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Clara Jane Robb Rubarth


Clara Jane Robb Rubarth passed away peacefully at age 88 on Sept. 13, 2022, in her home in Thomasville, North Carolina, surrounded by her children and her sister. Clara Jane was born on Dec. 1, 1933, to Ernest and Rachel Robb in Neosho, Missouri, and grew up in Pittsburg, Kansas.

Clara Jane was known for her wisdom and intellect. She loved school from the first time she stepped into a classroom and took so many classes that she graduated from her teaching high school early and was told to go upstairs and enroll in college. Clara Jane taught for 50 years in Kansas, Arkansas, and Texas, with her favorite subject being writing and rhetoric. She inspired countless students. She was also a lifelong learner, completing her Master of Arts in Rhetoric in 1994, and was continually looking for opportunities to take courses, workshops, and seminars. Clara Jane was a prolific reader, focusing on nonfiction but always interested in expanding her horizons between the covers of a good book.

Clara Jane lived a deeply spiritual life. She was a Benedictine Oblate at Subiaco Abbey in Arkansas, spending many a Holy Week and New Year's Eve at the monastery in prayer and fellowship. Clara Jane had many interests – gardening, sewing, traveling, art, theater, and was generous with her time and insight. She was committed to the conservation of nature and treading lightly on the earth. Clara Jane did not ever seek to be the center of attention but sought to allow others to shine in their own light. Ever humble, she identified herself as a "nice lady."

Of all the aspects of her life, the most important to her was family. From an early age, Clara Jane saw herself as a nurturer. She was an incredible mother, allowing each of her five children to be individuals but ensuring that they worked together as a team. Her goal as a mother was to work herself out of a job and encourage full independence. Her favorite times were when the family got together for reunions or took trips together. When she raised her glass for a toast, she also tapped the glass to the table to remember those she loved who were not in present company.

Clara Jane is survived by her children, James "Jim" and Anita Rubarth-Lay, John "Jack" Rubarth, Mary Jane and Mark Akerman, Anna Schodowski, and Julia Rubarth; her siblings, Gwen "Gendy" Hotchkiss, and John and Carole Robb; her grandchildren, Randy and Caitlin Akerman, Kate and Mariel Schneider, Liam Rubarth-Lay, Alanna Schodowski, Andy Rubarth, Jonah Weissman, Charlie Rubarth, Tim Weissman, and Oliver Rubarth; and one great-grandchild, Mark Akerman III.

She was preceded in death by her parents and older brother Ernest Robb, and her former husband, Robert Frank "Bob" Rubarth.

A Memorial Service to celebrate her life, officiated by Rev. John Heck, will be held on Saturday, Nov. 12, 2022, at 2 p.m. at Memorial United Methodist Church, 101 Randolph Street, Thomasville, North Carolina.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Subiaco Abbey, 405 N. Subiaco Avenue, Subiaco, AR 72865, or subiaco@subi.org.