Surrounded by family, Clare Howe went home to be with the Lord on Sunday, April 30, 2017, in Keizer, Oregon. The daughter of Paul and Martha Hejmanowski, Clare was born in Chicago, Illinois, in 1927. She had one sister and four brothers.
Following high school, Clare attended nursing school and enjoyed a long and varied career; taking time out to be with her children full time in their younger years. Early in her career she worked as a polio nurse in Texas and as a nurse-stewardess for the railroads on Chicago, Miami, and New Orleans runs. Clare married Harold Billmeyer in 1951. Together they had three children, Jan Weeks of Keizer, OR, Peg Jensen (Dennis) of Blackfoot, Idaho, and Russ Billmeyer of Coos Bay, Oregon. The family moved to Roseburg, Oregon, in 1966. Clare worked as an RN in the recovery room at Douglas Community hospital. She then moved on to the VA Hospital and was a head nurse on medical surgical ward.
Harold preceded Clare in death in 1988. In 2000, Clare married Bob Howe. The two enjoyed a number of years together in Umpqua, Oregon, before moving to Keizer, Oregon, to be closer to family. Clare was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease shortly after moving to Keizer. Bob's love and devotion to her were evident through the tender care he provided her until the time of his passing in August of 2016. Clare's family is grateful not only for Bob's role supporting her during her struggle with Alzheimer’s, but also for the care she received at Sweet Bye n' Bye and The Arbor--Keizer area long term care facilities. Clare spent the last six months of her life living at the home of her grandson, Ben McCormack.
Ben and his wife, Heather, had the experience to take care of her physical needs and bring her the joy of being continually surrounded by family life. They were supported by the amazing staff at Willamette Valley Hospice, who offered the guidance and resources to keep Clare comfortable as her journey came to its end.
Clare is survived by her three children; seven grandchildren; and twelve great-grandchildren.
She has asked that there be no services, but that immediate family celebrate her life together privately. In place of flowers, please consider making contributions to Alzheimer's research or support groups.