Tuesday, December 3, 2019



For all the love, kindness and support you have shown us, 
we are so thankful and it will always be remembered.

From the family of

Clara passed away on Saturday, November 9, 2019. She was the dearly beloved wife of the late Mr A.R. Da Costa. She was the fondly mother of  Bernadette (deceased), Matilda/Johnny, Joseph/Antonieta, Mariella/Brian. She was blessed to be the much loved grandmother to Lee-John/Sonia, Lou-Allan/Hillary, Mary-Ann, Ryan, and adored great grandmother to Mateo, Raina and Davi.

Clara was born in Nairobi, attended Dr Ribeiro Goan School, and had a kindergarten nursery school there for 25 years before moving to the U.S. in 1976. She worked for the International Institute in Oakland, California for 15 years. She thoroughly enjoyed time with family and friends, traveling, and hobbies.

Clara was living in Alameda, California with her daughter and son-in-law. Clara passed away peacefully with her children and her grandchildren by her side. Her funeral service was held on
Saturday, November 16.

Clara had a strong devotion to St Jude and also loved children. In memory of Clara, you make a donation to St Jude's Hospital using the following link: https://fundraising.stjude.org/site/TR/GiftFunds?px=6314909&pg=personal&fr_id=39300

               Read by Ryan D’Costa (Grandson) at Funeral Mass on 11/16/2019

Maria Piedade Clara, affectionately known as Clara, was born in Nairobi, Kenya.  Clara was the eldest of the five children of Ludgero and Olga Gracias.  She had two brothers Maurice and Philip, and two sisters, Dolly and Brigida.

Clara attended Dr. Ribeiro Goan School and did extremely well in her studies, especially English and Mathematics, and she always had impeccable handwriting.  She played badminton, cricket and rounders and after completing high school, she enrolled in dressmaking classes.

Clara enjoyed a busy social life in Nairobi.  She and her family went to church, had a large community of relatives and friends, and attended sporting events and dances.  She caught the eye of a young man, Antonio, who played the
saxophone in the dance bands and was an accountant.  Antonio always looked for an opportunity to leave the stage and go and dance with Clara.  Before long, he asked her to marry him, and she said "Yes"!  They had a beautiful wedding and started their life together.

Clara and Antonio were blessed with four children, Bernadette, Matilda, Joseph, and Mariella.  Clara took on the role of wife and mother with great confidence, love and pride for her family.

Clara took on an opportunity to teach a young student named Jude.  This had a very special meaning to her as she had great faith in St. Jude.  She did well teaching him and opened up her own kindergarten school for 12 children.  She prepared them for Grade One, and also gave tuitions to older children.  She taught for 25 years, and her students went on to excel in school and have successful careers.  Her former students and their parents accredited their success to the strong foundation in reading, writing, and arithmetic that Clara gave them with her teaching.

In 1976, Clara and Antonio moved to the U.S. to join her brother Maurice and his family in the Bay Area.  This was a major decision but they met all the challenges of moving to a new country.  Clara changed her career to office work, and worked at the International Institute for 15 years.

She enjoyed her career there and received an award for her outstanding work.
She made many good friends there including Connie who is here today.  They continued their friendship as the “Golden Girls” after they retired with many get-togethers and day trips.

Clara felt overjoyed to become a grandmother of four grandchildren, see two of them marry, and then happily welcomed three great-grandchildren.  She dearly loved her family and friends visiting or going to meet them, and always said “it is so nice to be together”.

Clara had strong religious devotion, deluging the saints and heavens with her prayers.  Clara’s hobbies over the years included cooking, sewing, gardening, ballroom dancing, music, puzzles, and watching TV.  Clara always loved to travel and enjoyed road trips, train rides, cruises, and outdoor beauty.

Clara suffered losses of her husband Antonio and her daughter Bernadette but remained strong throughout.  With her family and friends, she lived life to the fullest into her 80s and 90s.  Just a month before she passed away, she went to a Bruno Mars concert, a Bee Gee’s review concert, and won a little on a slot machine.

Clara was a sweet lady who made friends easily and had a lot of fans everywhere. Her sweet tooth was legendary and no matter where we went she always saved room for dessert.  Her genuine smile, warmth, and caring lit up everyone whom she met.  She had a quick sense of humor, loved to laugh and always knew what she wanted.

Over the last few years Grandma and I got to spend more time together than ever. She was a warm, nurturing and loving presence every day of my life. In her eyes I could do no wrong, and in mine either could she. We squeezed so many special moments, laughs memories into the time we had together.  I am proud and blessed that I have Clara as my Grandma.

Top 10 Loving Memories of Clara

A Life Well Lived and Her Beautiful Legacy
                                Read by Ryan D’Costa (Grandson) at
                          Celebration of Life Reception on 11/16/2019

She never needed a recipe yet the taste was always just right. From

chicken and rice to her famous ground beef with peas and sweets at Christmas time she made sure we were all well fed with some of her signature dishes. My personal favorite was her fish cutlets which I was lucky to have made alongside her several times even if mine have never come out quite as good as hers.

NUMBER   Her HOSPITALITY. She treated every visitor as her own special guest.
She always wanted to bring you a drink,

make you a cup of tea, and share some of her favorite biscuits. No matter how long you stayed she was sad to see you go and wanted to know when you were coming again. When I visited no matter how much I ate it was never enough. I used to joke that if I lived with her I would need to use the double front doors just to in and out of the house.

NUMBER 8 Her love of TRAVEL. She was always ready for a new adventure.
She loved taking cruises and visiting new

places. Some of her favorite places to visit included Hawaii, Australia, the Caribbean, Russia, the Mediterranean, Vegas, England and Canada. On every cruise or hotel stay she was happy to have a room with a view.  A few years into Brian and Mariella’s marriage she commandeered the front seat of every car and was happy to come on long road trips to Nevada and Washington.
She and I would share a cabin on cruises and she’s probably the only woman I’ll ever share a room with willing to get up at 5 to use the bathroom and the wipe it down completely so it was ready to go for me whenever I got up.

NUMBER 7 Her SWEET TOOTH was famous. She had a profound love
of biscuits, cakes, toffees, marzipan, chocolates,

jam, Indian sweets and fresh fruit. You couldn’t walk by a dessert case, a doughnut shop or a chocolate store without her freezing in her tracks. She always said she had an extra space in her stomach for ice cream. She enjoyed a shot glass of Port wine every evening and if Port wasn’t available, she always let you know that it wasn’t quite sweet enough. Sugar was the one food group that the portion was never “too much”

NUMBER 6 Her love of GARDENING. She could make the smallest cutting grow into a thriving plant. Most of our gardens

were started with cuttings of plants she gave us. She was as meticulous with her gardening as she was with everything she did and was not satisfied until every dry leaf and weed was taken care of.

NUMBER 5 Her HOBBIES. She loved to read the paper and watch her favorite TV shows like Lawrence Welk, Jeopardy,

Wheel of Fortune and Sit and Be Fit. She loved to do word puzzles, math puzzles and play games on her tablet.  In the afternoon she would enjoy time sitting at the front window and waving to the neighbors as they came home and watching the planes take off and land. She loved to sew and made her own dresses and was available for alterations even Christmas Eve 1999 as Brian was trying to propose.

NUMBER 4 Her METICULOUS nature. Whether she was making her bed, setting the table or cleaning the house there

was a correct way to do everything and she always made sure it was done to perfection. Even if the table was already laid out, but the napkins were folded into rectangles she would walk around the table and refold them into triangles so they were “nice”. She’s the only person I’ve ever met who looked back at last year’s Christmas cards to see if the person sent a religious card or not and whether they wrote dear or dearest so she could reciprocate.

NUMBER 3 Her sense of HUMOR. She had a very quick wit and always enjoyed a good laugh. She loved to make us and

herself laugh. On last Monday I was trying to tell her to take big sips of her water instead of what I always described as “baby bird sips”. When she took a small sip anyway I asked her if she was a baby bird and she replied no, I’m a duck. I asked her, if you’re a duck and you’re my grandmother what does that make me? Before she could even reply she started laughing looked at me and said a goose!

NUMBER 2 Her strong FAITH.
She was a devout Catholic and she instilled a deep faith in each of her children and

grandchildren. Her daily routine consisted of saying her daily prayer, saying the rosary and a peacefully reciting prayers from her collection. She never forgot to say her grace before meals and had a prayer for every occasion, whether it was travel, something was lost or any ailment.

NUMBER 1 Her love of FAMILY and FRIENDS.
She was part of large extended family and was able to fondly recall details

of family gatherings, relationships, birthdays and other special events going back several years. She was blessed to live with Mariella and Brian and had a daily conversation with Matilda and Joseph throughout her life. She also loved meeting new people and touched the lives of all those who knew her.  She cared about all of us deeply, the love was mutual, and we all adored her completely. She will remain in our hearts forever.

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