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Age 77 of Morris, Illinois, died Sunday, June 18, 2023 at Park Pointe Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center in Morris.
Born December 22, 1945 in Dixon, Illinois, Clair Ellen was a daughter of William and Genevieve (Stiles) Barthelmes. She attended school in Dixon through the 5th grade until her family moved to Morris where she graduated from Morris High School with the Class of 1963. Clair went to college at Drake University in Iowa, achieving a Master's Degree in Elementary Education, and moved to Huntington Beach, California, where she would teach for 25 years.
Clair loved everything about living in Southern California, especially spending time at the beach. She was an adventurous person who loved being outdoors. Clair learned how to sail a Hobie Cat sail boat with her first husband, Erich Matthews, which they would sail off the coast in San Diego.
She married William Rath on August 4, 1989, and together they moved to Morris, Illinois and made their home with their family. Clair was a talented artist who enjoyed water color paintings and working with stained glass. She was a caring and understanding person who loved spending time with her grandchildren and her pets, always making sure to make a comfortable and loving home for her family.
Survivors include her son, Erich (Hillary) Matthews of Coal City, Illinois, and her step-children: Jennifer (Alex) Davis of Cary, Illinois, Jon (Lisa) Rath of Minooka, Illinois, and Sarah Smith of Coal City; thirteen grandchildren: Mayday and Rosey Matthews, Clarissa, Megan, and Abbey Davis, Darien (Matt) Fincher, Miranda, Bailey, and Camden Rath, Turner (Kelly), Mason, and Vivienne Neri, and Avery Powell; two great grandchildren: Oliver and Millie; one sister, Wilhelmina "Billie" Williams of Texas and Wisconsin, brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law: Josetta Nelson, Ronald (Barbara) Rath, and Laurie (Duane) McComas; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Clair was preceded in death by her parents, and one sister in infancy.
Cremation rites are being accorded, and a private family inurnment will follow at Mount Carmel Catholic Cemetery in Morris.
Family and friends are encouraged to sign the online guest book, upload photographs, and share Clair's memorial page via social media.
Cremation services and memorial arrangements are being made under the direction and care of Reeves & Baskerville Funeral Homes and Crematory in Morris (815) 942-2500.