MADISON – Clara Sweet, age 99, died on Thursday, July 3, 2014 surrounded by her family.
She was born in Milwaukee, WI on January 27, 1915, the daughter of Isaac and Celia Cohen. She was married to Leonard A. Sweet on May 28, 1939. Following her marriage, Clara and Leonard lived in Milwaukee before settling in Madison in 1946.
Clara and Leonard were charter members of Beth Israel Center, where she was the oldest surviving charter member. She received her BA Degree in 1936 with a major in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. After graduating she did volunteer work for Jewish Social Services and later graduated with honors from the Spencerian Business School.
She served as Vice President and President of the Beth Israel Sisterhood. After her tenure, she went to work at the U.W. School of Ag and later became the administrative assistant to the Nursing School dean. She retired in 1974.
Leonard and Clara loved to travel and went to Israel and Europe twice (1964, 1985). They also lived at Century Village in Florida, where Clara was a member of Richard Simmons’ Silver Foxes nationally distributed exercise video. She was an active member of Lechayim and presented her life’s story at the Madison Jewish Day School. She loved cooking (the best bulchas), and gardening, dancing and took no prisoners when playing gin rummy.
Clara is survived by her 2 sons, Roger (Gail), and Kenneth (Pat); grandchildren, Rob (Ania), Ann; 3 great-grandchildren, Cody, Zoe, and Chris; her sister in law, Phyllis; and many nieces and nephews. She was precede in death by parents; 3 brothers and their wives, Joe (Roz), Al (Tillie), Ben (Gertrude); her sister Sydelle; and 3 brothers in law, Sylvan (Edith), Milton (Evelyn), Sidney (Shirley).
Funeral Service will be held on Sunday, July 6, 2014, at 10 am at Cress Funeral Home, 3610 Speedway Rd., Madison, with Rabbi Joshua Ben-Gideon presiding. Interment to follow at Forest Hill Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Jewish Social Services or Beth Israel Center. Their community support contributed to Clara’s long life. Special thanks to Tom and Deborah Kaufman, Greg Sessler and Dale Kaufman and Karen Miller for being the “boots on the ground”.
Mom, you gave the Ever Ready Bunny a run for its money. Shalom.
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