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Clara Lavena (Utz) Hetrick

April 11, 1932 ~ February 19, 2021 (age 88)

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Tears fall for a reason and they are your strength not your weakness - Charlie Mackesy

When my body won't hold me anymoreAnd it finally lets me free, Will I be ready?

Clara Lavena Utz Hetrick , a loving wife, mother, grandmother and great grandmother, passed away in her home on February 19 2021. Clara was preceded in death by her childhood sweetheart and husband of 59 years Jack Hetrick, her brother Charles Raymond Utz and her sister Catherine Gray. Clara was born in 1932 on a small family farm in western Pennsylvania where she was happy to be the “outside” daughter because she got to drive the tractor. After Jack returned from the service they built ahouse on a small parcel of the farm and raised their 2 daughters there while contributing much to their community and vast family.In 1981 Clara and Jack embarked on a new adventure here in Claudville Virginia, buying 70 acres of raw land and turning it into the lovely retreat that it is now. Clara and Jack both quickly took to their new community, joining the Asbury Presbyterian Church where she and Jack sang in the choir and made many friends. They joined the Red Bank Ruritans where she enjoyed fundraising at the Kibler Valley River Run, the Autumn Leaves Festival and making the 1200 or so chocolate easter eggs that they sell each year. She worked at the Westfield Medical Clinic for many years , meeting more members of their community. Clara helped her daughter Patricia in her business Tall Toad Hats, pricinghats, doing inventory, anything she could do to help that didn't include the hot glue gun. Clara and Jackwere members of the Happy Tracks square dancing group hosted by Fred Martin in Stuart and they danced at many festivals, nursing homes, conventions and on a cruise ship for Jack and Clara's 50thwedding anniversay. 48 people joined them on that cruise to celebrate their life together and they enjoyed talking to the newlyweds on board about how to spread and keep love. Clara got her CDL when she was about 50 joining Jack for cross country trucking. She would get behind the wheel of 60,000 pounds of Haagen Das so she could spend time with their grandchildren in CA. It was not unusual for grandma to pick them up at daycare and it wasn't until they got older that they realized just how far away Virginia was. She loved to play games of all kinds, playing whatever was right at the time whichincluded endless Candyland marathons or sneaky math games like 99.Clara was loving, compassionate, supportive and above all kind. She loved life, travel, people of all ages, and by wanting the best for everyone and doing her part to make that happen she encouraged others to do their best and be their best. She received so many cards, emails and expressions of love from friends and family before she died that she said it was just like a living funeral. It was so wonderful for her to hear those things while she was alive. She was ready to go.We will all miss her so much but the part of her light that lives in us is burning brighter and our hearts are filled with her love.Surviving are her brother John Utz (Jeanne) of Valencia PA, her brother in law Stanley Gray of Melbourne FL, her sister in law Donna Lees of Harrisville PA, her daughters Barbara Sances of Claudville, Patricia Hetrick( Stephen Hoskins) her grandchildren, Sam Sances (Amy), Hudson Sances,Lena Sances and Ryck Hoskins (Brooke) and her great grandchildren, Dylan Hoskins, Hunter Bowman, Naveyah Hoskins, Shayla Hoskins and Jack Carter Sances, Mom's extended family includes too many to count, multiple generations who have enjoyed her company in many states across the country.
We are so grateful to Mountain Valley Hospice for their help in keeping her comfortable in her own home to the end. We encourage all who want to honor her memory to donate time or money to any group who helps others and remember that we all have the power to make the world a brighter place. Celebrations of life will be held at our lake in Claudville and in PA when it is warmer and hopefully safer for us to be together.

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