Clara Orueta Fondi passed from this life on August 22, 2012. She was 94 years old. Clara was born in the Caserio Anacabe near the village of Ondarroa, Spain. She was named Clara de Orueta y Anacabe, the first child of her parents Eugenio Orueta and Evarista Anacabe. In 1921 Clara, her younger sister Asuncion and her parents immigrated to the United States, settling first in Mountain Home, Idaho and finally in 1927 to Ely, Nevada. Clara's brother John was born prior to the family's move to Ely. In due course all became United States citizens and they were as proud of that achievement as they were of their Basque heritage.
Upon settling in Ely, Clara's parents purchased the Commercial Hotel, a Basque boarding house and hotel. Everyone in the family worked there. Even though working in the hotel daily, Clara found time for her studies and excelled in school graduating as the valedictorian of the White Pine High Class of 1936. Shortly after graduating she married Mike Fondi, the love of her life, on May 30, 1936. They had been married 62 years when Mike passed away on August 2, 1998. Clara and Mike had one child, Michael E. Fondi (wife Valerie Cooney) of Carson City, Nevada. She is survived by three grandsons, Michael David of Las Vegas, Anthony Paul (Connie) of Carson City, and Jonathan M. (Carrie) of Reno, Nevada. She is also survived by six great grandchildren. Clara's husband Mike, her parents and her brother, John, preceded her in death.
Banking became Clara's profession. Starting at the Ely National Bank in 1948, she worked for 50 years through many bank name changes until her retirement from the Ely branch of Bank of America in 1998. In January of 1999 she moved to Carson City to live with her son and his wife and lived there until she passed away.
Always active in her church and community, Clara belonged to many organizations and served on many committees to help make Ely a better place to live. She loved antiques and had a story to tell about every acquisition, many of which now reside in her son and grandchildren's homes. She was an avid reader of everything she could get her hands on. Clara's love for her church, her work, her friends and her family was apparent in everything she did. Everyone who knew her will miss her very much. God Bless and God's speed, Clara.
Services will be held in Carson City at St. Teresa of Avila Catholic Church, 3000 North Lompa Lane on Saturday, September 1, 2012 at 9:30 a.m. Internment with graveside services to take place at the cemetery in Ely, Nevada, on September 3, 2012 at 4:00 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, contributions in memory of Clara O. Fondi may be made to St. Teresa of Avila Catholic Church in Carson City, Nevada. FitzHenry's Funeral Home is trusted with the arrangements. 775-882-2644