Claire Jean (Kale) Grill, 91, formerly of State College, passed away peacefully on Sunday morning, June 7, 2020 at Nottingham Village Nursing Home in Northumberland.
She was the loving wife of Alan J. (“AJ”) Grill, Colonel USAF (Retired). Claire and AJ were married for nearly 66 years. Claire was the beloved, beautiful and loving mother of five children and many grandchildren and great grandchildren.
Born on December 5, 1928 in Sioux City, Iowa, Claire was the only child of the late Charles A. and Evelyn (Hauser) Kale.
Claire graduated from Merrill (IA) High School in 1946. Shortly after graduation she left Iowa with some girlfriends to work in Phoenix, Arizona and then Denver, Colorado. In Phoenix and Denver she worked for two financial services companies. In Denver she met handsome young Lieutenant AJ Grill, who was stationed at nearby Lowry Air Force Base. On July, 3, 1954 Claire and AJ married and she began her career as an Air Force wife for the next 25 years. During that career, they had five children and moved 18 times around the United States and Europe.
At each duty station she was actively involved in organizations that supported the lives of military families, groups that her children were involved in as well as local church organizations.
Claire loved art and decorated her family’s homes with items from each of their tours of duty.
In 1979 Claire and AJ retired from military life and moved to State College.
In the early 1980s Claire returned to work outside of the home and pursued higher education. In 1982 she earned an Associate Degree in Letters, Arts and Sciences from the Pennsylvania State University. She was employed by Penn State in various positions from 1979 through 1990.
Claire was also a breast cancer survivor.
Surviving with AJ are their children: David Grill and wife Lestia, of Lewisburg; Christy Kale and husband, John Barton, of Austin, TX; Kelly Grill, of Brooklyn, NY; Derek Grill, of Dewart; and Kathleen Senior and husband, James, of Charlotte, NC; six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Claire was a devout Catholic and in recent years attended the Holy Spirit American National Catholic Church of Montandon.
Graveside services will be held at Arlington National Cemetery at the convenience of the family.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, P.O Box 50, Memphis, TN 38101-9929.
The family is being assisted by Cronrath-Grenoble Funeral Home, 106 S. Second St., Lewisburg.
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