Clair Van Wirt

Clair Van Wirt stepped into the presence of her Lord and Savior on November 9, 2023.  She was born in Queens, New York City on June 7, 1934, and was the daughter of Madison Barker Wilbur and Mahala Haviland Howe.  As a young child growing up on Long Island, she lost her father at the age of seven, but was fortunate to spend her summers with her grandfather Wilbur on his farm in Saratoga, New York.  Clair attended Glens Falls High School and then Albany State Teacher’s College.  She met her husband-to-be Alfred Paul Van Wirt on a blind date at dinner in Glens Falls, New York with another blind dating couple – and he was the other gal’s date!  They married October 19, 1955, and spent over 57 years together until Al’s death in 2013.

Once married, Clair and Al moved to Charleston, West Virginia, and then to Luling, Louisiana where they lived until Al retired in 1996, then moving to Jonesborough, Tennessee.  Clair and Al also enjoyed time in the summers in the cool mountains of Cattail Creek, near Burnsville, North Carolina.

Clair was a devoted wife and mother, and her greatest role in life was with her family, raising their three boys Doug, Peter, and Tom.

Clair is a Christian, trusting in Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior since she was 12 years old.  Her earthly body has died, but she is alive in the presence of God today, now rejoicing with her husband and many other friends and family who have gone before her.  She wants you to know that God loves you, and that Jesus died on the cross for your sins and rose again from the grave so that we can have victory over sin and death, and that you can trust in Him also.  When discussing her final wishes, she said that she wanted “Jesus Saves” on her grave stone.

While in Luling, Clair taught an Explorer’s Bible Study class and had many ladies from different churches and denominations.  She used “Clair’s Bell” to ring during the meetings if discussions wandered to issues of differing opinions to maintain harmony.

Clair and Al were also square dancers and were members of the local Louisiana square dance club “The Swamp Stompers”.

Clair was also a prolific artist.  She took many classes from famous painters in the French Quarter of New Orleans, and used watercolor, acrylic, oil, charcoal, and even silkscreen for some of her work.

Clair and Al both have countless good friends in their communities, and were members and attended Bible Center Church in Luling Louisiana, Trinity Baptist Church in Jonesborough Tennessee, and Bolens Creek Baptist Church in Burnsville Tennessee, and loved singing in the choir.  They were also fond of their Cattail Creek homeowner’s association regular dinners in the mountains.

Clair was preceded in death by her husband Al, and is survived by her three sons Doug (Sharon), Peter (Debbie), and Tom (Penny); her seven grandchildren Steph (Hermes), Mike (Lizzie), Zoe (Farris), Raegan, Seth, Ian, and Olivia; her three great-grandchildren, Iris, Xavier, and Milo, her cousins, and many friends.

Clair’s funeral service of worship and thanksgiving will be held at Trinity Baptist Church; 260 Headtown Rd, Jonesborough, TN 37659 on Saturday, November 18, 2023, at 1pm with visitation and reception following.   The interment will follow at Fairview Cemetery at 4pm; 1033 Leesburg Rd. Jonesborough, TN 37659.

Flowers may be sent to Dillow-Taylor Funeral Home; 418 W. College Street; Jonesborough, TN 37659, and those desiring to send a donation may send it to Trinity Baptist Church P.O. Box 99 Jonesborough, TN 3765, for the choir fund.

Condolences may be sent to the Van Wirt Family online at

Dillow-Taylor Funeral Home & Cremation Services, Jonesborough, TN 423-753-3821


Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.