ISHPEMING, Mich. - Clara Joseph, age 87, of 223 W. Ridge St., Ishpeming, passed away on Thursday, January 10, 2013, at her home while in the loving care of her family and the Lake Superior Hospice.
Clara was born January 4, 1926, the daughter of the late Frank and Mary (Donato) Valela. Clara grew up in Ishpeming and graduated from the Ishpeming High School, Class of 1943. She married Lawrence "Nick" Joseph in 1946 and together they raised a family of 8 children. Clara and Nick began the Joseph's Grocery Store in 1948, in the building that is now Lawry's Pasty Shop west of Ishpeming. In 1953 they moved the business to Ishpeming, with subsequent moves in 1958 and 1963. Clara worked into her 70s, finally retiring in the mid 1990s.
Clara was a member of the St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church where she had served with the Altar Society, and was a longtime member of the ladies guild. She was a member of the Paisano Club, and had served on the Bell Hospital Auxiliary for several years. Clara loved to cook, especially her traditional Italian dinner on Sundays. Lunchtime would bring the presence of her grandchildren to her home during their school years, and it was through this she would keep up with all their activities. Clara could always be counted on during the annual St. Rocco's / St. Anthony's Italian Fest in Ishpeming. She will be remembered as a strong and faithful Christian.
Survivors include 8 children: Anne (Richard) Burke of Ishpeming, Nick (Judy) Joseph of Ishpeming, Larry (Violet) Joseph of LasVegas, Nev., Rosemary (Joe) Kozup of Hagerstown, Md., Patricia (Jim) Maki of Ishpeming, Susie (Paul) Belpedio of Ishpeming, Julie (Rich) Anderson of Ishpeming and Margaret (Mike) Beauchamp of Ishpeming; 3 sisters: Mary Jacobson, Teresa Bertucci and Catherine (Pete) Carlson, all of Ishpeming; brother-in-law, Sam (Joyce) Rich-ards of Ishpeming; 19 grandchildren: John (Susan) Burke, Rich (Tonya) Burke, Jim (Robyn) Burke, Mark (Kristine) Burke, Amy (Donald) Bone, Melissa (Scott) Corkin, Nick (Jackie) Joseph, Bradley (Becca) Joseph, David Joseph, Daniel (Jennifer) Maki, James J. Maki, Tony Belpedio, Mike (Lisa) Belpedio, Joe Belpedio, Eric Anderson, Kylee (Joel) Pelland, Peter (Alli) Beauchamp and Brady (Erin) Beauchamp; 29 great-grandchildren and 4 great-great-grandchildren, along with numerous nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Lawrence "Nick" Joseph, in 1971; a grandson Brian Joseph in 2005; along with two brothers Bruno and Joseph Valela.
The family will greet relatives and friends from 4 until 7 p.m. on Sunday, January 13, 2013, at the Bjork & Zhulkie Funeral Home, where a parish prayer service will be held at 7:00 p.m. Visitation will resume on Monday January 14, 2013, at the St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church from 9:30 to 11 a.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11:00 a.m. on Monday at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church with the Rev. Fr. Greg Heikkala to officiate. A luncheon will follow in the K-D Hall. Interment will take place at the Ishpeming Cemetery.
Pallbearers will be Clara's grandsons.
In lieu of flowers memorials may be directed to the St. John's Catholic Church Memorial Fund or the Ishpeming Booster Club.
Clara's obituary may also be viewed at www.bjorkandzhulkie.com where relatives and friends may leave a note of remembrance.