Clara Leitzinger Schoderbek, 78, of Solon died Thursday, Jan. 23, 2014, from complications of cancer. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, Feb. 22, at 10:30 a.m. at St. Mary Catholic Church, Solon with Fr. James Vrba officiating. There will be a gathering for friends and family following the service in the church hall. Burial will be in Clearfield, Pa. at a later date. In lieu of flowers, a memorial fund has been established in Clara’s name with the American Bird Conservancy, P.O. Box 249, The Plains, VA, 20198-2237 or www.abcbirds.org .
Clara was born in Clearfield, Pa. to William A.E. and Margaret Leitzinger. Her family had a farm on which they raised Hereford cattle, beagles and Welsh-Arabian horses, in addition to owning Leitzinger’s Department Store. Clara attended Connecticut College for Women, and later worked in the athletic department at Pennsylvania State University, where she met her future husband, Peter Schoderbek. They married in 1958 and moved to Michigan where Pete completed his doctoral studies and Clara discovered the joys of motherhood.
The family of six settled in Iowa City. While the children were growing up, Clara developed an avid interest in gardening, working as the horticulturist for the Iowa City Parks Department and also raising flowering perennials commercially.
She enjoyed travelling with Pete whose seminars took them to Europe, the Caribbean, Morocco and many other countries. Her travel experiences also included several memorable cross country camping trips with her family. In the 1980s, Clara went back to college, earning a bachelor of arts in elementary education from the University of Iowa. She moved to Delaware to be closer to family and began teaching preschool, later serving as an administrator in the Delaware Head Start Program. Clara retired after a few years to spend more time on her hobbies and traveling to visit her children and grandchildren in various parts of the country. She lived in Helena, Mont. for several years with her son, Bill, and his family, finally settling back in Iowa a few years ago to be near her daughter Mary, and husband Al.
In addition to gardening, Clara loved bird-watching, quilting, crocheting, swimming, cooking, playing board games and cards with her family, and walking her faithful dog, Trooper. She was a wonderful cook and shared her dishes not only with her family, but with friends, neighbors and church members. She had a generous heart and a giving spirit.
“Moomie” will be greatly missed by her children, Michael (Colleen) and their children, Peter, Madeleine, and Heidi of Three Bridges N.J., Nancy (Paul) and their children Katy, Paul, Amy, Robert and Jane of Salisbury, Md., William (Kathy) and their children Mary Hadley, Tom and Sam of Bend, Ore., and Mary (Allan) of Solon, her sister Barbara Woolridge of Clearfield, Pa., former husband Peter Schoderbek of Iowa City, and several nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents, her brother William Leitzinger, and her grandson William Turner.
Online condolences may be expressed to the family at www.broshchapel.com .