In Loving Memory: Claire Irene Biel

It is rare that someone leaves people with only memories of love, kindness, compassion, caring, and faith.
Claire Irene, 96 years young, was born in San Jose, CA on March 9, 1922 to Charles and Claire (Harmon) Lynch. She passed away in Modesto on September 8, 2018. While accompanying a high school friend to a New Year’s Eve party, she met Albert Biel, and he became her life-long love. On April 11, 1942, Bert and Claire were married. Their first daughter, Irene, was born while Bert served as a pilot during WWII. After the war, the young couple moved to the family ranch on Eylar Mountain south of Livermore. In 1948 the family of four (daughter Christine had been born) moved again; this time to Los Banos. In the ensuing years, two more daughters Barbara, and Rosemary arrived. Claire and Bert continued to divide their time and energy between the ranch and life in Los Banos.
Claire raised her family, made lifelong friends, and became a library technician employed by the Los Banos Unified School District, retiring after 30 years. Her love of life led to a full social calendar, bowling weekly until she was 93 years old. Many were recipients of recycled jean projects she created and gifted or donated. She was an active member of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church. Claire joined, supported, and served many community organizations as an office holder, a volunteer, and contributor. Among the groups who benefited from her efforts were: YLI Mystical Rose Inst. 169 (past-president and member 55+ years), VFW Post 2487 Auxiliary, St Joseph’s Altar Society, CSEA Retirees Council 5033 (past-president), Heritage League of the Second Air Division (USAAF), her Sewing Club, and St Clare’s Retreat (promoter 50+ years).
Claire was preceded in death by her daughter Christine Argentieri, grandson Morgan Argentieri, son-in-law Craig Lighty, and her brothers, Charles and David Lynch. She is survived by her husband of 76 years Albert H. Biel, daughters Irene Hurner (Keith), Barbara Mello (Tom), Rose Biel Lighty, and son-in-law Sam Argentieri, grandchildren Phillip and Gregory Hurner, Gretchen Derbidge, Michael, Patrick, Matthew and Andrew Argentieri, Amanda Bourbon, Aaron Mello, Sarah Silva and Eric Mello, 22 great-grandchildren, 3 great, great-grandchildren and sister, Marjorie Le Donne.
The Rosary will be held at St Joseph’s Catholic Church, 1621 Center Ave, Los Banos on Friday, September 21, 2018 at 10:00 am followed by a Mass celebrating her life at 10:30 am. Share your written stories of remembrance to be included in a memory book. Donations in her memory may be sent to Our Lady of Fatima School, 1625 Center Ave. Los Banos; St. Clare’s Retreat, 2381 Laurel Glen Rd. Soquel, CA 95073; or Heritage League of the Second Air Division (USAAF), 682 Slade Ave, Elgin, IL 60120.

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