Clara Elizabeth Bylander, of Bethany Apartments in Brainerd, died Monday, Feb. 2, 2009, at the age of 89.
She was born Oct. 17, 1919, in Muncie, Ind., to Floyd and Lorena Lucia. She graduated from high school in Reedsburg, Wis., in 1937; she earned a bachelor of science degree from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in 1941.
She married Bruce Bylander on May 16, 1942, in Washington, D.C. During World War II she followed her husband to Marine Corps bases in North Carolina and California. She returned to Wisconsin while her husband served as a captain in the South Pacific.
Following World War II she lived in Argyle, Minn., for two years, where her husband taught school and coached basketball. After that, she returned to Eau Claire where she raised a family, worked as a church secretary and later served full time as a teacher's aid for the school district.
"Lu" was an active member of Lake Street Methodist Church for more than 70 years. She taught Sunday school, held numerous offices and was a 50-year member of the PEO Sisterhood. On behalf of the church, she knit countless mittens and stocking hats that were given to the needy. She seemed to know and care for every family in the church congregation. The reverse was true as well. Her circle of friends was as large as her heart.
Lu and Bruce were married 66 years. During those years they golfed, fished, danced and traveled frequently. Upon retirement, they spent a portion of each winter in Florida or Texas with family and friends.
She is survived by three children, daughter Kathryn Oatney, of Colorado Springs, Colo.; sons, James Bylander, of Austin, Texas, and C.B. Bylander, of Baxter; eight grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; two sisters; and one brother. Her husband died in October of 2007 at age 89.
Her funeral will be held 11 a.m. Saturday at Lake Street United Methodist Church in Eau Claire. Funeral arrangements are being handled by the Fuller-Speckien-Hulke Funeral Home. Memorials should be directed to Lord of Life Lutheran Church in Baxter.
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