Clara Marie Soares, 99 a resident of Los Banos passed away peacefully on July 2, 2022, in the company of family. Clara was born Feb 23, 1923, to Fred and May Pettit in Gustine, CA. Three more girls were born after Clara: Rena, Betty, and Freda. In Feb of 1937, the family lost their second daughter, Rena. The family was devastated. Shortly after, in March, Fred got sick and passed due to wounds he received in WWI. May worked hard for her remaining children, taking work wherever she was able. The girls spent time with their Grandparents in El Nido until May was able to find work as a school teacher in Gustine.

 Clara met Melvin Soares and married him. Over 14 years, she gave birth to 10 children. With the 10 children in tow, the family lived a happy life in Gustine and later in Los Banos. Mel spent his working years in various jobs from owning a grocery/dry goods store to owning bowling alleys, a liquor store, along with a Real Estate and Insurance business. The children slowly married and moved off to start their own families and ended up giving Mel and Clara 11 beautiful grandchildren. Those in turn gave Clara 6 wonderful great-grandchildren. A more loving grandma could not have been asked for. She always had a wonderful time with family at BBQs, holidays, or at the yearly Santa Cruz/Aptos vacation. A lot of good memories were made by everyone.

She was preceded by her parents (Fred & May Pettit), her sisters (Rena Pettit & Freda Coelho) her husband (Melvin F. Soares, Sr) and 3 children (Frederick Soares, Ann Margain, and Scott Soares).

Clara is survived by her sister, Betty Hansen, 7 children, 11 grandchildren, and 6 great-grandchildren

A Rosary will be held on Tuesday, July 12, 2022 at 7pm at Whitehurst Funeral Chapel of Los Banos. The Funeral Mass on Wednesday, July 13, 2022 at 10:30 am at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Los Banos.