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Clare Celeste Holkestad (nee Gearheart) died peacefully 1-12-2021 at the age of 94.
Born in Minden, Iowa, 7-31-1926, she moved with her family during the depression to Temple City, CA. After two years at Santa Barbara college Clare received an emergency teaching credential during the post WWII baby boom, taking on a 5th grade class of more than 40 students. She was a member of the Order of Eastern Star in Temple City. Married to Ernest Holkestad in 1950, they moved with their children to Arcadia in 1956. She actively supported her girls in Girl Scouts, Camp Fire Girls and the International Order of Rainbow for girls.
Clare loved words, filling private journals with poetry, prayers, observations and commentary. She also kept up a life-long written correspondence with family and friends. Clare was a homemaker and avid gardener, an amateur photographer, and bird lover. Clare took on the role of caregiver for family members throughout her life, especially taking care of her mother, Wilma Stuhr Gearheart, who developed dementia.
After her husband’s stroke, she faithfully cared for him in their home for more than 15 years. They sold their home in 1996 and moved to Colton, WA to be close to daughter Jaynie and family. Clare and Ernie were members of Concordia Lutheran Church in Pullman, WA. They loved the Palouse region and Clare took beautiful photographs of the area. Following Ernie’s death, and with the help of her two daughters—and a memorable cross-country road trip—Clare moved to Mankato, MN in 2015. She lived first in senior living, then with daughter Cathy and her husband, eventually moving into memory care toward the end of 2019.
Clare is preceded in death by her parents, Fred and Wilma Gearheart; her brother, Denis Gearheart, and her son-in-law, Kevin Casey. She is survived by her daughter Cathy and son-in-law Randy Pemberton of Mankato; daughter Jaynie Casey of Mankato; granddaughter Michelle Pemberton Erne of Winterthur, Switzerland; granddaughter Kate Casey Anfinson of Santa Rosa, CA; granddaughter Laura Pemberton Botkin of Moscow, ID; granddaughter Krystanne Colleen Casey of Seattle, WA; grandson David Charles Pemberton of Moscow, ID, and her six great-granddaughters and one great-grandson.
Daughters Cathy Pemberton and Jaynie Casey extend heartfelt appreciation to Mayo Hospice and the memory care team of New Perspective for their care. Family service in Mankato; burial in Neola, Iowa. Condolences care of www.mankatomortuary.com.
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