Cover photo for Claran Stecker's Obituary
Claran Stecker Profile Photo
1926 Claran 2014

Claran Stecker

February 25, 1926 — July 12, 2014

Claran Stecker, 88, of 606 N. Segoe Rd, Madison, passed away on Saturday, July 12, 2014, in her home.

She was born in 1926 to Walter and Helen Ganscoe in Chicago.
Creativity and optimism guided Claran's life. She rarely faced a problem that appeared to be more than a bump in the road. These exceptional traits have been passed on through the lives of her children.

Her early career of designing clothing for Marshall Field & Company became an impetus for years of beautiful, original creations for her family.

Claran later directed the art department of the Stephen Fossler Company, using her steady eyes and hands to design seals and plaques before the digital age. As a testament to her modern-thinking, when computers arrived, she embraced them. And up until recently, she often video-chatted with family and used her iPad for card games.

While raising her children, she was actively engaged in the Mt. Prospect, Illinois, community through political campaigns and organizations such as Welcome Wagon, 4-H, and the Ladies Auxiliary. Her creative frugality permitted the family to build a cabin in Wisconsin, furnished largely with her "finds" from yard sales and factory close-outs.

An avid reader, Claran helped adults learn to read English through the Literacy Network after she retired.

Later she lived independently in Stuart, Florida for 20 years, enjoying card-playing, reading, and socializing with other fortunate souls who had lost the taste for Midwest winters.

Yielding to her family's requests, she moved to Madison in 2012 so that they could spend more time her, and they did. In fact, they hope that their warm hearts compensated for the harsh winters she last endured.

Her family would like to thank the outstanding staff of Segoe Gardens & Independent Living for their loving and attentive care as well as the Agrace Hospice team for their guidance and support during Claran's final weeks at home.

Surviving are her two children: Bill Stecker (Judy Williams) of Conifer, Colorado, and Joanne Sepich (Rob) of Madison, Wisconsin; three grandchildren: Lindsey O'Malley (Ed), Eric Stecker, Jemma Sepich; and two great-grandchildren: Liam and Gavin O'Malley.

Claran was preceded in death by her parents and brother, Walter Charles.

Informed Choice of Madison is assisting the family with arrangements.

There will be a private gathering for immediate family. Memorials may be made in her honor to the non-profit organization Independent Living, 2970 Chapel Valley Rd, Suite 203, Madison, WI 53711 (

Always an optimist.
To order memorial trees in memory of Claran Stecker, please visit our tree store.


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