Clara Gene (Whatley) Spear (Toots) has crossed the bridge into heaven where she will join her husband, David Spear (Speedy) and her son, Sam Spear. She was born October 7, 1919, and deceased June 28, 2019. She was 99 years young. As a descendant of 19th century Palo Pinto county pioneers, she lived most of her life in the Mineral Wells, Texas, area, spending the last 10 of her years in Alvin, Texas, a community south of Houston. Clara and David made their home in Salesville for many years. They were married for 72 years before he passed away in 2012. She will lie eternally next to David at the Indian Creek cemetery just west of Mineral Wells.
Clara is survived by a son and two daughters: David Spear of San Diego California, Veecee Spear of Elgin, Texas, and Bette Robertson of Alvin, Texas. Her four children expanded the immediate family with 25 grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren. She was the fourth of six children born to Samuel Q. and Verna (Tompkins) Whatley of Mineral Wells, Texas. All but one of her siblings, a sister, Patti (Whatley) McQueary of Phoenix, Arizona, preceded her to eternity with our Lord. The Whatley family grew up on a farm west of Mineral Wells on the east side of the Brazos River. The Indian Creek cemetery is just across Highway 180 from their farm. This was the farm of Clara’s grandparents, George Washington and Mary Elisabeth (Price) Whatley. They settled on this spot just after the Civil War, coming from Fayette County, Georgia. Clara is a graduate of Mineral Wells High School, class of 1938.
Her life was centered on the love and caring of others. This was not only family but her friends and neighbors. Anyone that needed some help could depend on Clara to be there with a tasty dish, a smile, an open heart and likely a joke or two. Her energy and positive attitude was always there, even as she reached her nineties. A visit to the doctor’s office would likely include a basket of freshly baked cookies or brownies to be enjoyed by all. In her senior years she became a self-made stand-up comic, performing her talents whenever a crowd of friends or family assembled. At the Whatley Reunion of 2014, at a waterfront hotel in San Diego, California, she entertained the family with a stand-up comic routine in the hotel lobby. A sizable crowd of other hotel guests, as they passed by, stopped to enjoy her jokes.
Clara was a devoted member of Sagemont Church. She made her profession of faith at the age of 10 and she continued her Christian witness throughout her life as a Sunday School and Training Union teacher, Vacation Bible School teacher and church clerk. Clara had a lovely voice and directed music and sang in choirs for many years. In her final days, in spite of her memory loss, she still remembered the hymns she learned early in her life and sang in praise to the Father.
The funeral service was held July 1, 2019, at Niday Funeral Home in Houston. Burial followed at Indian Creek Cemetery in Mineral Wells, Texas.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her memory to the Beltway 8 South Crisis Pregnancy Center, 10851 Scarsdale Blvd., Suite 800, Houston, TX 77089.
Arrangements under the direction of Niday Funeral Home.