Clara Bernice Joiner Hilgerson thumbnail

Clara Bernice Joiner Hilgerson (1930 - 2017)

Died: July 25, 2017

On December 12, 1930 a very special delivery arrived at the humble home of Andrew and Katie Lester Joiner in Laranger, Louisiana. The hazel-eyed, cotton topped little girl, Clara Bernice Joiner was the fifth of seven daughters. Clara’s childhood was spent playing in her father’s country grocery store, picking strawberr…read more

On December 12, 1930 a very special delivery arrived at the humble home of Andrew and Katie Lester Joiner in Laranger, Louisiana. The hazel-eyed, cotton topped little girl, Clara Bernice Joiner was the fifth of seven daughters. Clara’s childhood was spent playing in her father’s country grocery store, picking strawberries in the springtime and attending school with her sisters in rural Laranger. Clara graduated from Laranger High School in 1948 with aspirations to move to the “Big City”. She joined her older sisters in Baton Rouge where she found employment as a clerk at the East Baton Rouge Parish Health Unit. It was there she met the man of her dreams, Walter Russell Hilgerson, an X-Ray Technician who had recently returned from WWII. Russell and Clara were married in Baton Rouge on December 5, 1948. Their family soon grew from two to six with the births of daughters Judy, Connie, Kay and Brenda. Clara was a devoted wife and mother, not to mention a fabulous cook and seamstress. After spending several years as a homemaker, Clara returned to work in the Business Office of Our Lady of the Lake Hospital. Upon her retirement, Clara and Russell moved to Baker, Louisiana where they looked forward to many years of crafting together and traveling the country in their “Minnie Winnie” motorhome. Sadly, Russell passed away in 1996. In 2007, Clara moved to England Oaks in Alexandria, Louisiana. She joined Parkview Baptist Church where her mission became Operation Christmas Child, wrapping hundreds of shoeboxes a year for the charity. Throughout her life, Clara was steadfast in her faith as a devoted Christian. Although a humble, petite girl from the country, Clara grew to be a strong, devoted matriarch – the rock of her family. She had a special relationship with each and every one of her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She will be missed dearly. Mrs. Clara Bernice Joiner Hilgerson, of Alexandria, entered eternal rest on Tuesday July 25, 2017 surrounded by her loving family. She is preceded in death by her parents, Andrew and Katie Lester Joiner; husband, Walter Russell Hilgerson; and sisters, Audrey Willie, Carlene Willie, Viola Murphy and Dorothy Broussard. She is survived by her daughters Judy Diamond (Dennis), Connie Berbeusse (Edward), Kay Michiels (David) and Brenda Hilgerson; sisters, Betty Smith and Norma Gunn; grandchildren, Melinda Melancon, Melissa Seal, Melanie Kennedy, Ashley Liotta, Courtney Fall, Meghan Hymel, Heather Diamond, Corey Diamond, Elizabeth Hilgerson and Madeline Berbeusse; and 18 great-grandchildren. A Memorial Service will be held Friday, July 28 at 2:00 p.m. at Parkview Baptist Church in Alexandria. The funeral will be held in Baton Rouge at Rabenhorst East Funeral Home on Saturday, July 29 at 2:00 p.m. with visitation beginning at 10:00 a.m. Internment will follow at Resthaven Gardens of Memory. In lieu of flowers, Clara would be overjoyed for memorials to be sent to the Parkview Baptist Operation Christmas Child, 2101 MacArthur Drive, Alexandria, LA 71301.

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Service Information

Visitation Information

Date: Saturday, July 29, 2017

Time: 10:00 am - 2:00 pm

Rabenhorst Funeral Home East

Address:

11000 Florida Boulevard
Baton Rouge, LA 70815

Service Information

Date: Saturday, July 29, 2017

Time: 2:00 pm -

Rabenhorst Funeral Home East

Address:

11000 Florida Boulevard
Baton Rouge, LA 70815

Cemetery Information

Date: Saturday, July 29, 2017

Resthaven Gardens of Memory

Address:

Baton Rouge, LA

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