Greta Marie Hirsch Clarkin, beloved mother and grandmother, has passed away at the age of 84. Greta was born on Sept. 30, 1934, in Greybull, Wyo., and lived there until she graduated from high school. She entered college at Hastings, Neb., and graduated with a five-year teaching credential with emphasis in history and music. Afterwards, she taught in the Denver public school system for six years.
In 1962, Greta moved to Honolulu and started teaching at Punahou, a private school started by the New England missionaries in 1841. Years later, she taught at Holy Trinity and Star of the Sea. During her years at Holy Trinity, she actively participated in the yearly NSDAR (National Society Daughters of the American Revolution) – Aloha Chapter American History Contest representing grades 5 – 8 in public and private schools. Thirteen of her students were recognized as state winners of this contest and one of these students went on to win the U.S.A. Western Division in 1986. On Feb. 25, 1989, NSDAR honored Greta with the top history teaching award for grades 5 – 8 at a banquet at the Oahu Country Club in Honolulu. In 1990, Greta moved to San Diego, Calif., to be closer to her sister and mother. In San Diego she taught at All Hallows Academy in La Jolla until 2004 where she retired one month shy of her 70th birthday. After she retired, she continued to play the piano for the children’s masses for several years.
Greta married in Honolulu in 1965 and had three children and a foster daughter. Other than teaching and her family, Greta’s greatest passions were for music and for travel. She sang as soloist with the Denver and Honolulu Symphony and the Honolulu Opera. For the opening of the Neal Blaisdel Concert Hall in Honolulu on March 6, 1965, Greta was one of the soprano soloists chosen to sing in the presentation of “The Passion of St. John” by Johann Sebastian Bach under the direction of conductor George Barati and Shigeru Hotoke who trained the Central Union Choir and the Symphony’s Festival Chorus. Shigeru also sang for Greta’s wedding. She used her talents in music in several choirs and playing for children’s masses. Greta lived to travel. Her travels abroad began in college where she studied in Mexico City for a summer. After several years of teaching, she saved enough money to travel on the original Queen Mary from New York to London with five other girl friends. She spent the summer traveling through 13 countries in Europe and toured the Olympic compound in Rome just a few days before the opening of the 1960 Olympics. She was hooked on seeing the world! Over the years she traveled to many countries and continued to travel through her 70s.
Greta is survived by her sister Myrna Hirsch DeSomber and her brother-in-law Tony DeSomber. She is also survived by her son John Clarkin III and her daughters Megan O’Neill, Alex Hackett and foster daughter Vivian Shelly, along with her eight grandchildren.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Monday, June 10, 2019 at the Mount View Cemetery in Basin, Wyo., where Greta will be buried between her mother and father, Mirabell and Linus “Gabe” Hirsch. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donation to be made in Greta’s name to the St. Joseph’s Indian School in Chamberlain, S.D.
Arrangement have been entrusted to Atwood Family Funeral Directors.