Claire Weimann, 80, of Berrien Springs passed away Thursday, July 23, 2020, at Hanson Hospice Center in Stevensville.
Claire was born May 9, 1940, in Napoleon, Ohio, to Pastor Martin and Elsa (Going) Zschoche. She moved to St. Joseph in 1953, when her father was called to the pulpit of Trinity Lutheran Church. She graduated from St. Joseph High School in 1958, then went on to attend the Wesley Memorial School of Nursing in Chicago (now Northwestern University), receiving an RN degree in 1961. On March 12, 1963, she married her high school sweetheart, Ensign Gerald “Jerry” Weimann, in Denver. She moved with Jerry to his active duty naval postings in Norfolk, Va., and San Diego, working as a nurse in both cities. After Jerry left active duty, the family settled in Berrien Springs.
After 11 years as a mother raising her family and a community volunteer, Claire spent two years as a nurse for the Easter Seal Society of Berrien County. She then made a mid-life career change to teach at Bridgman High School, teaching allied health, anatomy and physiology and other subjects. In over 20 years at Bridgman, she was a role model and inspiration to her students, and she always took delight in their success. While teaching and raising teenagers full-time, she also completed a bachelor’s degree in science education at Western Michigan University.
In her spare time Claire enjoyed gardening, reading, visiting museums and spending time with friends and family. She had eclectic taste, enthusiastically enjoying both British TV shows and college sports. She was a dedicated traveler throughout her life, enjoying trips to destinations ranging from Germany, Russia and the U.S. Virgin Islands to Milwaukee and Springfield, Ill. Jerry and Claire had a lifelong love of cooking and food sparked by their travels and experiences while Jerry was in the Navy.
Claire is survived by her daughter, Heidi Clarke; son, Peter (Amy Bruckman) Weimann; grandchildren, Ariel and Gabrielle Clarke and Noah and Evan Weimann; sister, Anita Rutlin; and son-in-law, Gregory Cline.
She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband; sister, Elaine Zschoche; daughter, Gretchen (Weimann) Cline; and son-in-law, Chuck Clarke.
Per their wishes, Claire and Jerry’s remains will be buried together at sea by the U.S. Navy, in the waters of the Atlantic off their original home port of Norfolk. Due to the unfortunate circumstances of COVID-19, the family is planning a memorial gathering for family and friends in summer 2021. Memorials may be made to two organizations that Claire volunteered with: the League of Women Voters of Berrien and Cass Counties or the United Way of Southwest Michigan. Those wishing to share a memory of Claire online may do so at www.starks -menchinger.com.