.
She was strong and determined. At the age of ten, her family was ripped from their home in Los Angeles, California. They spent three and a half years behind barbed wire, imprisoned in a relocation camp in Poston, Arizona. Their crime: looking like the enemy. She never dwelled on that experience. Instead, it fueled her passion to learn, teach, create and nourish. We are so blessed she was our wife, mother, grandmother and friend.
We are planning a post-pandemic celebration of life, when we can hug each other and share sweet memories. Until then, if you would like to share a memory, please post to our page: https://clarahirose.wixsite.com/home


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Published in Denver Post on Aug. 9, 2020.
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