Obituary: Mary Virginia Clare (Wegrzyn)

On April 7, Mary Virginia “Mimi” Clare (Wegrzyn), age 86, completed her life as a loving mother, nurturing teacher, therapist and a seeker. She died surrounded by family at Mount Miguel Covenant Village in Spring Valley, Calif.

Mary Virginia Clare was born Aug. 4, 1926 in Bronx, N.Y. to John Clare II, oldest of 12 and Alene (Howard) Clare, who raised her four siblings, as well as her children “Mimi,” Jeanne (Clare) Feron and brother Jack Clare, creating a bustling household, in Flushing, N.Y. She graduated Bayside High School as a brilliant 16-year-old.

She is survived by her sister and four children, sons Jay and Victor and daughters Kate and Dory — all Wegrzyns — seven grandchildren, nine great grandchildren and many loved relatives, “Mimi” was preceded in death by husband Stanley Wegrzyn in 1993, son Larry in 2005, and brother Jack Clare in 2012.

Mimi’s first marriage was to Charles Somers, raising son, Jay Charles. She married a second time to Stanley Wegrzyn. Together they raised five children, Jay, Victor, Kate, Dory and Larry in Bound Brook, N.J. While raising her children, Mimi graduated from Newark State College with a bachelor’s degree in education. From 1963 to 1972, she taught kindergarten and first grade in Bound Brook and Somerville schools.

In 1972, the family moved to Denver. She joined Mountain View Friends, and served the NOW Speaker’s Bureau from 1973 to 1978 and founded the Grief Education Institute in 1975. In 1981, southern California became home. She graduated from the University of California San Diego in 1983 with master’s in counseling. In 1988, she became a licensed therapist in marriage and family, child counseling. Her life’s work as a humanitarian included the rights of women, children and the underprivileged. Her passions included poetry, dancing, sailing and genealogy.

Mary Virginia Clare will be remembered for her immanent love of life and her indomitable spirit. A celebration of her life will be held at the home of Jay and Cathie Wegrzyn in La Jolla, Calif. on June 22, 2013. The gathering will take place from 12-3 p.m. In lieu of flowers, please send contributions to the Friends Committee on Legislation Re: Mentally Ill Offender Program via their website at fclca.org.

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