Clara  Conrad

Obituary of Clara Bullard Conrad

Clara Bullard Conrad of West Columbia died Feb. 24 from brain trauma sustained in a fall. She was 84 years old.

Clara was born in Orangeburg to Myrtle DeMars Bullard and Benjamin Franklin Bullard. She spent summers with family at Folly Beach, graduated from Orangeburg High School and made her way to Columbia with the telephone company, where she began dating John. The handsome young telephone cable splicer would call her from utility “manholes” under Columbia’s streets and talk until 2 in the morning. They married Sept. 28, 1956.

Mother of four and a member since 1960 of Mt. Tabor Lutheran Church in West Columbia, Clara was always everywhere: teaching Sunday school to toddlers, leading Scouting programs, planning Vacation Bible Schools, collating tens of thousands of pages of annual yearbooks, polishing communion brass, and ensuring lots of kids not her own always had a ride to Weekday Church School, choir practice, and youth group. She was among the great church pinchers, employing surreptitious means to correct unchurched behavior of anyone in her row. For nearly 30 years, Clara worked as secretary at Mt. Tabor. She was a faithful member of the Augsburg Sunday School Class and the Ladies Aid, a long-time volunteer with Lutheran Brotherhood, and worked years archiving church records.

Clara was prolific and accomplished in sewing and needlework, was an insatiable reader, a whiz at word games, a great partner for Spades, and back in the day a pretty decent bowler. She loved her home and enjoyed decorating and redecorating. She was always happy when the azaleas and gardenias were in bloom, or when a neighbor was available for conversation at the back fence. She loved to laugh; she loved to sing. Road trips were a special pleasure for Clara and John, including visits with their wandering daughters or with Clara’s sister in Minnesota, returns to South Carolina beaches, or just anywhere that looked interesting.

She is survived by her partner and husband of 65 years, John Conrad; by children Karen (John Foley), Deb (Hannah Truxell), Ray (Tina Conrad), and David (fiancé Patti Gobbel); by her sister Patricia Dahl; by grandchildren, Daniel and Leah Conrad, and many nieces and nephews.

A funeral service for Clara will be at Mt Tabor, 1000 B Avenue, 3 pm Sunday, with visitation beginning at 1 pm in the church fellowship hall. A brief graveside service and interment will follow at Mt. Tabor Cemetery.

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