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CLARA REIKO SHINDO HIROSE

February 17, 1931 - August 2, 2020

 

STORY

Clara Reiko Shindo Hirose, 89, believed good recipes and good food should be shared.   Recipes should never be family secrets.  Once single-handedly, she whipped up some 20 courses after taking a class on authentic Chinese cooking.  Her cookbooks are filled with hand-written notes.  V.G. (very good).  Made for Hidi on Valentine’s Day 2014.  Next time, less salt.


She nourished her family.  Her husband of nearly 66 years, Hideo Hirose, M.D. doesn’t know what he will do without her. Her children Lorie Hirose (Michael Simon), Melissa Hirose Wong, PhD (Peter H. Wong), Scott Hirose, PsyD (Timothy Sullivan), Christopher Hirose, M.D. (Takako), and grandchildren Sarah Simon, Sydney Simon, Emily Wong, Zoë Wong, Andrew Wong and Madeleine Hirose will strive to carry on her legacy.  She is also survived by her brother Richard Shindo (Elene) and dozens of nieces and nephews.


She was driven to perfection. Named Manual High School’s Class of 1948 Valedictorian, she ranked higher than her future husband.  A home economics major and education minor at the University of Denver, she graduated Phi Beta Kappa.  She sewed couture clothing, a polka dot swing dress for her three-year-old of silk organza, a fabric remnant from her bridesmaid dresses.  She knitted dozens of baby booties, wool-felted slippers in rainbow colors for friends and family, and blankets for babies with HIV/AIDS. She showed her grandchildren how to knit on spools and nails.  She excelled at everything, but was poor at self-promotion.  Her defining characteristic was “quiet excellence.”


She taught first grade at Ellis and Wyatt Elementary Schools in the Denver Public School system, English to the Vietnamese in Vietnam, and she expected her children and grandchildren to excel.  She believed that education was the key to the future.


She was strong and determined.  At the age of ten, her family was ripped from their home in Los Angeles, California.  They spent three and a half years behind barbed wire, imprisoned in a relocation camp in Poston, Arizona.  Their crime:  looking like the enemy. She never dwelled on that experience. Instead, it fueled her passion to learn, teach, create and nourish. 


We are so blessed she was our wife, mother, grandmother and friend. 


We are planning a post-pandemic celebration of life, when we can hug each other and share sweet memories. ​

 

REMEMBERING CLARA SHINDO HIROSE

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TEACHER

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WIFE

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MOTHER & GRANDMOTHER

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FRIEND

 

THANK YOU FOR BEING PART OF CLARA'S LIFE

We would love to hear any memories, stories, or other thoughts you may have. 
Please use the form below to share with us.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts and memories with us.

 

MESSAGES

If you would like to send a card, please email Lorie Hirose (lorie@simontv.net) for the address.

 

MEMORIES

Clara lives on through the stories we tell and the memories we keep close to our hearts.
The following excerpts were submitted from the form above.

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I recall Clara from my childhood, my family lived next door to the Hiroses for years. I babysat all of the children when I was a young teen. I have many memories of Clara; she was always very kind to me. I remember her matching cloths for her and the girls Lorie and Melissa, I remember having some of her Japanese cooking; one of which I do not remember the name but it was a confection that was a small sweet doughy cake filled with a green paste. There are many other memories but most of all I hope that her children will cherish all that she meant to them, she was a wonderful lady. My husband Jose sends his condolences as does my mother Jane Cooper. We look forward to hopefully sharing a memorial celebration once it is safe to do so.

Anne Cooper Salazar

 I grew up next to Clara and Hidi

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Definitely Thanksgiving + Christmas Dinners! What a cool house....always decorated for the Holidays...she prepared everything so well and gave everyone in the house the Holiday spirit. We always ate too much...but had room for her desserts. Most of all, spending time with the family was always fun. I miss those days....looking forward to seeing everyone in the near future.

Roger Yago

Nephew

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The meaning of being a mother is virtually endless. A mother is a protector, disciplinarian and friend. A mother is a selfless, loving human who must sacrifice many of their wants and needs for the wants and needs of their children. A mother works hard to make sure their child is equipped with the knowledge, skills and abilities to make it as a competent human being. Being a mother is perhaps the hardest, most rewarding job a woman will ever experience. Goodnight Auntie Toe, until the next time…

Dear Uncle Hidi, Lorie, Missy, Scott & Christopher,

Sending our deepest condolences to each & every one of you at this most sadden time.

Love, Rickey, Robin, Brandon & Bobby

Rickey Shindo

Nephew

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l met Clara though Hidi and in later years got to know her better by talking with her at the Rockies games and met some of her family at them also. I was fascinated by her love and knowledge of orchids. I was very saddened to hear of her death and am thinking of her family and particularly how difficult it will be for all of them and particularly Hidi who I know will miss her most of all. I will be thinking of all of her family and know fond memories will help them and keep her alive in their hearts and minds.

Eileen Hess

Clara was a special lady and the wife of a very special person and doctor who I had the pleasure of working with for many years.

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Clara was truly one of the kindest people we have ever known. She always had a pleasant demeanor about her which was reflected in her beautiful children. She always put family first and lived her life with grace and dignity. Hidi we are very sorry for your loss.

Sandy & Walt Robinson

We met Clara thru Hidi in 1982

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Clara and Hidi. You were special neighbors for many years. We were impressed with how you raised your family. Our daughter Lisa was a high school classmate of Chris and went to prom with him. They both became doctors. We learned a lot about Clara from her beautiful obituary.

Charlene and George Strate

We were neighbors on Foothill Road in Golden

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Hidi & family, We are saddened by the news of Clara's passing. But we do have all of our happy memories. With deepest sympathy, Marge, Gretchen, Tammy & Tom

Marge Riggs & family

Friends from MorningStar of Wheat Ridge

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Hidi, Lorie, Missy, Scott, & Christopher I’m sorry to hear the news of Clara’s passing. When I heard the news it brought back feelings of when we lost my mom. My mom and dad (Gary and Elaine) moved into the duplex next to your house on Garfield St. in Denver. That then started a great friendship. I remember painting the fence and playing all day with you Missy and Lorie. Then my dad designed the house in Golden for your family. We didn’t seem to see each other’s family much after that. I remember our mothers cooking and canning together quite often and I believe they were in a gourmet cooking club together. They were both excellent cooks and put the special ingredient “love” into everything they made. I still have a recipe of your mother’s. It is the recipe for Macaroni and cheese made with a tomato base and bacon. Yum! That was one of my favorites growing up I can even see your mom cooking it in the Golden house. Clara will be greatly missed by many she was a great lady. May God bless and comfort you Hidi and family. Heather Loptien Atkins

Heather Loptien Atkins

Grew up with her children

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Dr. Hirose: Barbara and I are very saddened to learn of the death of Clara, your beloved wife. We wish we knew the words to ease your pain. Richard and Barbara

Richard and Barbara Sandor

We met briefly through Dr. Hirose

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I didn't know Clara, but I worked at LMC and remember Dr. Hirose as a kind, personable doctor to his patients and us nurses. My sympathies to Dr. Hirose on the loss of this lovely lady. It sounds like they were meant for each other.

Judy (Foltz) Delve

Worked at LMC and knew Dr. Hirose

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Clara always personified grace and talent. Her strength of character, sense or style and design were always evident. She was an extraordinary mother, wife and Gammie. Her spirit lives on in everyone of the family she created, nourished and cherished.

Karen Quinn

Friend of Lorie

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Auntie Clara was such a kind, graceful lady. I fondly remember all of the holiday dinners with the Hirose and Yamamoto families! I do have a memory of Auntie Clara and a recipe book. She was attending one of our kids’ graduation party at our house and we started talking about recipes. She asked if I had the Crème de Colorado cookbook and I did not. She said she just so happened to have an extra copy of this cookbook in her car. She ran out to her car and presented this to me. At the time, I wondered, who would drive around with a cookbook in their car? Now that I read about her love of cooking and sharing recipes, it makes sense. I feel honored that she would pass along a copy of a cookbook to me. Hugs and love to the Hirose family! Auntie Clara will be missed!

Julie Yago Onsager

Niece

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My family moved from SE Denver to Applewood Mesa when I was in second grade. I grew up on Foothill Road, just a few doors west of Hirose's beautiful home. My parents were friends of Clara's and Hideo's. My father, Richard Herrmann, was a pathologist at St. Anthony's hospital in Denver. He passed away February, 2019. My mother, Margery Herrmann, was a weaver. She passed in August, 2013. I remember Mrs. Hirose being very nurturing when I was a little girl in 1st grade. She was always very kind and soft-spoken.

Kit Herrmann Bazley

She was my first grade teacher at Ellis Elementary School.

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Our favorite memories of Hidi and Clara are our close relationship and we enjoyed our time together at restaurants in different parts of the city. Clara was a dear friend and such a lovely lady. The world lost a beautiful soul.

Mr. and Mrs. Oliver J. Shaw

Her husband is a very close friend

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So sorry for your loss she will be missed by all. All will miss her kindness and love. Jim and I are doing good

Diann Kirksey

Dr. Hirose’s Administrative Assistant

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Although we didn’t get see her often , when your family came to visit California , I always remember her smile and laughter. I remember we would all go to Jichans grave then we would all go to dinner in Japanese Town. My thoughts are with you and the family. ️️️<3

Valerie Sanchez (Shindo)

Niece

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I have few memories but my parents would be expressing their deep sadness and condolences. My parents passed away within 4 months of one another in 2009, Sedona AZ. I wish strength and peace to Clara’s family.

Manet Oshier

She was a dear friend of my mother and father, Ed and MaryJane Oshier

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When I think of your mom I am swallowed up in a wave of emotions and memories. She was my confidant, my fashion consultant, my cooking instructor, my big sister and one of my best friends. We shared the same love of beautiful things — art, color, simplicity, clean uncluttered lines like those found in modern architecture, John Atencio jewelry and Eileen Fisher clothing. I selfishly miss the person she was, but find joy in the memory of her laughter and the fun times we shared while shopping and “gabbing.” What a privilege, honor and blessing to have known her and to have been considered her friend. We are truly sorry for your loss.

Lois (and Denny) Nocton

Friend

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Dearest Auntie Toe, I cherish all of my early childhood memories when the Yamabe family lovingly brought me along on their vacations to Colorado. I learned how to ski at Copper Mountain, and laughed uproariously with our cousins. My heart expanded hearing the adults tell poignant and funny stories, one after the other! I knew these were the elements of a life enjoyed. I watched how you nurtured your family, and cared for them with exceptional detail. This had a big influence on me in raising my own children! I enjoy cooking because of you (and Mom); I enjoy teaching and being creative because of you; I love the impact of shape and color because of you; and, if something is worth doing, I put forth my best effort because of the wonderful example you set. Auntie Toe, Thank You for All that you have taught me. Thank You for your Ever-Present Spirit in our lives. Wishing you Abundant Peace and Light and Love, Leigh

Leigh Shindo

Niece

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 ~ We have a lifetime of wonderful memories of Toe... Every time we talked, she would always say, “You are the sister I never had, El!” I would complain that I never had a brother. We would laugh about it. But truly, I am so grateful for her love and phone calls. They would get me through some challenging times! Throughout the years, we exchanged many recipes ~ and we enjoyed receiving mail from each other. Words cannot convey the deep sadness we feel in your having lost Toe. She enriched our lives through the years, and we were lucky enough to be together on our trip to the eastern states. May her loving spirit be with you forever ~ Much Love, Richie and El

Rich and El Shindo

Brother and Sister in Law

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I have the fondest memories of my aunt Clara and uncle Hidi especially during my childhood years. They always showed so much genuine interest in my activities. Aunt Clara definitely had the heart of a teacher…kind and caring. I always looked forward to seeing the entire Hirose family at family gatherings. A warm cohesive family that defined what a family should be. Aunt Clara made a positive difference in many people’s lives and I was blessed to have known her.

Steven Yamamoto

Nephew

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I’m fortunate to be married to Clara’s daughter, Lorie. Our kids called her Gammie. But she was a mother to us all. Generous, kind, humorous and supportive. In life, always a force to admire. I was with her on the night she died in hospice. No alarm bells or frantic measures. Surrounded by virtual family, the room was filled with solace and gratitude for a life well-lived. She won’t ever be missed for she’s in my heart forever.

Michael Simon

Son-in-Law

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Hide is my cousin. Hide's mother and my mother were sisters. We were deeply saddened to hear about Clara. I will always remember all the holiday dinners she made for all the relatives. She always strived to do her best! Hide, Lorie, Missy, Scott and Chris, we send you our deepest condolences to all of you. We love you so much! Hope to see you soon in Colorado.

Jake and Martha Yago

Hideo Hirose's Cousin