Clare (Clara) Louise Waine Konkler

 

April 23, 1937   –   February 3, 2022

 

Clare was born and raised in Raymond, WA. Her father was a member of the Chinook and Quinault Indian Nations.  He was a commercial fisherman by trade and her mother was a homemaker and also worked in the local sawmills.  She had one younger brother that predeceased her by 2 years to the day.  He had two boys that she loved dearly and truly enjoyed visiting with every chance she got. Their families were precious to her.

She was immensely proud of her family and her heritage despite the challenges of growing up bi-racial in a small town in the 1940’s and 1950’s.  She was an avid reader and loved music of all genres. Books and music were the cornerstones of her life.

Following graduation from Raymond High School in 1955 she attended Northwest Bible College (now Northwest University) in Seattle for 3 years before she left to get married and have children.  They moved to the Kirkland area in 1967 that became her home town.

Children:  Two daughters and 2 sons in-law:  Claudette & Van Christensen and Cherie & Joe Hensdell

Grandchildren:  Dane Christensen, Tammie Christensen and Jenna Hensdell McLane

Great Grandchildren:  Wyatt and Kaitlyn

Nephews:  Donny Waine & Daniel Waine.

She was blessed to meet a very special man, Dennis Beinke, with whom she shared her final few years.  They looked out for one another and loved each other very much. We are happy that he’s part of our family.

Work:  She spent several years working for Boeing, Credit Companies and Banks before “retiring” to her true vocation as an antique dealer where she spent the last 25 years doing what she loved best – shopping for bargains and selling her treasures at her spaces in local antique malls or in booths at flea markets. She loved antiques and talking to people about her choice finds!

One of her great passions was her charities. Growing up she aspired to be a missionary to help others. Though her life took another path, she always gave generously of her time, talent and money – regardless of what she had. She volunteered twice a week for more than 15 years at a local thrift store where the sale proceeds of donated items went to charity. She used her knowledge as an antique dealer to sort and price incoming items. She knitted more than 500 scarves for the homeless, assembled hygiene kits for the mission, bought treats & trinkets year-round for shoeboxes for the annual Operation Christmas Child of Samaritan’s Purse. Wounded Warriors, ASPCA and St. Joseph’s Indian School are a few of the many other special causes she loved and supported throughout her life.

Her greatest passion though were her children, and we are eternally grateful for her, the gifts she gave us and the time we had with her.

We each would like to share a special memory of mom:

Claudette:

Mom taught me to be curious and to explore things which gave me a thirst for knowledge. She introduced me to reading and how it can transport a reader to a different time or place.  She taught us about different cultures and how to be accepting of everyone from an early age. She wanted to be a missionary and had a heart for service.  She would knit scarves and always be on the lookout for hygiene kit items or trinkets for shoeboxes in her business shopping. She was gifted at crocheting and knitting. She made beautiful items that she gave away to special people in her life. One year she knitted me a full Barbie wardrobe and felt bad that she couldn’t afford the “real thing”. I treasure those pieces to this day.  They are priceless.  Thanks mom.

Cherie:

Mom taught me resilience. No matter what you encounter in life you find your best path and keep moving forward – don’t stop. She showed me that not all paths are meant for you and that you must choose one that is yours and accept the outcome. When you have the gift of resilience, you never fail – only change direction. It is empowering. This gift was the foundation of my battles with cancer.  It enabled me to navigate the daunting landscape of emotions and mental challenges that go with the disease. She was also a staunch supporter and there each step of the way.  I also highlight her gift of service to others and the joy that it brought to our family. As children she would include us in her service activities, so we grew up with a broad range of people in different circumstances and learned to be accepting of everyone regardless of their lot in life. We had great times visiting, play with, singing to or just holding someone’s hand because they are lonely.  We never thought it was different or special – it was normal and something we both still carry with us to this day.  Thanks mom.

4 Responses to “Clare (Clara) Louise Waine Konkler”

  • Sharon L says:

    What a beautiful statement of life for Clare. Clare was my “mom away from home” who became a dear friend. She opened her family holidays to me and showed me love so many times. We had lively conversations about lots of things and she had the best laugh! I will miss her but know she left an imprint on my life. I know she is with her God and as happy as can be! Blessings to the family!!

  • Mary Fenske says:

    I moved to Kirkland during 4th grade and quickly became part of the Konkler and Erickson clans. Claudette, Kathy and I were always together. Clare was a mom who always wanted to know who and what her girls were doing, so we hung out a LOT at the Konkler split level home on 142nd.

    Clare was kind and happy to have us join in the family activities, we spent Friday nights sleeping over and we went on family vacations to the coast and on summer Saturday afternoons to the Demolition Derby in Monroe with Cherie in tow.

    Clare was our girl scout leader, she helped us earn misc. badges and always made going to River Ranch the girl scout camp an event!

    Clare was also unique because she was a working mother. In 1970 Kingsgate, most of our moms were stay at home.

    There is one memory about Clare that I will never forget, even though some of the exact specifics are blurry. Mayo Angelou says “people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
    At the age of 11 or 12, as usual, the three of us were hanging out in the house and Clare was busy, so when the doorbell rang she hollered for one of us kids to get the door. (I don’t remember where Cherie was, but no recall her being there.)
    When Claude opened the door, a loud, inebriated and delusional women barged her way into the house. She was confused and making bizarre demands, our preadolescence response to her initially was she was funny, but soon became very scary. Clare, hearing the weird noise appeared to find the three of us now paralyzed in fear as this women rant, raved and made her way up the stairs into the living room. Claire, assessed the situation in a nano-second. She miraculously remained CALM. She smiled and introduced herself to the belligerent woman and offered her some water and had us girls get it and started to talk to her to try to figure out what was going on with this woman. It went on a longtime, the strange women would become coherent then lose it. We stayed together to be safe. At one point the women went to the bathroom and things got worse, she was trying to kill herself. The police were called, when they got there, us girls were told to go downstairs and stay there. I was hoping that it would soon be over and the police would take the crazy women away, but Clare insisted that she go to a hospital, not jail. I couldn’t understand why she was so compassionate to the scary, crazy women who just burst into her house! After the ambulance and police were all gone, Clare came downstairs and sat us down so we could talk about what happened and she gave us a HUGE lecture on do not take drugs. Clare talked about her perspective of that women, the woman was abused and that is how she got in that condition. For me, that women scared me and I wanted her to quickly go away, I had only seen the bad behavior – Clare taught me to look beyond the behavior, to discover the cause for it.

    That afternoon was a childhood traumatic event, but as I write this, I realize that Clare’s lesson had a huge impact on me and gave me unique abilities to look at underlying drivers of behavior, and today I am an expert in root cause analysis.

    God bless her family and friends, she will be missed!

  • William Upshaw says:

    Love reading the comments above Never knew the things about mom To the degree That others have. But The Times I have been around her she’s been very loving very kind Very peaceable And reasonable Very hard to find those type of people today I have been blessed to have met her to have loved her And could have not given her enough flowers I’ve known her for over 40 years When she was younger and much more vibrant. I will miss her. Gone to soon. She has been blessed And has left 2 beautiful blessings behind. She will always be in my memories. She has had a Fulfilling life. She’s been a great example For me She has been a great example for others By her actions of how to be loving towards others. I will continue to pray for the family And the lives she’s touched

  • Christine Hall says:

    My sympathies to Claudette and Cherie (and the rest of the family) on the loss of their Mother.

    Claudette and I were best friends in our teenage years. We spent alot of time together after school and on the weekends. Typically we were at her house (with Cherie close by) because Mrs. Konkler was a single Mom and had to work full tiime to support her family. I remember her as very stylish in her outfits, styled hair and pretty make-up. She didn’t look like the “typical” Mom in our neighborhood.

    Claudette was a good daughter helping her Mom. She had to grow up sooner than the rest of us since her Mom worked outside the home. She watched her little sister Cherie, she cooked, did laundry and cleaned the house. When Mrs. Konkler was home, I remember she liked to spend time with her girls and we played alot of board games together. She liked to laugh and have fun yet she was a competitive game player. She always welcomed me in her home and didn’t mind that I spent alot of time over there with them.

    Claudette and I had lots of fun and adventures growing up. One thing I remember is they always had lots of cats and kittens at their house. My Mom would only let us have 1 cat, but Claud’s Mom was fine with cats and their litters. They were always fun to play with and I learned how much I loved cats – thanks to Claudette and her Mom.

    Claudette and I lost track of each other in our adult years so I didn’t know her Mom in later years but the testimonials from her daughters are really touching. I remember she loved her daughters very much!

    When my Mom died many years ago, I received this poem that has always stuck with me. I like to share it and hope you find some comfort from it:

    Goodness is Eternal.
    Like a pebble dropped into a pond,
    Goodness sends ripples outwards to touch people and places we cannot see.
    We may not know the effect a persons goodness has had on the world,
    but we know the effect it has had on us
    and that is the memory was hold in our hearts,
    forever.

    R.I.P. Mrs. Konkler

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