Clara Jean Hanline, 86, of Onawa, Iowa passed away Wednesday, December 16, 2020 at Burgess Health Center, Onawa, Iowa.
A funeral service will be 10:30 A.M. Tuesday, December 22, 2020 at the Rush Family Chapel, Onawa, Iowa with Lay Servant Anthony Bainbridge officiating. (Social distancing measures must be followed-Due to Covid- 19 restrictions- Masks are required.) Burial will follow in the Whiting City Cemetery, Whiting, Iowa. Visitation will be 5:00 – 6:00 P.M. Monday, December 21, 2020 at the Rush Family Chapel, Onawa, Iowa. Arrangements are under the direction of Rush Family Care Service, Onawa, Iowa.
Clara Jean was born August 3, 1934 in Diagonal, Iowa the daughter of Andrew William and Cora Alice (Kirkman) O’Neal. Clara grew up on a farm near Whiting. After graduating from high school in Whiting, Iowa she went to what was then Iowa State Teacher's College, now the University of Northern Iowa. She later got a bachelor’s degree from Colorado State and her masters from San Diego State University.
She taught one year in Castana, Iowa and two years in Bellevue, Nebraska. She then went on to teach in San Diego, California. Clara taught reading skills to students for 45 years. During that time, she taught grades kindergarten through sixth but Clara said she preferred the younger students and taught kindergarten for the last 21 years of her career. Her teaching skills were recognized in 1980 when she was awarded the Teacher of the Year in the San Diego Public Schools. Her love of reading led her to writing, and three poems were published in a publication called, 'Famous Poets Society.' While in California, Clara also had several articles published in the San Diego Union Tribune.
Clara retired from teaching in 2001 and returned to home in Onawa, Iowa. After returning to Onawa, Clara heard about the preschool reading program at the library and decided she wanted to be a part of that. She loved to read and read to many children over the years. She was a supporter of all things especially the reading and book program.
Clara enjoyed baking and cooking. She made lots of cookies over the years for the many visitations and funerals at Rush Family Care Service. She was known as “The Cookie Lady”. Everyone enjoyed her cookies and all the love Clara gave others through this type of ministry.
Clara loved traveling around the world. She visited many places and knew many cultures. She enjoyed making new friends. Clara also was a volunteer at Burgess Health Center, Onawa Public Library, and West Monona Schools. She always had a smile on her face and was very caring. She was a talented bright shining light in this world for many children, friends, and family.
Clara was a member of the California Teachers Association. She was also a member of the Onawa United Methodist Church in Onawa, Iowa.
Survivors include her sister, Doris (Ron “Bill”) Davis of Onawa, Iowa; her nieces and nephews, Dennis (Amy) O’Neal of Whiting, Iowa, Kim Boisen of Whiting, Iowa, Kristy (Paul) Blake of Topeka, Kansas, Karyn (Jeff) Berres of Denver, Colorado, Kysa Krohnke of Pisgah, Iowa, Adam (Peggy) Davis of Blencoe, Iowa, and Todd Davis of Onawa, Iowa; and many great-nieces and great-nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Andrew and Cora (Kirkman) O’Neal; her brother, Andrew “Bud” (Patricia O’Neal); nephew, Jeffrey L. O’Neal; and good friend, Mary Miltenberger.
Condolences may be left online for the family at www.rushfamilycareservice.com
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