Smith & Kernke Funeral Directors
14624 North May Avenue
Oklahoma City, OK 73134
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1941 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
Nov. 3, 1941 - Nov. 19, 2017 OKLAHOMA CITY John, the first child of Helen (Green) and Anthony "Tony" Claro, was born in Harrisburg, IL. Within three years, the family was complete with the births of his brother, Joseph "Joe," and his sister, Portia. Dad's career brought the family eventually to Oklahoma City, where John attended Corpus Christi and McGuinness, forging lifelong relationships. At a very young age, Dad bought him a punching bag and Mom started him in piano and vocals. He loved sparring with his brother and adored his little sister for her charitable spirit. After high school, John attended St. Edward's University in Austin, where he was on the boxing and tennis teams, and under the teachings of the Holy Cross Brothers, discovered his love of literature and philosophy. He completed his undergraduate degree at OU, entered law school and was a proud member of the Class of '65. John was honored to serve as a JAG officer for the 45th Infantry Division of the Army National Guard. For many years, John was a partner in Barefoot, Moler & Claro, practicing with his brother for over 25 years. Over the years, he practiced with many other fine lawyers and enjoyed seeing those younger develop into respected practitioners. John was an avid hunter and loved watching his dogs work. John married Janis Foss, enriching her life with his contagious passion for opera, Italian cooking, and travel. Together, they embraced one another's interests, whether it be at La Scala, boating in the Bahamas, cheering on the Sooners or quietly watching wildlife in the woods. There was nothing John enjoyed more than hosting his family and friends for feasts in his kitchen. John treasured his nieces and nephews and felt their love, particularly through his final months. John approached his terminal diagnosis a year ago in his pugilistic way, never speaking of his pain, and ensuring that he continued to live as he always had, savoring every moment. John quietly slipped into eternity in the early morning hours on Nov. 19, 2017, with Janis next to him and family in his home. His parents preceded him in death. He is survived by Janis and their niece, Lisa Schaapveld; his brother, his children and grandchildren, Tony Claro; Courtney & Mike Ryan, Gwendolyn, Evelyn; Jason & Amy Claro, Davis, Annie, Walker; Candace & Brad Shelley, Blythe, Braden, Claire; and Bryan Claro; and his sister and brother-in-law, Portia & Mike Clark, their children and grandchildren, David Clark; John Anthony & Michelle Clark, Chase, Cali; Katie & Kyle Mitchell, Dean; and Danny Clark. Suggested memorials to Oklahoma University College of Law, the OCU Innocence Project, or Hearts for Hearing. The family will receive friends 4-7 p.m. on Nov. 29 with the Memorial Service at 2 p.m. on Nov. 30, both at Smith & Kernke, 14624 N. May, OKC.
Published in The Oklahoman from Nov. 26 to Nov. 29, 2017
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