Clara M. Handel, 82, of Anamosa, died Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2018. at St. Luke’s Hospital, Cedar Rapids. A gathering to celebrate her life will be held Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2018, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Lawrence Community Center, Anamosa, where a service will begin at 7 p.m.

Clara Mae Pillard was born on May 16, 1936, in rural Jones County, the daughter of Emil and Thelma (Larson) Pillard. She graduated from Morley High School in 1954. On Sept. 8, 1956, she married Raymond William Handel. He died in 1977. She was a longtime member of St. Paul Lutheran Church, Anamosa. She was employed at Rockwell Collins in Anamosa and later worked at Ruffalo Cody’s, Senior Dining, Monti Produce, and did catering at the Shada Sale Barn.

Clara enjoyed cooking, entertaining, the holidays  - especially all the decorating, dancing, playing bingo, yodeling, her cat Whiskers, and above all else, her family – especially her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Those remembering her are her children, Pam (Vince Carter) Brink, Monticello, Renee Taylor, Anamosa, and Lance (Lori) Handel, Anamosa; grandchildren, Derek (Jessica) Handel, Dwight Handel, Molly (Ben) Swanson, Jamie (John) Houdek, Jessica (Rollie) Palmer, Janelle Speller, Jason (Emily) Spores, Aaron Handel, Chad Heskett, Preston (Abby) Taylor, Courtney (Keith) Taylor-McGowan, Blake Taylor Jr., Nicole Handel and Alex Kinion; 24 great-grandchildren with two on the way, one in March and one in May, siblings, Hank (Patricia) Pillard, Joliet, Ill., Priscilla (Richard) Dreibelbis, Waynesboro, Va., and Terry (Shelly) Pillard, Farmersville, Texas; a sister-in-law, Patricia Pillard, Breshears, Texas; several nieces and nephews, and her special friend, Tracy Nissen.

In addition to her husband and parents, she was preceded by a son Brian in 1995, a son-in-law Blake Taylor in May 2018, her brother Earl in 2012, an uncle Ray Larson and an aunt Grace Larson.

Clara’s family wishes to thank the staffs of St. Luke’s Hospital and St. Luke’s Hospice and Monticello Nursing and Rehabilitation. Drs. Kirk Kilburg and Michael Weston, Laila Payvandi and their staffs, and the Anamosa Ambulance Service. The care she received will always be remembered. A very special thank you to Heather, her activities director at Monticello Nursing and Rehabilitation.

Memorials may be directed to family. Thoughts, memories and condolences may be shared with the family at Goettschonline.com.

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