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Clara F. Bozek "Clare"

May 09, 1925 - September 03, 2021

Obituary For Clara F. Bozek "Clare"

Clare Bozek's life, a truly American love story, ended on September 3, 2021. The story began in 1925 in Dearborn, MI, where Clare was born and raised. The hardship of a depression era childhood was softened by the love of her hard-working Polish immigrant parents, Anthony and Phyllis Belcik, and her brother Henry. When war broke out, Clare became part of the civilian forces powering America's war effort, as an air raid warden and through her job at Detroit Edison Company. Like a scene from a period movie, Clare met the man who would be her lifelong love in a serviceman's canteen, Lt. John Bozek of the U.S. Army Air Force. He would return from overseas combat service as a B-24 navigator in 1945 to find Clare and resume their relationship. In 1948, they started their 73 year adventure as husband and wife. So that John could take advantage of the education offered under the GI Bill, the newlyweds moved to Washington, D.C. Clare worked at the Pentagon, while John received his degree at Georgetown University. They returned to Michigan to start their family, moved to St. Louis, MO, then raised five children in their Wyckoff, NJ home, where they lived for 33 years. In retirement, they moved to Whitehall Borough and, later, Mount Lebanon. Clare was the loving, resourceful, and entertaining mother to Blair (Jane), Mark (Elaine), Greg (Marjorie), Paul (Mich), and Christine (George) Crompton. Her laugh punctuated the lively atmosphere of a house with five children. There was seemingly nothing that she could not cook, mend, heal, or tolerate, except for bad manners. Clare held several jobs besides running the home and, while it may seem a cliche, at the end of a day of work, she and John delighted in relaxing with a Manhattan cocktail. On the weekends, Clare and John were known for throwing incredible tailgate parties at West Point, where two of their sons attended. The spreads would include a hot breakfast, lunch, and dinner, all cooked by Clare in a parking lot on a Coleman stove. She opened her heart and home to many, especially West Point cadets far from home. At a moment's notice, she could feed a houseful. Clare would travel the country and Europe for recreation and to visit her children, all of whom lived the military life at some point in the US Marine Corps, Army, and Air Force, and to celebrate promotions, returns from deployment, child births, baptisms and other milestones. Clare's crafty hands were adept at sewing and all types of needlework. Her specialty was a beautiful knitted baby sweater, which she gifted to anyone she heard was expecting. She loved large family gatherings at the Outer Banks or Deep Creek, with a good game of cards and a large jigsaw puzzle to keep everyone engaged. While in her 90s, she was also a founding member of the Cocktail Club, a monthly gathering to celebrate friendship and vintage cocktails. Clare was the much loved "Beach Grandma" to J.R. (Daniela), Katie (Eric) Kinnamon, Avery (Damon) Ramos, Jeep (Erin) Crompton, Audrey Crompton (Dylan Royston), and "GG" to Jake, Mickey (Brooke) and Denise Bozek. Proud great-grandmother of Lola, Layla, Lydia, Hazel, Maeve, Savannah, Hank, Tomas and Jack. She is survived by special nieces, nephews, and friends who she loved like family. Her life has fueled generations of other great American stories and will be long remembered fondly and laughingly around family tables and over drinks. In recognition of her humble and generous nature the family requests that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to a local nonprofit, the Veterans Breakfast Club, to honor the spirit of service to the nation that Clare loved. Donations accepted through the website veteransbreakfastclub.org or at 200 Magnolia Place, Pittsburgh, PA 15228. Visitation will be held at John F. Slater Funeral Home, 412-881-4100, 4201 Brownsville Road, Brentwood, PA 15227 from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. on Wednesday, September 8, 2021. A blessing service will be held at the same location at 10:30 a.m. on September 9, 2021, with interment to follow at the National Cemetery of the Alleghenies. The family requests that all in attendance wear masks throughout the visitation and service.

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I was saddened to hear of your moms passing. Wanted to pass along my deepest heartfelt condolences. Dawn Hartman Shevac
- Dawn Hartman Shevac
Our deepest sympathies. A grand woman. Ed McIlhenny and Connie Bowlin
- Ed McIlhenny

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