Clara Pivonka Ries, age 89, was born in New Ulm, Minnesota on December 28, 1931 to Joseph F. and Rose (Virt) Pivonka.
She grew up in New Ulm and graduated from New Ulm high school in 1949. Clara worked for Muesing Drug and the Brown county Clerk of Court. She married Mauritius Ries on December 16, 1953 in New Ulm. In 1954, she was employed by General Adjustment Bureau working hurricane claims in Massachusetts while Maury was in the Navy. They returned to New Ulm in 1956 where she would give birth to and care for 6 children. They moved to Detroit Lakes in 1970 where Clara worked at Norby’s Department Store for 13 years. Her retirement years were spent golfing, baking treats for grandchildren in college and sewing many, many blankets – baby blankets for her new great grandchildren and larger blankets for everyone else.
Clara was a 72 year survivor of bulbar polio which paralyzed her throat when she was 17. Although the next 50 years allowed her to work and raise a family…her later years would be a courageous struggle with the effects of post-polio syndrome. Clara peacefully passed away on February 26, 2021.
Clara is survived by her husband of 67 years, Maury of Detroit Lakes, sons John (Catherine) of Shoreview and William (Julie) of Sleepy Eye; daughters Susan (Wayne) Ristvedt of Alexandria, Catherine (Russell) Seaberg of Detroit Lakes, Julie Pearson of Detroit Lakes; 12 grandchildren and 16 great grandchildren. She is also survived by sister-in-law Donna Pivonka of Rochester and numerous nieces and nephews.
She was proceeded in death by her daughter Jane Radermacher, her parents, sisters Anna (Elmer) Kieper, Teresa (Marvin) Nelson, Helen (Malcolm) Campbell, and brother Joseph, and son-in-law John Pearson.
A Mass of Christian Burial (for immediate family only) will be on Saturday, March 6, 2021 at Holy Rosary Catholic Church in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you make donations to:
Oak Crossing TCU or Holy Rosary Catholic Cemetery, both located in Detroit Lakes, MN.