Clara Baker Tatum, beloved mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, sister, and friend, passed away on Sunday, July 9, 2023, in Brandon, Mississippi. Born on February 10, 1931, in Rankin County, Mississippi, Clara's life was filled with an abundance of love and joy that she wholeheartedly shared with those around her.
Clara was a woman of many talents and passions. She had a remarkable skill for sewing and crafting, often dedicating herself to creating beautiful clothes for her grandchildren, nieces, and nephews. With her nimble hands, she could fashion anything from curtains to dresses and quilts, showcasing her limitless creativity. For 20 years, Clara owned and operated her beloved NeedleCraft shop, Clara’s NeedleCrafts, where she taught needlecraft, quilting, sewing, knitting, smocking, cross stitching, and crewel embroidery. Not only was she an inspiring teacher, but she also took great care in framing completed works with precision and expertise in her Frame Shop. Her meticulous touch extended beyond her store, as she skillfully preserved cherished pieces for the public, ensuring their beauty was beautifully preserved for years to come.
Gardening and cooking were two of Clara's additional passions. Her green thumb blessed her gardens with an abundance of vibrant flowers, lush trees, and beautiful shrubs. She found solace in tending to her plants and took great pride in the beauty they brought. Clara's culinary skills were renowned among family and friends who eagerly awaited the next delectable meal prepared by her loving hands.
In addition to her creative pursuits, Clara was an avid reader who derived great pleasure from immersing herself in books of all genres. Her love for literature knew no bounds as she devoured countless novels throughout her life, instilling a love of reading in her children and grandchildren. You could always find her with three to four books, as she took weekly trips to the library, always seeking the next mystery, adventure, action or romance novel. Furthermore, Clara possessed an unwavering enthusiasm for sports and closely followed various athletic competitions. From the thrill of watching a baseball game to the intensity of a football match, she cheered on her favorite teams with unwavering dedication.
Clara's unwavering compassion for others guided her path towards a Bachelor's degree in Special Education from Mississippi College. It was her deep empathy and understanding of the unique challenges faced by individuals with special needs that drove her to pursue this field of study to make a difference in the lives of those who often faced barriers to education and understanding.
Clara's passion for life extended even beyond creative pursuits and hobbies. She was an avid stock trader who remained actively engaged in the financial market until the time of her passing. Her acumen and interest in the stock market demonstrated her tenacity and determination to continuously explore new endeavors.
Clara lived a life deeply rooted in faith and community as a cherished member of the Brandon First United Methodist Church. Clara's commitment to her spiritual journey was evident in her active involvement within the church community. Clara's legacy as a lifelong member of the Brandon First United Methodist Church will forever be cherished, as her spirit and devotion continue to inspire those who were fortunate enough to witness her profound love for God and her fellow worshipers.
Clara's impact on the lives of those around her extends far beyond her extraordinary accomplishments. She leaves behind cherished memories that will be forever etched in the hearts of her family and friends. Clara is reunited in eternal peace with her parents, Vanderbilt Baker and Lillie Whitley Baker, as well as her beloved husband, Sidney Tatum, and sons, Steve Tatum and Mitch Tatum.
Her memory will be cherished by those she leaves behind: son David (Debby) Tatum of Slidell, LA; grandchildren Samantha, Haley, and Olivia Tatum, and Lindsey (Julian) Stubbs of Jackson, MS; great-grandchild Locke Turing Stubbs; siblings Doug (Jackie) Baker of Brandon, MS, Ann (David) Drye of Long Beach, MS, Mary Steenhuis of Brandon, MS, and Carol Baker. Their lives have been forever enriched by Clara's love, wisdom, and unwavering support.
Friends and loved ones are invited to pay their respects at the Visitation event being held on July 14, 2023 at Ott & Lee Funeral Homes- Brandon in Brandon, Mississippi from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM. A Funeral Service will follow at the same location from 12:00 PM to 12:30 PM. Clara will be laid to rest during a Burial service at Floral Hills Memory Gardens in Pearl, Mississippi from 1:00 PM to 1:15 PM.
Clara Baker Tatum will forever be remembered for her boundless love, unwavering dedication, and extraordinary talents. Her spirit will continue to inspire those who were fortunate enough to have known her. As we mourn her loss, let us also celebrate the remarkable life she led and the profound impact she had on all those whose lives she touched. May her soul rest in eternal peace.
In lieu of flowers the family requests donations to either the Brandon library or the First United Methodist Church.