CAMPBELL, Ohio (MyValleyTributes) – Clara (Campione) Casal Woychik, lovingly known to many as “Grandma Clara,” passed away peacefully at Liberty Health Center on Thursday, June 25, 2020, three days after her 97th birthday.
Born on June 22, 1923, the daughter of Frank Campione and Rosina (DeRocchis) Campione, Clara lived most of her life in Campbell, Ohio.
She was married to Joseph A. Casal from August 17, 1943 to October 2, 1975. After being widowed for over ten years, she married Henry Woychik on November 7, 1986 and they were together until he died in 1998.
While Clara faced her share of hardship, she never let it define her. She loved dancing to big band music with her first husband, Joe, throwing legendary New Year’s Eve parties for her large community of family and friends, giggling over card games with her grandchildren, gambling penny slots with her grown children and traveling with her second husband, Henry.
Family meant everything to her. She cherished those near and far and never failed to send a greeting card for almost every holiday. She treasured time spent talking, reminiscing and laughing. And as her family grew throughout the decades, there was always room at her table, in her heart and in her prayers.
She had a deep faith and was an active member of St Lucy’s (Christ the Good Shepherd) Church in Campbell and cooked at Friday kitchens and spaghetti dinners there for more than 50 years. She was a member of the Altar and Rosary Society, Campbell 1418 and Campbell Senior Citizens Clubs.
Blessed are those who have tasted her cooking. Her manicotti, milanese, pasta fagioli, spaghetti sauce and meatballs set the family standard. “The best ravioli in the history of the world” —that’s how food columnist Danni Leone described the hand-made ricotta-stuffed pasta she was famous for. In the decades before she got a ravioli press, she cut sheets of dough into individual circles with a water glass and meticulously sealed each one with a fork. She cooked with love and while she never hesitated to share her recipes, no one can truly duplicate them.
Clara had style and artistic talent. She was a “sharp” dresser with an exquisite collection of earrings that she innovatively stored in egg cartons. Later in life, she became an expert at ceramic crafts and created elegant, hand-painted gifts like soup tourines, spaghetti bowls, nativity sets and Christmas trees for her loved ones. She enjoyed crocheting; her scarves, afghans and baby blankets were as warm as her smile.
She will be deeply missed by many, including her children, Lydia (Bob) White of Campbell, Rich (Marilyn) Casal of Boardman and Bob (Rose) Casal of Hudson; stepchildren, Neill (Marion) Woychik of Poland and Shelly (Albert – [dec]) Gabriel of New Castle; her sister, Mary Mazias; sisters-in-law, Solina Cora, Adela Malie and Cel Ciarniello; brothers-in-law, John Texter and Tony Fuentes; 16 grandchildren, 26 great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren. She also leaves behind numerous nieces and nephews who loved her dearly.
Clara was preceded in death by her son, Joseph Casal, Jr.; her brothers, George and Harold Campion; her sisters, Vicki, Theresa and Vera; sisters-in-law, Millie Campion, Alice Campion, Louisa Costarella, Anita Fuentes and Violet Rosenberg and her brothers-in-law, John Mazias, Mike Zetts, Ralph Cora, Rocky Costarella, Jim Malie and Tom Ciarniello.
Due to the COVID pandemic, a private funeral mass was celebrated by Father John Jerek on Wednesday, July 1, at St Lucy’s (Christ the Good Shepherd) Church with services provided by Wasko Funeral Home.
The family would like to thank the staff of Liberty Health who cared for Clara for the past three years, especially those on the west wing who gave her an extra hug, an extra smile or an extra candy bar. She very much enjoyed the activities at the center. Memorial contributions may be made in her name to Liberty Health Care – Activity Fund, 1355 Churchill-Hubbard Road, Youngstown, OH 44505.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Clara Casal Woychik, please visit our floral store.
A television tribute will air Tuesday, July 7, at the following approximate times: 7:10 a.m. on FOX, 12:22 p.m. on WKBN, 5:08 p.m. on MyYTV and 7:27 p.m. on WYTV.