On July 30, 1943 in Campbellsburg, Kentucky, the late Columbus and Mattie Bohannon welcomed the arrival of a sensitive, sincere and fun loving soul. Clara Bohannon had arrived. She was the fourth child of eventually seven children born to this hardworking couple.
Clara Bohannon confessed Christ at an early age. At the age of 15, through her older sister the late Evelyn Faye (Bohannon) Smith, she became a caregiver to the children of a nationally known photographer named Daniel Ransohoff. She had an opportunity to meet and talk to Dr. Albert Sabin, the man who developed the oral polio vaccine, nearly eradicating the disease around the world.
Clara Bohannon was born an outstanding athlete. Unfortunately, due to the strong prejudiced and the limited opportunities for an African-American woman athlete in the late 50s and early 60s, she could only “graduate” from Blanchester High School in 1961, instead of “radiate” forth in her athletic gifts. The following are a list of athletic contests she participated: basketball, archery, track and softball.
She joined a local Blanchester softball team who already featured her sister-in-law, Mary Lou Bohannon (Marshall). They became legends in the 60’s woman softball league. She also developed her talents in bowling. She won several bowling tournaments in the late 60’s and early 70’s. In the early 1970’s she got an opportunity to work for Keebler. She met another Albert. This gentleman became her husband in July 1973. She joined her husband’s church Corinthian Baptist Church, pastored by the great late Rev. Wesley V. Maxie. On September 15, 1975, they made a decision that would forever change both their lives. They adopted a four month old baby boy and named him Brandon. In May 1977, this young family of three moved to Detroit, where they joined another wonderful church pastored by the strong Rev. Dr. Richard M. Randall.
From 1982 to June 1984, she completed a foundation laying education for her future at the one and only Greater OIC. This was a clerical II program that enabled her to find employment over the next 24 years as an administrative assistant for the following: Allstate Insurance, a good man Dr. Robert Heidelberg, two legendary schools: Southwestern High School and Catherine Ferguson Academy, along with the groundbreaking school, Winans Academy of Performing Arts.
Due to unforeseen circumstances, she found herself looking for another church home. She became a member of the Perfecting Church pastored by another outstanding pastor, Marvin Winans. This ministry would be my mother’s final resting place. “Clara”, “Aunt Clara”, “Sis, Ms. Martin”, “Ms. Bohannon”, “Mother Martin”, “God Mommy” and “Momma” was an unforgettable person. Because of one simple thing, whatever she did she did it with all her might — HARD.
She laughed hard. She cried hard. She fussed hard. She hugged hard, She demanded respect hard, she went to Church hard. She friended, she sistered and she auntied hard. But most important, she LOVED hard! After coming back to life six times in the ICU. God laid the GREAT WARRIOR Clara Bohannon to rest.....
Clara Bohannon leaves to cherish her memory: her son, Brandon Martin of Detroit, MI; brother, Marshall (Mary Lou); sisters, Mabel D. Evans (Clarence) of Milford, Ohio, Rose M. Dews (Ellis) of Cincinnati, OH, Columbus Bohannon, Jr. of Cincinnati, OH and Goldeen Bohannon-Dixie (Rodney) of Houston, Texas: one goddaughter, Elder Sharice Blalock; a dear friend, Dr. Magalene Hester; and an army of nieces, nephews, cousins, other relatives and many dear friends.
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