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Clara J. Gonsalves
Sep 20, 1925 June 25, 2017
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Clara J. Gonsalves, 91, passed away peacefully on June 25, 2017 in Modesto, CA. On September 20, 1925, Clara was born on a ranch in Turlock, CA to Frank J. Gonsalves and Maria Souza Gonsalves. The oldest out of three children, Clara adored her two brothers, Frank and Daniel Gonsalves. At a young age, Clara was a mentor and educator. While she entered elementary school with only Portuguese as her primary language, Clara went on to master English and was instrumental in teaching her parents the language. She graduated from Turlock High School in 1945 and soon after enrolled in a dental assistant program. Clara went on to graduate from Providence Hospital Nursing School in Oakland as an RN and furthered her education deeper by earning a bachelor’s from Stanislaus State, a Master’s degree from Chapman College, and a credential from the University of California. A nursing professor, Clara enriched the minds of students at Modesto Junior College for over 23 years. She was known to be the “tough teacher” and was proud to acknowledge and agree with that statement because she had very high expectations for anyone in the health care industry.  Clara was preceded in death by her parents, Frank and Maria; her brothers, Frank and Daniel; and her nephew, Dennis. She is survived by her sisters-in-law, Chella Gonsalves and Corrine (Dave) Hobbs; and her many nieces and nephews, Dawn Wilson, Diana (Gary) Santos, Denise (Vernon) Molles, Darlene (Mud) Coulter, Jean (Jeff) Smith, JJ Gonsalves, Joyce (Tracy) Mitchell; and many wonderful grandnieces and great-grandnieces and nephews. She will be remembered as a dedicated educator of nursing and a wonderful daughter, sister, and Auntie. Her true love was her doggies, especially her sweet Chihuahuas Choo Choo and Fi Fi. She will be greatly missed.  The Rosary will be held at 10 a.m., followed by a Mass at 10:30 a.m., at Sacred Heart Catholic Church on July 18.  Committal will follow at Turlock Memorial Park. The family appreciates and extends their sincere gratitude to Community Hospice for their gentle and compassionate care for Clara in her final days. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you please donate to your favorite charity or to Community Hospice.