August 12, 1923 - August 9, 2019
Funeral Service DateAugust 16, 2019
Funeral Service Time 10:00 am
Clarisa Graciela Reyna Cifuentes de Girón, “Momma Clari”, 95, entered into eternal life with Jesus on Friday August 9, 2019 at Kingston Care Nursing Home. Clarisa was born on August 12, 1923 in San Marcos, Guatemala. After primary school, she was awarded a scholarship to attend a prestigious private school, La Patria, in Quezaltenango, Guatemala. It was there where she earned her teaching degree. Her passion to learn, despite lack of funds for the required books, brought about an ingenious plan to trade cleaning jobs for the wealthier girls in return for early morning textbooks loans. Clarisa was hired to teach at La Patria after her high school graduation. While at the school, she was a soccer and basketball coach, earning many championships for her teams. Her greatest moment in Quezaltenango, however, was the night she met a young man named Moisés Girón. He was a teacher chaperone from a visiting school. They shared their first dance that night. Momma Clari liked to tell stories about how she was reprimanded for dancing with Moisés that night, (La Patria was a Christian school and had a rule of no dancing with the boys). They were married in 1945.
Moisés and Clarisa eventually moved to Guatemala City where she taught first grade at El Milagro elementary school. She often had 70+ children in her classroom, as El Milagro was a poor school with minimal staff. It was at El Milagro where Clarisa saw a great need for the first graders to learn to read. She adapted a phonetics process, created in Spain, to teach the students. Year after year, her students left first grade as readers. Word got out about her success and she was asked to present a seminar to teach her method. Teachers from across the country came to hear her speak, which was one of her greatest achievements. She retired in 1979 from El Milagro.
Her passion for teaching continued after she emigrated to the United States in 1984. While taking English classes at the Community Center, Clarisa volunteered to teach a beginning level Spanish class in 1985. She continued to teach adults Spanish for the next 10 years. To further increase their cultural experience, Clarisa personally took a group of her students to Guatemala.
Clarisa’s Catholic faith was a central aspect of her life. Moisés always said that Momma Clari “taught him how to pray.” Moisés and Clarisa went to daily Mass, spent time in prayer at the Perpetual Adoration Chapel at St. Jude, and prayed the rosary together daily throughout their 73 years of marriage. She was especially devoted to María Auxiliadora, “Our Lady Help of Christians.” She was fervent in her dedication to the Salesian priests and nuns with whom she and Moisés worked with while representing Central America in the Worldwide Marriage Encounter movement.
Clarisa is survived by two daughters, Elena (Tom) Mast of Lutz, FL, Gladys (Jim) Weldon of Fort Wayne; four sons, Moisés (Connie) Girón, Ronny (Thelma ) Girón, Carlos (Ingrid) Girón all of Guatemala, CA and Juan (Diane) Girón of Fort Wayne;15 grandchildren and 21 great grandchildren. Clarisa was preceded in death by her husband, Moisés, in 2018 and great grandson, Alex Pellessier. The Girón family wishes to thank the Precious Blood Church community, where the Girón’s were present most Sundays at 10:15 am Mass. Clarisa loved a steaming hot cup of coffee so we thank Lindsey, our special waitress at Friends Too, for always keeping Momma’s cup full. We especially thank Moisés and Clarisa’s special caregivers at Kingston, Molly, Amanda Villegas, Billy, Amanda, Mackenzie, Amanda, Andrea, Corey, “J’, Jennifer, Miranda, Mary, LaRhonda, Hannah, Malorie, Victoria, Larosha and many others from every department who always showed such love and care for our parents in the last 3 years of their lives.
Mass of Christian Burial will be 10:00 am, Friday, August 16, 2019 at Most Precious Blood Catholic Church, 1515 Barthold with calling one hour prior. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Most Precious Blood Hand Bell Choir.
To sign the online guestbook, go to www.divinemercyfuneralhome.com.
Most Presious Blood Catholic Church
Address: 1515 Barthold St. Fort Wayne IN, 46808
Visitation Date August 16, 2019
Visitation Time 09:00 am – 10:00 am
Funeral Service Information:
Most Precious Blood Catholic Church
Address: 1515 Barthold St Fort Wayne IN, 46808
Service Date: August 16, 2019
Service Time: 9:00 am
Funeral Service Date August 16, 2019
Funeral Service Time 10:00 am