Clara Josephine Cass

March 11, 1917 - June 7, 2009

Clara Josephine Cass, 92, passed away Sunday, June 7, 2009, at HospiceCare in Fitchburg surrounded by her family. She was born March 11, 1917, in Lawrence, Neb., the daughter of Gerhard and Josephine (nee Mueller) Schipp.

She married Walter F. Cass on Dec. 3, 1937. He preceded her in death June 7, 2000. Clara worked at Manchesters in the alteration department and at Star Photo. She was an expert seamstress. She was still sewing at 91 and made her dress for her granddaughterís wedding. In one of those twists of fate, Doc Rock at Hospice was someone she did some sewing for years ago. She was a very creative person. She loved the arts and dabbled in painting and writing. Most family members have one of her paintings hanging in their home. She wrote many poems and short stories. One of her short stories was read on National Public Radio. She maintained two large gardens at home up until a year ago. She took her first plane ride to Mexico in her 80ís and loved it. She said she didnít know why she hadnít done it before. Clara loved reading, playing canasta, 500 and sheepshead. She loved classical music, ballet, opera and dancing. On Saturday nights, Walter and Clara would roll up the carpet and all the neighbors would come over to dance. All her life she enjoyed taking walks, people watching, camping and weekend drives to see the leaves change.

Clara is survived by three children, Bernard (Margaret) Cass of Madison, Edward (Rachel) Cass of Sun Prairie and Christine (Randy) Gjertson of Madison; seven grandchildren, Richard (Carol) Cass, Robert Cass, Anthony Cass, Todd (Amy) Cass, Tracy (Chris) Mergen, Erin (Carlos) Villarreal and Emily Gjertson; 10 great-grandchildren; three great-great-grandchildren; brother, Victor Schipp of Waukesha; and nieces, nephews and other relatives.

She was preceded in death by her parents; husband; son, Walter Jr.; granddaughter, Michelle Cass; and brothers and sisters, Frank, Carolyn, Sophia, Anna, Bernard, Anthony and William.

Visitation will be held from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. today, June 10, at Ryan Funeral Home, 2418 N. Sherman Ave., Madison. Visitation continues from 10 a.m. until the 11 a.m. Mass of Christian burial Thursday, June 11, at St. Peter Catholic Church, 5001 N. Sherman Ave,. Madison, with the Rev. Roger Nilles officiating. Burial will follow at Resurrection Catholic Cemetery in Madison.

A special thank you to Dr. Christian at St. Maryís Hospital and to the staff at HospiceCare.

Ryan Funeral Home & Cremation Services is serving the family. For more information, call (608) 249-8257 or visit online at


Morning Alone, Before the dayís beginning, I savor my coffee and listen to the silence. - Clara Cass