Clara Ralston Wolfhard died peacefully in Fayetteville on Sunday October 7, 2018 at the age of 101.
Clara Belle Robertson was born May 1,1917 in Winston Salem NC to James Herbert and Lilla Belle Young Robertson. Much has happened in the past 101 years and Clara tried to enjoy and participate in as much of that as humanly possible.
She grew up in Madison, North Carolina and graduated in 1937 from Guilford College in Greensboro. She worked in rural North Carolina after graduation as a Home Demonstration Agent helping women become more efficient in running their homes and feeding their families. This was particularly helpful in the hard economic times of the great depression and with the shortages later caused by World War 2.
During the war, she attended a dance for soldiers stationed in the area. There she met Fred Ralston a Navy Corpsman who almost did not attend since it was his first chance to relax in a bed after weeks of basic training. The rule at the dance was to change partners after each dance. Fred would not let her go and they danced the whole night. On April 28, 1944, they were married in Little Washington, North Carolina.
Clara moved to Fayetteville in 1946 where Fred worked as a funeral director ultimately opening Ralston Chapel where Clara was well known for her artistic talent in arranging memorial flowers. They had three children: Susan, Clare and Fred, Jr.
Fred died in 1976 and Clara began a lengthy series of trips around the world. She was active in First Presbyterian Church where for many years she arranged weekly flowers in the sanctuary. She loved traveling, flowers, gardening and was a wonderful cook.
In 1996, she met Dr. Hans Wolfhard, a German combustion physicist on a trip to Mexico. After getting to know each other he asked her to marry him. She said could not move to DC because she did not want to leave her grandchildren Jim and Will who were then two years old. He moved to Fayetteville and they were married in December 1996 in the Chapel of First Presbyterian Church. He continued to do highly classified work at Arnold Engineering in Tullahoma until shortly before his death in 2008.
Clara is survived by her daughter, Susan Ralston McLean; her son, Dr. Fred Ralston, Jr ; 3 grandsons, Jim Ralston, Will Ralston, and Alex McLean; 12 nieces and nephews; 29 great nieces and nephews; and 40 great great nieces and nephews.
Clara was preceded in death by her daughter Clare Chapman Ralston; her brothers, Winfred Robertson, Edwin Robertson and James Robertson; and her sister, Elizabeth Stamper.
A funeral service for Clara will be conducted at 2 PM on Saturday, October 20, 2018 at Higgins Funeral Home with Rev. Bruce McVey and Rev. Tom Sparks officiating. Burial will follow in the Rose Hill Cemetery.
Visitation with the family will be from 12 PM until 2 PM on Saturday at Higgins Funeral Home. Memorial donations may be made to First Presbyterian Church, P.O. Box 472, Fayetteville, TN 37334.