Claire Marie (Seale) Amspacher, 57, passed away peacefully on March 12, 2020. She was surrounded by loving family and friends.
Claire loved nursing and she devoted both her personal and professional life to caring for the ill and injured. Claire graduated from the University of Oklahoma’s nursing program as a Registered Nurse in 1995 and started her nursing career at the Veteran’s Administration hospital in Oklahoma City, later working on surgical-care floors at Norman Regional. Most recently she served in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at the Porter campus of Norman Regional. She had many friends and colleagues at the ICU whom she enjoyed working with, and she shared their deep dedication to patients. She is remembered by many for her hard work, kindness, and wicked sense of humor.
Claire spent her childhood in travels around the world with her family, as her father was posted on numerous assignments by the US Army; two favorite locations were West Germany and Thailand. The family also enjoyed travelling by Space-A to Italy, Spain, South Korea, Japan, the Philippines, and India.
After graduating from high school in Hawaii, Claire moved to Norman, Oklahoma, where she met her future husband Mark Amspacher, working at the family business, which had been started during the Great Depression by Mark’s grandfather. The Southside Grocery was a beloved Norman institution and Claire had many stories to tell. The two were married in 1981. Later, Mark started another Norman institution, The Diner on Main Street, which Claire ran with her daughter Bonnie for five years after Mark passed away in 2010. (Fans of the Food Network can still see Claire on American Diner Revival, in season one, episode one’s feature of The Diner.)
Claire enjoyed gardening, knitting, horseback riding, hiking, traveling, and many other active pursuits, such as fossil hunting. She shared her enjoyment of the outdoors with friends and family, with many camping, hiking, and horseback riding trips throughout the United States over her lifetime. She had many pets over the years, including beloved dogs, cats, and horses. She had a particular love for bluegrass prairies and birdwatching. Her passion for travel took her back to Thailand more than once in recent years, where she hiked in a national park and visited an elephant park. She also traveled twice to Angkor Wat in Cambodia, as well as to Ecuador and to Rajasthan in India with her mother and one of her sisters (one of her favorite exclamations on that trip was, “Ruins!”). Claire had dreams of visiting the Great Wall of China and taking a walking tour of Scotland.
Claire is survived by her daughters Sarah Claire Amspacher (Brian Przywojski), Bonnie Marie Amspacher, and Shonda Peaches Amspacher, as well as her father Thomas Arthur Seale, her brother Eric Christopher Seale (Sandra), her two sisters, Lisa Ann Seale (J. D. Whitney) and Karen Marie Seale (David Fung), and extended family members. Claire was preceded in death by her husband Daniel Mark Amspacher, her mother Lois Ann (Guettinger) Seale, her maternal grandparents Oscar John and Pauline (Greenway) Guettinger of San Leandro, California, and her paternal grandparents Arthur Lisle and Mary Ethel (Marie-Attala Plante) Seale of Oakland, California.
The family thanks the dedicated doctors, nurses, and staff at Norman Regional Health System’s Oncology Clinic and Cancer Management Center for extending Claire’s life after her initial diagnosis in 2017. The family also extends its deep gratitude for the in-home care of hospice nurses and staff from Good Shepherd Hospice. She was treated with care and love.
A memorial gathering for family and friends will take place in the fall. This timing is out of consideration for health concerns amid the global pandemic. A small funeral Mass with immediate family will be celebrated at St. Thomas More University Parish in Norman, Oklahoma. We deeply appreciate your kindness in wishing to say good-bye to Claire and to help celebrate her memory, which all her family shares. Updated information on a larger service in the fall will be provided on the Havenbrook Funeral Home page for Claire. May she rest in peace.
Memorial donations may be sent to the WildCare Foundation at wildcareoklahoma.org, or to the Norman Regional Health Foundation at NRHFoundation.org, which will direct gifts made in Claire’s memory to cancer care.