Gladys (Clairene) Richards Hood passed away July 12, 2014 at the Summitview Health Care Center. Clairene was born Oct. 3, 1928 to Elwood and Ethel Richards (Smith) in Bethune, Colo. At the age of six she and her family moved to the Yakima Valley, settling in the Toppenish area. The family later moved to Idaho and finally to Grandview.
Clairene worked in the Grandview library and the canneries while going to school. Both of these experiences helped her in her adult life as a business woman and community volunteer. She graduated from Grandview High School in 1946.
While working in the canneries in her late teens she met the love of her life, Robert Hood. Bob and Clairene were married Oct. 7, 1946 in Seattle. The following summer they opened the Sunnyside Custom Cannery, which they operated together until 1982. The cannery offered people throughout the valley the opportunity to can their own vegetables, fruits, meat and even water. The cannery burnt to the ground in December of 1976. The cannery was rebuilt and open again that following summer. They also developed a commercial pack that included pickled asparagus. The recipe was sold with the cannery and is still produced today by Johnson Foods in Sunnyside.
After retiring in 1982, Clairene and Bob traveled the United States in their motor home. Many times they would travel east as far as Nova Scotia, south to Florida, and back west to Arizona, settling in Yuma for the winter. They settled permanently in Yuma until 2002.
While living in Yuma, Clairene volunteered at the Yuma Medical Center and the newcomers group. She always liked to help others and put her years of experience as a businesswoman to good use.
Because of Bob’s health, Clairene decided that it was time to move back to Yakima in 2002. After 56 years of marriage, Bob passed away in August of 2002.
For the past 12 years Clairene has continued her volunteer work at the Harman Center in Yakima. She worked two days a week answering the telephone at the front desk. While there she organized the collection of school supplies for children unable to purchase their own, hotel shampoos, etc. that were passed on to the Zonta Club of Yakima Valley and then passed to various organizations that help women in need, aluminum can tabs which are donated to Eastern Star to benefit the Ronald McDonald House in Spokane and finally the Toys for Tots barrel at Christmas time.
Clairene loved to play bridge and throughout her life played with many different groups. There was her weekly bridge group, monthly bridge group and, of course, the Saturday night couples bridge group. Even while living at Wynwood Assisted Living she was able to organize a table of bridge for Wednesday night.
Mom loved to travel. She traveled through books and magazines as well as actually visiting Russia, South America, Africa, Europe and parts of Asia. She and Dad also traveled to Canada, Mexico and every state in the union with their motor home.
In May 2013 Mom was diagnosed with ALS, commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. This last year has been a very difficult journey. This horrible disease took away her ability to walk, communicate, her independence and finally her ability to breathe. Through this journey she remained strong willed, stubborn and persistent. She never let ALS get the better of her.
Clairene is survived by three daughters, Candi Broadfoot (John) of Selah, Claudia Omta (Mike) of Mesa, Ariz. and Penni Howell of Union Gap; six grandchildren, Stacey and Scott Padgett of Arizona, Charles and Charli Broadfoot of Sammamish, Jennifer and Cory Sanderson of Yakima, Scott and Heather Omta,of Mesa, Stuart and Jessica Howell of Hermiston, Ore. and Cameron and Holly Howell of Cowiche; six great-grandsons, two great-granddaughters and one on the way. She is also survived by her brother and sister-in-law, Earl and Evelyn Richards of Temple, Texas, brother-in-law Jerry Frank of Grandview; nieces Denise Stafford and Diane Kendall, both of the Tri-Cities, Sammy Davis of Temple; and nephew David Sexton of Houston, Texas.
Mom is preceded in death by her parents, her husband Bob Hood and sister Karma Frank.
Words cannot express our thanks to Beth and Julie of Memorial Hospice and the many volunteers that helped deliver her medications, helped with her bathing or visited her, the staff of Summitview Health Care Center, and Jamie of Wynwood Assisted Living. Also thank you to the lay ministers of St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church for their many visits, flowers and bringing communion to her. Also thank you to those that took the time to visit Mom and, last but not least, Lisa of the local ALS organization for all of her encouragement.
Services will be held 10 a.m. Wednesday July 16, 2014 at St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church, Yakima. Memorials can be made to Memorial Hospice, Yakima, the ALS (Lou Gehrig’s) Evergreen Chapter of WA, St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church or the charity of your choice.
In lieu of flowers we ask that donations of a new unwrapped toy for Toys for Tots, toiletries for the YWCA, or school supplies for local schools be brought to the memorial service.
Arrangements in care of Valley Hills Funeral Home.