Clara Lineberry

July 3, 1930 - February 16, 2018

Service Date: February 22, 2018

Funeral Home Hidden Valley Funeral Homes

  • Visitation:1-2 pm, Thursday, February 22, 2018, at Hidden Valley Funeral Homes, Kearney, MO
  • Memorial Service: 2pm, Thursday, February 22, 2018, at Hidden Valley Funerals Homes, Kearney, MO

Clara J. Lineberry, 87, of Kearney, MO, passed away February 16, 2018, at her home.

Visitation will be 1-2 pm with Memorial Service to follow at 2 pm, Thursday, February 22, 2018, at Hidden Valley Funeral Homes, Kearney, MO.

“Life is a gift,” the saying goes. And the primary challenge of living is to figure out how our lives can serve as gifts to others.

Clara Lineberry nailed it.

She arrived in Fairmont City, IL, as Clara June Eaves, the middle child of six children, born to Caroline Harriet Eaves (Smith) and Harley Joseph Eaves – and she spent the next 87 years living a life that was basically Christmas for everyone who knew her. Here are just a few of the gifts Clara’s life gave to us:

The Gift of Family

Clara married her (late) husband Gene (to whom she was known as “CJ”) in East St. Louis, IL, on October 15, 1949, and together with him built a family chock full of love, generosity and kindness: children Debe Grantham, Russ Lineberry (Joni) , Barb Johnson (Scott-deceased), and grandchildren Carey Jamison (Jason) , Jake Grantham (Kendra) , Matt Tschirhart (Chandra) , Chelsea Gesler (Josh), Rachel Johnson (Nick) Samantha Johnson, Anna Hewitt (Lane), Amber Bunker (Tyler), Mollie Bearly (Jake), and Tanner Lineberry (Halee). Her incredible spirit and capacity for love is reflected in every single one of them, as well as in her 12 great-grandchildren, two great-great grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews. (That’s a lot of love – but she set an incredibly strong example.) In addition, she touched the lives of many close friends and neighbors, and her Beta Sigma Phi Sorority (Preceptor Epsilon Nu Chapter).

The Gift of Fun . . . and Food

Clara knew how to bring the fun. Whether hosting family gatherings in her home (she was famous for her veggie dip and cranberry sauce in particular), spearheading camping adventures with friends, or bankrolling family dinners at Fritz’s Railroad Restaurant, Clara could make even the most ordinary day a small celebration. Her daughters remember the fresh flowers she placed in their bedrooms every Saturday while they were growing up, and she could be counted on to add a little magic to occasions big (weddings, graduations, and births), medium (birthdays and anniversaries) and small (first days of school) with her sweet acknowledgments — which, because of her love of sewing and quilting, often came in the form of the amazing quilts she bestowed upon the luckiest among us. She floored us all with the energy she put into creating and sharing the good things, so it’s only fitting that the last food she tasted in this life was cake.

Just the Right Amount of Sass

Once upon a time, Clara was asked to provide marriage advice to a newlywed bride. She didn’t hesitate: “Pretend to agree with him,” she said, “and then do whatever you want.” It was that kind of attitude that helped her navigate 65 years living with her husband, beat breast cancer at age 79, and complete a 5K at age 82 (receiving a medal for her age group). It’s fair to say she wasn’t much for being told what she couldn’t do.

But one thing she did better than anyone was to love the heck out of all of us. There’s no better gift than that.

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