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Memories & Candles

“SteveIt was very sad to hear of the passing of your dear Mother. She was a wonderful lady of faith and family. I also want to compliment on your...Read More »
1 of 4 | Posted by: Ray Martinat - Connelly Springs, NC

“I am so thankful that the Lord allowed me to meet this beautiful lady. She and my mom Edith Singleton were room mates at Collage Pines for about 5...Read More »
2 of 4 | Posted by: Marcella Crawford - Morganton, NC

“My deepest sympathies and condolences to Steve and the family. Your mom was a significant woman in my developing years. I think of her and of Jack...Read More »
3 of 4 | Posted by: Cherie Abee Mabrey - Catawba, SC

“Steve, I am so very sorry to hear of your mother's passing. You were born to two of the finest people that I ever knew. I cherished the times...Read More »
4 of 4 | Posted by: john wilson - Taylorsville, NC


On March 20, 2020, Clara Mae Deal Demiter, age 96, passed away peacefully at College Pines Health and Rehabilitation in Connelly Springs, North Carolina.

Clara was preceded in death by her husband, George Steven (Jack) Demiter, of 54 years; her father, Arthur Deal; her mother Virginia (Jannie) Jacumin Deal; her sister, Francis Deal Micol (husband, Robert Micol); and her brother, Julius Arnold Deal (wife, Mildred Rigdon Deal); and her brother, Clyde Alvin Deal (wife, Evelyn Eckard Deal).

Clara is survived by her son, Steven George Demiter, of Connelly Springs; her grandchildren, David Steven Demiter (wife, Anissa Rader Demiter) of Connelly Springs, Jessica Demiter Anderson (husband, Billy Anderson) of Hickory, Marc Alan Demiter (wife, Tiffany Jones Demiter) of Valdese; her great-grandchildren Sydnie Demiter, Luke Demiter, Jack Demiter and Bayley Demiter; nieces, Janet Micol Burgess of Johnson City, Tennessee, Rachel Micol Christopher (husband, Huw Christopher) of Pasadena, California, Judy Deal Kimberlin (husband, David Kimberlin) of Morganton, Susan Deal Street of Morganton (husband, David Street), Debbie Deal Johnson (husband, Phil Johnson) of Connelly Springs, Lisa Deal Smith (husband, Keith Smith) of Connelly Springs; and many other family members.

In the late 19th century, Clara's grandparents, Jean Jacumin and Virginne' Peyronel immigrated from the Waldensian Valleys, Italy, to the United States to seek refuge from persistent persecution resulting from their steadfast insistence to practice their Christian faith and to provide room for growth. Clara's ancestors in Italy survived over thirty-three separate waves of persecution beginning in the 17th century. Ultimately, they settled in Burke County and built the town of Valdese through faith, hard work and sheer grit.

Clara's husband, Jack, was the son of Hungarian immigrants from Pennsylvania. Jack served in World War II and was in the first wave of United States Troops to invade Normandy. Although Jack was captured and kept as a prisoner of war, he escaped by his own ingenuity and was sent to the VA hospital in Asheville to recover. It was there he met Clara. The two married in Valdese and settled among Clara's family. There, Clara worked as a sewer and inspector in textile manufacturing at Pine Burr Hosiery and Pauline Hosiery.

Throughout her life, Clara was prolific at sewing, crocheting and knitting and was known for her love of butterflies and the mustard seed and cross she wore around her neck without fail. She sewed and dressed hundreds of Waldensian dolls to benefit the Waldensian Heritage Museum.

She was a strong woman of faith who loved her heritage. She was a life-time member of the Waldensian Presbyterian Church in Valdese. She was a member of the French Circle, taught Sunday School and was awarded Women of the Church Life-Time Membership.

In his 2018 published book, "With Their Backs Against the Mountains, 850 Years of Waldensian Witness," Rev. Dr. Kevin E. Frederick, Pastor of the Waldensian Presbyterian Church in Valdese, wrote of his experience in knowing Clara:

"I know of no one who cherishes her Waldensian faith more than 93 year
old Clara Jacumin Demiter who grew up without a father in a very poor
immigrant family of four children. (Clara's faith is inspirational to many and
is symbolized in her love for the parable of the mustard seed.) She has
been called the 'butterfly lady' because of the number of butterflies she has
crocheted and given to people in the town as a reminder of Christ's resurrection
and the Holy Trinity."

In difficult times, Clara would tell everyone to listen, encourage, give and pray. Her family encourages all of you to follow her advice in these difficult times.

"For I assure you: If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will tell this
mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible
for you." Matthew 17:20.

A graveside service will be held for Clara's immediate family on Monday, March 23, 2020 at 1:00 p.m. at the Waldensian Presbyterian Church Cemetery in Valdese, NC.

In light of the national pandemic occurring now, a service to celebrate Clara's life will be held at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to Waldensian Presbyterian Church, 109 Main Street East, Valdese, NC 28690 or Waldensian Heritage Museum, 208 Rodoret Street Valdese, NC 28690

The Demiter family is in the care of Heritage Funeral Service of Valdese, 828-874-0411.

Funeral Home
Heritage Funeral Service
1507 E. Main Street Valdese, NC 28690
Tel. (828) 874-0411
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