Cover photo for Clara Louise Klist's Obituary
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1931 Clara 2023

Clara Louise Klist

October 10, 1931 — July 19, 2023

Clara Louise Banfield Klist was born in 1931 on Front Street in Olean, New York. Known as Clary, Lou, Mom, and Grammy, she left behind a rich legacy that will remain with all the people who have

known her.

Lou spent her early years in her small western New York town with her close family and her best

friend, Tinker the terrier. She attended Olean High School and enjoyed summers on Cuba Lake,

where she met a handsome football player who later became her husband of more than 63 years,

Nicholas Julius Klist, Jr. During the early years of their marriage, Lou worked as a first grade teacher

to support Nick through college, and she never lost that special sparkle that made her everyone’s


Lou was an adventurer; not the mountain-climbing type, but the fashion-loving, Campari-drinking

type. She was brave enough to move the family from Olean to Brussels, Belgium then Paris, France

where Nick was transferred for work. She could throw together memorable dinner parties at a

moment’s notice and became a favorite at the local boulangerie and épicerie for her sweet

mannerisms, sincere attempts to speak French and the large quantities of food she brought home.

During school holidays, Lou threw her three teenagers in her tiny Opal Kadett and drove across

Europe to let them get the most out of ex-pat life.

Lou was always thinking of others and looking after their happiness. The influence of her love and

commitment stretches literally around the world, from the US to Europe to Australia. Her daughters,

grandchildren and great grandchildren all know her favorite treats, her best silly songs and her

foundational life lessons. Lou’s words of wisdom and daily philosophy have become the parlance of

everyone in the extended family. She will be deeply missed by her daughters Susan and Lori, her

grandchildren Elizabeth, Joelle, Jeffrey, Caitlin Louise, Riley and Cassidy, and her great grandchildren

Clara Louise, Koa, Heidi, and Louise Marie. She was preceded in death by her husband, Nick, and her

son, Jonathan.

Lou left us on 19th July 2023. Her final resting place will be beside her beloved Nick in the garden at

St. Barnabas on Bainbridge Island, Washington. Her celebration of life will be held at St Barnabas on

September 28 at 1:00pm.

Lou was a lifelong and passionate reader. Her family suggests remembrances to the library in lieu of

flowers. Online or via mail:

Bainbridge Public Library

P.O. Box 11815

Bainbridge Island, WA  98110

Arrangements are entrusted to Cook Family Funeral Home of Bainbridge Island, WA

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Clara Louise Klist, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Celebration of Life

Thursday, September 28, 2023

Starts at 1:00 pm (Pacific time)

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