02/05/2018 - Modesto, CA, USA
Jun 10, 1926 - Feb 5, 2018
Clara Margaret (Ruiz) Azevedo passed away peacefully on February 5, 2018 at the age of 91 years.
She was born on June 10, 1926, in Ripon, California, to Spanish Basque immigrant farmers Urbano and Matea Ruiz. Clara was very proud of her Basque heritage and made many trips there to visit relatives with her children and grandchildren. She graduated from Ripon High School, and received a BA degree from College (now University) of the Pacific in 1947. Later in 1972 she earned her Masters Degree and Pupil Personnel Credential from CSU Stanislaus.
She married music teacher and school administrator Ernest Martin Azevedo of Modesto in 1949. Together they raised five loving children until Ernest's early death in 1980.
Clara taught many Spanish, PE and other classes from elementary through high school, and was a Counselor at Thomas Downey High School for twenty years before retiring.
A life-long learner, teacher and volunteer, Clara will be remembered for her high energy, generous personality and love of life.
She served as a Volunteer Lector and Eucharistic Minister at Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church. She was a member and past president of both the Modesto Counselors Association and Delta Kappa Gamma sorority. She loved her Moneytree Investment Club, Modesto Muni Golf Club, Retired Teachers Association, book club, travel groups, and volunteering at Gallo Center for the arts.
She was honored as Soroptimist of the Year in 1996, and Woman of the Year in Delta Kappa Gamma in 1998.
Until the last few months, Clara owned and managed part of the original family almond farm in Ripon started by her father.
Clara was preceded in death by husband Ernest, brother Ignacio Ruiz and sister Natividad (Ruiz) Luchessa. She is survived by five children: Dr. Alan Azevedo (Wendy) of Chico CA, Dr. Loren Azevedo (Linda) of Placerville CA, Dr. Stephen Azevedo (Kathleen) of Livermore CA, Ann Gould (Robert Gould) of London UK and Lynn Loewald (Tom Loewald) of North Easton MA. She was beloved and honored by many nieces and nephews, and by her 15 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren, who know her by the Basque name "Amatxi". They will all miss her loving smile and encouragement.
A visitation is scheduled from 5:00pm-8:00pm with a Vigil beginning at 6:00pm on Monday, February 12, 2018 at Franklin & Downs Funeral Home McHenry Chapel 1050 McHenry Avenue Modesto, CA. A funeral Mass will be at 10am on Tuesday, February 13, 2018 at Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church 505 W. Granger Ave Modesto, CA. Interment will follow at St. Stanislaus Catholic Cemetery on Scenic in Modesto at the conclusion of the Mass. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Clara's name to Community Hospice or The Stratford at Beyer Park Senior Living Facility.
(published in the Modesto Bee, Legacy.com from Feb. 10 to Feb. 11, 2018)