The Erie Community is mourning the loss of a woman whose generosity was matched only by her dedication to helping children. Clara Ward has died.
Ten years ago, hundreds of people filled the street of the 600 block of East 21st Street screaming ‘move that bus,’ excited to see Clara Ward’s newly renovated home. Today, people are making their way to the same neighborhood to remember her.
Kindness, dedication, and hardworking are just some of the words used to describe Clara Ward by those who knew her best.
“My mom was just always there for us no matter what. She loved us unconditionally, so I thank god for my mother. I thank god that he let her be at peace now,” said Claritha Meyers, Clara’s daughter.
Ward passed away yesterday after fighting different illnesses for years, ultimately dying from kidney failure.
One neighbor close to Clara noted her strength through it all.
“See a lot of people don’t understand that she had a lot of infliction’s, a lot of challenges, but yet she kept going, passing out eggs to everybody and Easter baskets to all the Grandchildren and everything. She was a great influence,” said Gilbert Watson, Neighbor.
She welcomed thousands to see her home during an episode of ABC’s popular show Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.
“She lived here for ten years. That home makeover was the best thing that ever happened to us in our entire life,” said Bennie Ward, Clara’s son.
“When she got it we were all in awe, so I just thank god for her. She deserved it. My mom worked hard and she didn’t ask people for things. She just worked hard, she’s a hard worker,” said Claritha Meyers.
According to the family, Clara died at 80-years-old, but if you asked her she was 39 all of the time.
Family members said that they are planning on having the funeral services on Saturday. They will be held at Erie’s Second Baptist Church.