Clara Mae Hale Pierce took her last breaths Tuesday, May 29, 2012. She spent her last days and final hours surrounded by the family she loved so much.
Born on November 18, 1943, in Washington County, Tennessee, Clara Mae was the only child of Cargille and Nina Mae (Keys) Hale, a farmer and a homemaker who preceded her in death in 1991 and 1987, respectively.
Dearly loved by her parents, she excelled at school and enjoyed helping with the many responsibilities on the family farm in Gray. She was heavily involved in 4-H. In 1961, she graduated from Sulphur Springs High School, where she was valedictorian of her senior class. She went on to attend Steed College and East Tennessee State University and enjoyed a more than 30-year career as a medical transcriptionist, having worked for doctors’ offices and hospitals in Greeneville and Johnson City.
In 1968, she married Robert G. Pierce, her husband of 43 years, and together they had four children and 15 grandchildren. They lived in Five Islands, Maine, and Fort Lauderdale, Florida, before settling in East Tennessee. They made their home in Piney Flats for more than 35 years.
Clara Mae was a lifelong member of Gray United Methodist Church. In recent years, she attended New Bethel Presbyterian Church, Piney Flats. She was a devoted daughter, wife, mother and grandmother.
She had a beautiful smile and striking blue eyes, for which she often received compliments. She passed those blue eyes on to her four children, in whom she also instilled a love for family, the value of a dollar, and the importance of education and a hard work ethic. Clara Mae was a friend to all animals, especially dogs. She enjoyed family vacations, including those to Hungry Mother and Seashore state parks in Virginia, as well as attending the Appalachian Fair. She had a keen memory for birthdays, anniversaries, and other special occasions, and was an extremely thoughtful and giving person. Clara Mae was completely selfless, unconditionally loving and fiercely loyal to all who knew and loved her. Words cannot adequately express how deeply she was loved and how very much she will be missed.
In addition to her husband, survivors include her children and their spouses: Cindy and Joe Platillero of Alicante, Spain, Jennifer Robin and Steven Skaggs, of Bluff City, Tennessee, Karen and Tanna Lim, of Atlanta, Georgia, Jonathan and Anne Pierce, of Blountville, Tennessee. She also leaves behind her beloved grandchildren: Joshua, Sarah, Hannah, Caleb, Marianna, Isabel, Jonathan, Joanna and Susanna Platillero, Rebekah and Riley Skaggs, Kate and Isaac Lim and Abigail and Anna-Claire Pierce. Additionally, Clara Mae is survived by an uncle, C.T. Shipley, as well as several cousins, nieces, nephews, and brothers- and sisters-in-law.
Funeral services will be held at 7 p.m. Friday, June 1, in the chapel of Gray United Methodist Church, 2108 Oak Street, Gray, Tennessee, with the Revs. Dan Gray and Dr. Angus Shaw officiating.
The family will receive friends from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday at the church, and other times at the home of Steven and Jennifer Skaggs, Bluff City.
A private graveside service will be held Saturday, June 2. Pallbearers will be Joe Platillero, Steven Skaggs, Tanna Lim, Joshua Platillero, Roger Hale and Art Eckerson.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be sent to the Alzheimer’s Association or to Gray United Methodist Church.