Claire LeGene Padgett, 87, of Memphis died Friday, January 27, 2017 at Scotland County Hospital with her children at her side.
She was born on December 8, 1929 in Nacozaur, Sonora, Mexico to Cleve Alexander and Virginia (Ragsdale) Stover. Her earliest years were spent alternating between the mountains of Mexico, where her father worked as a mining engineer, and Texas, where she attended school.
She met Edgar Clifford Padgett while attending college in El Paso. He was stationed there after serving in the army in Europe during World War II. They married in San Antonio on August 8, 1948 and made their home in Scotland County. He preceded her in death on January 22, 1999. To this union, lasting more than fifty years, five children were born.
LeGene was very active in the local community and pursued many diverse interests. In the mid 1970’s, she was instrumental in establishing the Downing House Museum, serving this organization for many years and in many different capacities. She was a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution and the local Genealogical Society as well as Eastern Star and an active local book club. LeGene enjoyed nearly seven decades of fellowship as a member of the Presbyterian Church of Memphis.
In her professional life, LeGene served as Division 6 Clerk of the Associate Circuit Court from 1971 to 1994 at the Scotland County Courthouse. Prior to this, she worked with her husband in his insurance business in Memphis.
In the 1960’s LeGene and Clifford provided many foster children a safe temporary home. Through the years, many of these children kept in touch and enjoyed a lasting bond.
LeGene had a passion for genealogy, gardening, collecting American flags and flag items. She loved new recipes and trying them out on her many visitors to her home. Mexican food was her favorite and she passed that love on to her children. She was proud of having had spent time in two countries, Mexico and the United States, and she loved them both and also shared that pride in both cultures with family and friends….even at a time when it was impossible to get Mexican food items in Memphis and our Grandmother Stover would have to mail them to her.
While this is a sad moment for our family, we have no doubt that she would be proud (as she has always been) of her family: how we are a united family, finding strength together and comfort from one another. She would be happy, as she always was, in how we truly enjoy each other’s company. We will shed many tears this week, and in the days to come, but we will also smile, laugh and even rejoice as we remember our mother. It will be impossible to remember her and remain in sadness; she embraced life with a zest and good humor that will inevitably bring us to joy. This family and that outlook are part of her enduring legacy.
The family extends a special thank you to her good friends who loved and supported her and all of us throughout the years. She cherished your friendships and it gave us comfort to know that she was being looked after.
LeGene was predeceased by her husband Clifford, her parents, and one brother Frank Stover.
She is survived by her children, Samuel Clifford and wife Beth Caplan of League City, TX, Pamela Nanette and husband Robert Young of Fayette, MO, David Brent and wife Patricia McCloskey of Long Beach, CA, Whitney LeGene and husband Peter Bucci of Woodstock, CT, and Hal Stover and wife Kerstien of Vacaville, CA; two brothers, Cleve and wife Nancy Stover of San Antonio, Texas and John and wife Nan Stover of Austin, MN; sisters-in-law Shirley Stover of Houston, TX, and Barbara (Padgett) and husband Roger Briggs of Pittsfield, IL; grandchildren, John Morgan Forderhase of St. Louis, MO, Michele Lopez and husband Alejandro of Allentown, PA, Laura Gene Petroskey and husband Michael of Lowell, MI, Alexandra Paige Hill and husband Matthew of Woodstock, CT, Samuel Pipes Young of Vancouver, WA, Gabriella Whitney Bucci of Bradenton, FL, Claire Elisabeth Padgett of Sacramento, CA, and Maxwell David Padgett of Vacaville, CA; great-grandchildren, Angelica Prohaska, Gabriel Hauk, Melanie, Alexandra and Isabel Lopez, Braylon Hill, and Henry Petroskey; many nieces, nephews, and friends.
RIP LeGene…. May you fly high with the angels…Prayers for your family….You are loved & will be missed….Pam & Bitty
Sam and all the family. You are in my thoughts and prayers. I will remember your mom with such fondness. I especially remember when you all lived out on 15 by us and your dad would bring the miniature horses and give us kids a buggy ride. Memories I will never forget. Love to you all.
Sorry for your loss. She was a great lady.
I feel very honored to have known LaGene and her family. I spent many of my childhood days in the Padgett home and still consider them family. So many fond memories growing up with the Padgett family. LaGene was a wonderful person and will be greatly missed. Love to you all, Deb
Sam, Nanette, David, Whitney & Hal,
I always looked forward to those Christmas dinners at your folks house. Since Sam was near my age he was like the brother I never had. I remember one Christmas he wanted a Santa light for his kittens because he had heard that it was a great gift for the kiddies. I also enjoyed playing with his electric train set which I never had. Uncle Clifford and Aunt LeGene were always fun to visit and be around. Will always remember them fondly.
I will miss LeGene. We had lots of plans for when we moved to Memphis this spring. I am grateful for our visits over the last few years. She was an amazing lady – a very open mined and forward thinking person. She always said a prayer for me when we departed. I am glad we were friends.
Our sincere condolences to all of the family. Miss Le Gene was quite a lady. We enjoyed our time getting to know her through her good friend and neighbor Lorraine K. It is a wonderful thing to hear that a family has loved each other well while in this world. May the Lord show you comfort through this season and draw you all closer to Himself.
Neighbors since my birth, the Padgetts became my family as well.
Through childhood, teen years, marriages, deaths, the addition of children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren, led by this amazing woman, these wonderful people have never failed at giving.
Lucky as an adult to get together and enjoy many occasions of food and music, laughter, friendship and love, my memories will forever be happy ones.
One such gathering took place in a Mexican restaurant, one of our favorite places to gather.
LeGene spoke with the Mariachis of her childhood, living in Mexico, the many wonderful memories, and told them of a song she loved. They smiled and played as she sang along.
The whole place exploded in applause.
One of the few times I saw genuine love among strangers.
LeGene, you are missed. And loved.
May the many wonderful memories of you somehow fill the emptiness in the hearts of all
who are feeling and sharing this loss.
My prayers to the Padgett family.
Jamie Poole Brimmer
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