Clara Ann (Sander) Heath passed away on Tuesday, April 6 after a brief illness. She leaves a legacy of family, farming and love. She will be fondly missed by all who knew her.
Clara was born in Randolph County to William P. and Anna (Battles) Sander on July 2, 1936. On September 5, 1960 she married Arthur Ray Heath. Together they raised four children on their farm in southern Randolph County. Their children are Mike and Paula Heath of Moberly, Matt and Gayle Heath of Monett MO, Pat Heath of Lenzburg IL, and Jill and Kevin Huntsman of St. Joseph MO. They have 14 grandchildren: Steven Heath, Samantha (Andy) Rowland, Chase Heath (Lisa Kubik), Justin (Katie) Crabtree, Ashleigh (Corey) Hack, Grant Heath, Grayson Heath (Sydney Urback), Ellie Heath (Brandon Harris), Chelsea (Adam) Berendzen, Gabrielle (Alex) Lloyd-Ahlefeld, Lynsie Dailey (Matt Boeding), Carson Heath, Alex Huntsman (Emily Filley) and Anna Huntsman (Carson Stewart). They have 9 great-grandchildren. Eli and Liam Berendzen, Layla Lloyd-Ahlefeld, Gage Huntsman, Alissa Crabtree, Gannon and Adalie Hack, and Heath and Milton Rowland.
Clara was preceded in death by her parents and her three brothers, Anthony, Martin and Lawrence Sander.
Clara and Arthur Ray spent countless hours on the farm working together. When the boys were little, they played at the end of the field while Clara made laps working ground. Many stories have been retold in the last few days. Clara and Arthur Ray took seed corn trips to Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Hawaii, a cruise, and loved to travel. They owned a camper for over 45 years (and still do) and enjoyed the Missouri State Fair, and family camping trips. Clara and Arthur Ray drove the school bus for Clark and St. Pius X Catholic School over the years. Clara worked as a classroom aide at St. Pius X School until she retired to be home full time with Arthur and work their business, Heath Tax Service, as she was doing the day before she entered the hospital.
The road was not always easy, and Arthur Ray and Clara gave each other strength and love when they lost their home and everything in it to a fire in 2012. Clara often remembered some piece of her life that was no longer there, and swiftly countered that people, not things were what mattered. They gradually found a new home, just south of Moberly, and have made it theirs.
Clara was a wonderful mother and grandmother, and no one left her kitchen hungry. She offered food as love and did it well. She took food to the field if she was not in the field, and was never invited to a meal that she did not offer to bring a dish. She loved being part of the funeral meal service at St. Pius X. She had a list of “never be without” pantry staples so she could whip up or “zap” something in the microwave in a hurry! Her family has wonderful memories of these favorites: cinnamon toast, rhubarb, baked apples, scalloped oysters, liver and onions and Jerusalem pudding. It was noted by her grandchildren, that while it had nothing to do with her baking skills, she was also known to give the best backrubs ever!
Clara showed her children by example how to love God and neighbor. Her St. Pius X faith community, including their 50-year Prayer group spent many hours discerning, praying together and being a support system to each other. Their prayer group has experienced loss of loved ones, and will continue to support Arthur Ray in the weeks ahead. She dearly missed attending Mass during Covid, and had recently been overjoyed to be able to attend in person again.
Services are entrusted to the care of Pathway Memorial Funeral home with visitation on Sunday, April 11, 2021 from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., preceded by a prayer service beginning at 3:00 p.m. We will celebrate Clara’s life with a funeral Mass at St. Pius X Catholic Church at 11:00 AM on Monday, April 12, 2021.
Memorial contributions in Clara’s honor are suggested to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, c/o Memorials Processing, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105-9959 or to St. Vincent de Paul (for the needy of Randolph County), c/o St. Pius X Catholic Church, 209 S. Williams, Moberly, MO 65270
The family respectfully requests that you social distance and wear a mask for the safety of your fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. Your thoughtfulness is very much appreciated.