ROCKY FORD, COLO. - Clara Mae Irvin, age 87, was born April 28, 1932 and passed peacefully away January 25, 2020 at Lifecare Center of Greeley surrounded by loving family members and caring staff.

Clara and her devoted husband Melvin who affectionately called her “Shug” moved to Greeley, Colorado in November, 2017. Prior to that they lived in Rocky Ford, Colorado for 53 years. They were lovingly married partners for 53 years.

Clara was born in St. Joseph, Missouri to Ray Franklin and Mary Catherine Smith. She had a younger brother (Gerald). At the age of six weeks Clara and her parents moved to Colorado during the Great Depression in order for the family to find work. She lived in Eads, Chivington, Boone, Wiley, and McClave, Colorado and finally in Las Animas, Colorado where her parents operated a gas station for many years. Clara graduated from Las Animas High School in 1950. She took Distributive Education and worked for Western Union before and after graduating High School.

Clara met the love of her life while working at the Main Cafe restaurant in Lamar, Colorado where she was known as “Red” due to her beautiful red hair. She spent much of her working life as a waitress and worked at the El Capitan and the Elks Lodge in Rocky Ford, Colorado for many years until retiring.

Clara was fun loving, playful, teasing and a wonderful wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother, mother in law, daughter in law, aunt, and friend. One of her proudest achievements was the raising of her children and talking to others about their successes. She was always concerned with helping others less fortunate than herself. Clara had a very strong faith which never wavered. She was a member of St. Anne’s Catholic Circle. She loved to read, sing, dance, and play “Hand and Foot” a card game she enjoyed to the end of life. Music was a solace to Clara after losing her vision to macular degeneration. She never complained about this loss and regularly attended Occuvite meetings for the visually impaired.

Clara will be sorely missed by her family and those who were fortunate to know her. She is survived by her husband Melvin Irvin of Greeley, Colorado; her daughter Cathy Frantz(Dan) and granddaughter Caitlin Frantz; her daughter Debra Leroy (Bob), granddaughter Brandy Forte and great granddaughter Natasha Meader; her son Steve Irvin (Kathy)and grandchildren Bradley Irvin(Emily) and great grandchildren (Lyla and Lincoln); Kayelani Irvin; Brevin Irvin(Reagan); and her son Michael Irvin(Colleen) and grandchildren Riley and Sean Irvin.

She is preceded in death by her parents and her younger brother Gerald.

A viewing will be held at Ford - Ustick Funeral Home from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday February 4th. A Rosary will be recited on Wednesday, February 5, at 10 a.m. with the Mass of Christian Burial to follow at 10:30 a.m. both at the St. Peter's Catholic Church in Rocky Ford, CO. Interment will follow at Hillcrest Cemetery in Rocky Ford, Colorado. Condolences may be sent to Ford - Ustick in care of Clara Irvin memorial or at their online website www.fordustick.com. Donations may be made to a charity of choice in memorial of Clara.