Clara Lahti
Clara Lahti
  • October 31, 1926 - April 30, 2011
  • Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin

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Lahti, Clara (nee Prospero), Known affectionately by her family and friends as Nonna, passed away April 30, 2011 at the age of 84 years. Beloved wife of the late Oliver Erick Lahti. Loving mother of Mark Lahti, Diane (Mark) Fischer, Daniel (Allyn) Lahti and Kathleen (Edward) Popp. Dear Nonna to Rachel (Patrick), Raymond (Kim), Erik (Ann Marie), Kyle, Erin, Danny, Matthew (Lindsey), Jason (Katie) and Kristin (Adam). Dear Great-Nonna to Lily, Ruby, Jeremy, Miakoda, Claudia, Anna, Lena and Oliver. Further survived by brother, Caesar (Charlene) Prospero; brother-in-law, Hugo (Maxine) Lahti; sister-in-law, Lilja Lahti; as well as nieces nephews other relatives and friends. Preceded in death by sister, Agnes.

Clara was born on the east side of Milwaukee on October 31, 1926, to Italian immigrant parents, Speranza and Giuseppe Prospero. As a young girl, Clara attended Cass Street School in Milwaukee where she was taught to speak English and needle work and baking from the nuns at St. Rita's. She learned to cook and sew at home from her mother and became an expert at both of them. She later attended Lincoln High School, graduating second in the class of 1945. After high school she attended the University of Wisconsin - Madison for 2 years until she returned home to care for her mother who was ill.

On one of her daily strolls down Brady Street to the lakefront in Milwaukee, she met the love of her life, Oliver Lahti, and they were joined in marriage on May 3, 1952. Together they raised four wonderful children.

After the passing of her husband in 1978, Clara devoted herself to helping raise her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Clara, proud of her Italian heritage, took great joy over the years in her travels to Italy to visit relatives there. However, her true passions in life included her faith in God, baking, sewing, and maintaining Italian traditions for her family and friends. Through her compassion, laughter, and never-ending determination she became a pillar of strength to her family-a true matriarch. Her life's work was taking care of the ones she loved. Nonna will be dearly missed but her legacy will be carried on through her credo "fede, cibo, e famiglia." (faith, food, and family).

Thank you to all our family and friends who helped us during her last days with their prayers and support. We would also like to thank the medical staff at Froedtert Hospital in Wauwatosa for their excellent and dignified care.

A Funeral Mass will be held on Thursday, May 5, at Good Shepherd Catholic Church in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin at 5:30 p.m. Father William Prospero, S.J., nephew to Clara, will officiate the mass. Visitation will take place before the Mass, beginning at 4:00 p.m. A private interment for immediate family members will be held Friday, May 6, at Holy Cross Cemetery.

"I may be little, but I'm mighty", Clara Lahti