Active Well into Her 90s, Clara Nicon Passes at 99, Mourned by Seattle Community

SEATTLE, WA (Seattle Times)– Clara Chakos Nicon passed away on August 1. She was born in 1914 in Everett, Washington, a small mill town with many rough edges which may have contributed to her tenacity in later years. Her name varied from Katherine to Cleanthi to Clara, the latter given by her godfather who was enamored with a woman by the same name. Her parents died when she was very young and her uncle Shushu cared for the family. In 1920 Clara and her two brothers moved to live with their older sister and brother-in-law, Effie and Peter Wells.
Clara grew up in an extended family environment in Seattles Wallingford neighborhood. She graduated from Lincoln High School in 1932 and married Spiro Nicon in 1934. Raising her children, working in the family restaurants, volunteering at her church and her childrens schools were the main activities of her early life. She was Parent Teachers Association president at the 50th anniversary of her Alma Mater. The family traveled extensively: a 7000-mile driving trip around the US in 1951 and another to Acapulco, Mexico, and back in 1956. She and Spiro traveled even more. In 1959 they shipped a car to Great Britain and drove it all the way to Greece. They drove to and from Alaska and 21 times cross country to and from Boston. Their adventures took them to Greece several more times and also to Australia. {66233}
Once her children were grown, Clara really came into her own. She was the first woman parish council president at Seattles Assumption Greek Orthodox Church. A few close friends affectionately knew her as the General. She liked to get things done. She used neither guilt nor persuasion but would simply state what needed to be done and asked for help. If no one was available, shed do it herself. The pastel napkins and decorations on the tables at church events were either placed by, or planned for by Clara. Her work with Philoptochos, the womens auxiliary, is legend. She always seemed to be carrying some envelopes, a note or two or a contribution toward some purpose.
She created Claras Corner where her handiwork of cloth napkins, aprons and embroidered dish towels were sold to benefit the churchs philanthropic work.
At 96 years young, Clara was selected for the Philoptochos AGAPE award from the San Francisco Metropolis which was presented to her at the 2010 National Convention in Atlanta, Georgia. She was a member of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese Leadership 100 as one who gave generously to her church and its missions.
While Clara slowed a bit in her 90s she continued to operate on overdrive in her mind. She worked the newspaper crossword puzzle and read from the bible every morning. She enjoyed a good Scrabble game and was an avid reader. She exercised regularly through a program at Group Health Cooperative. She was a Mariners fanatic. She possessed an incredible optimism and an unshakeable spiritual faith. She did not judge. She never wore black; red suited her better. She kept the US Postal Service and Hallmark in business by sending hundreds of greeting cards to her friends and acquaintances. She kept in regular contact with her family. She made quilts for AIDS babies while watching ball games. She took naps every afternoon and after giving up vodka-tonics enjoyed a glass or two of Chardonnay before or with meals.
What a life! What a wonderful life! What a wonderful woman!
Clara was preceded in death by her husband Spiro in 1994 after 60 years of marriage. She is survived by her son John Nicon and daughter-in-law Joann, her daughter Faye Stylianopoulos and son-in-law Rev Theodore, six grandchildren and nine great grandchildren. In lieu of flowers remembrances may be made to the Church of the Assumption building fund, the International Orthodox Christian Charities or to a charity of choice .
Trisagion service at Bonney-Watson, Capitol Hill, Seattle, 7pm Sunday, August 4. Funeral service at Greek Orthodox Church of the Assumption, 1804 13th Ave, Seattle, 11am, Monday, August 5th. May her memory be eternal.