Clarice M. ‘Clem’ Wood

By on May 6, 2010

Clarice M. “Clem” Wood, 78, passed away Tuesday, May 4, 2010, at Provena Pine View Care Center in St. Charles, where she had recently made her home.

She was born July 13, 1931, in Fort Atkinson, Wis., the daughter of Edwin and Helen (Paulson) Gilkey.

In 1939, the family moved to a farm in the Elburn area, and she graduated from Elburn High School. Following high school, Clem went to college for a year before having the distinction of being the first waitress at the local Dairy Joy and worked at the Kountry Kettle for 20 years. She then spent more than 30 years working between the stacks at the Elburn Library.

Clem’s brother had a good friend in Frank Wood, and before long, the introduction was made, and then history was made as well when they were united in marriage in 1954.

They began their new life together in Batavia for a time before moving into town for a time. Many years were spent on a farm on Keslinger Road until they made their home in town once more in 1970.

Clem was an active member of the Women’s Auxiliary of the Elburn American Legion, Post 630. She also was a member of the Community Congregational Church in Elburn.

Clem was a picture of opposites at times. In her younger years, she rode her pony, Amigo, was a “biker” and later a librarian. She was a crafter who enjoyed crocheting and macrame but also bowled more than 40 years of frames and knocked down thousands of pins on a local league. She enjoyed garage sales but also trips to Chicago to see the latest play.

Her biggest passion and pastime, no matter her age, was playing cards, especially Liverpool Rummy. Clem was known for her softball skills, and later her coaching skills, leading team after team to local championship games, many times hoisting the trophy after the final out. Her grandchildren were the best part of her life, and the years of memories were chronicled by the “quirky” one-of-a-kind gifts that no one else could ever, and most likely will ever, give. Thousands of memories, hundreds of gifts, and 78 years were the legacy she left those who loved her most.

She is survived by her husband, Frank; two daughters, Deborah A. Faber of Maple Park, and Jami B. (Todd) Haffner of Elburn; four grandchildren, Christopher (Kari) Faber and their daughter, Addison of North Aurora, Michelle (Charlie) Worthley of Geneva, Matthew Haffner of Elburn and Casey Haffner, also of Elburn; two siblings, Jean Harrington and Robert (Jan) Gilkey; and many nieces, nephews and a family of friends.

She is preceded in death by her parents and one brother, James Gilkey.

Visitation will be from 3 to 6:30 p.m. with a memorial service to celebrate her life to follow at 7 p.m., Friday, May 7, at Conley Funeral Home, 116 W. Pierce St., Elburn, IL 60119. Private family interment will follow at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established in her name to benefit Town and Country Library in Elburn. Checks may be made to the “Clarice Wood Memorial” and mailed in care of P.O. Box 66, Elburn, IL 60119. Tributes may also be forwarded to the same address or online at