Obituary of Clara E. Norris
Clara E. (Noradki) Norris passed away on Monday, June 17, 2019. She was a beloved wife, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt and loyal friend. Everyone who ever met her remarked, “She is so nice.” We all should be so lucky as to have an obituary that starts with the memory of how nice we were. Born during the Great Depression in Halfmoon, New York, to a family of loosely documented Polish immigrants and raised on a family farm, Clara was the youngest of nine children. They were spared much of the suffering of that time because the farm was very self-sufficient. This was a home economics lesson she carried forward throughout her life. She was an avid cook and gardener. Many of her children’s (and grandchildren's) best childhood memories include picking gallons of blackberries in the fields behind their home on Middletown Road. She would freeze and can fruits and vegetables for her family to enjoy year-round.
Her education began in a one-room schoolhouse that would eventually become part of the Shenendehowa school district. She was the only child in her family to finish a formal education, graduating from Mechanicville High School in 1949. Her first job was in the Montgomery Ward building in Menands, NY where she used to run up the stairs with her girlfriends at lunch to stay fit.
In 1955 she married William T. Norris who was introduced to her by her good friend Pauline DeWald while they were working at the BehrManning Company in Watervliet. The couple initially lived back on the farm with Clara’s mother and then resided in a number of apartments around the Capital District. They eventually attained the post-war dream by building a modest brick ranch house on an acre of land in Halfmoon where they raised two children, John and Ginny. Clara devoted herself to their wellbeing. She was an avid reader and conversations with her quickly let a person know that she was a very bright, self-educated woman who knew more than she let on. She passed on her love of learning and knowledge to both of her children. She committed herself to making sure the family had the resources for each of them to earn bachelor's degrees.
When the children were grown, she went back to work, first for the Saratoga County Probation Department and then the New York State Banking Department as a clerk and typist. She retired with a pension and union benefits, for which she was grateful.
The brightest points of her later years were her two grandsons, Jay and Mitch, for whom she provided occasional daycare and lots of cookies, homemade lasagne, hugs and bandaids. They will forever remember her as “Bobchi”, a misspelled version of the Polish word for grandmother.
Clara is survived by her children, John and Virginia (Ginny Squire); her son-in-law Daniel Squire, Sr., her daughter-in-law, Kelly Norris; her grandsons, James (Jay) Norris and Mitchell Norris, a step-grandson Daniel Squire, Jr. and over twenty nieces and nephews. Clara was the last of her siblings to pass.
Friends and family are invited to celebrate her life on Friday, June 21 from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Catricala Funeral Home Inc., 1597 Route 9, in Clifton Park, with a funeral Mass on Saturday at 9 a.m. at St. Mary’s Church in Crescent. Clara will be buried next to her husband, Bill, at St. Michael’s Cemetery in Waterford.
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The Catricala Funeral Home Inc. is owned and managed by Eric A. Catricala. It is also run by funeral director, Mark J. Delaney.
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Catricala Funeral Home Inc.
1597 Route 9
Clifton Park, NY 12065
Tel: (518) 371-5334