Virginia Clarentine Buzzard, age 87, of Stockton, NJ passed away on Tuesday, December 8, 2020 at Hunterdon Care Center in Raritan Twp., NJ.
Clarentine was born on May 27, 1933 in Richmond, Virginia where she lived through her high school and college years. She then resided in Lancaster, PA; Norfolk, VA; Palo Alto, CA; Carmel, CA and Buckingham Valley, PA before moving to New Jersey.
She was the daughter of the late William Thomas Smith, Sr. and Margaret Elizabeth Hayes Smith.
She was the wife of Robert J. Buzzard, celebrating 64 years of marriage.
Clarentine graduated from Westminster Choir College in Princeton in 1953. She majored in Church Organ and Choral Conducting. She toured the country as a member of the famed Westminster Symphonic Choir. She became the Minister of Music at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. (Hired by her future husband’s Father, which in fact was how the couple met.) During her career she served as Minister of Music at a number churches in Virginia, New Jersey and Pennsylvainia.
In addition to her church music career, Clarentine was a passionate quilter. She learned the techniques from the Amish when she resided in Lancaster. She owned and operated her own business, ‘Sunshine and Shadow, Inc.’ for the span of her career -- teaching and lecturing on quilting techniques and making Lancaster County Amish quilts available for sale to other areas of the country. She operated the business nationally, on both the East and West coasts.
During the years in Lancaster County, Clarentine saw a special need among some of the Amish children. She studied to became a certified reading instructor and worked with Amish children who had difficulty with transitioning from German-speaking home to English-speaking public school. She continued assisting students with reading difficulties even after moving to California.
Memberships include the Rolling Hills United Methodist Church in Pipersville, PA where she has been a member for the past 20 years. She was also a past member of the Church of the Wayfarer in Carmel, CA and Wesley United Methodist Church in Palo Alto, CA and of Ginter Park Baptist Church in Richmond, VA. She was also a member of the American Quilter’s Society (AQS).
Clarentine most enjoyed designing unique Quilt projects, but she also loved other needle arts, such as knitting, crocheting and creative sewing. Clarentine also loved cooking. Her library of cookbooks was only rivaled by her multitude of quilting books! She loved her dogs and her cat Maggie.
Survivors in addition to her husband include one son; Thomas J. Buzzard and his wife Ruth of Carmel, CA. Three daughters; Lynn B Mears and her husband Eric of Stockton, NJ, Beth Curtis and her husband Dennis of Fort Meade, MD and Sharon Harrison of Doylestown, PA. Six grandchildren; Eric Buzzard and his wife Elizabeth, Philip Mears, Carolyn Anderson and her husband Ron, Tyler Curtis, Ian Harrison and Devon Harrison.
Predeceased by one brother; Rev. William T. Smith, Jr.
A Celebration of Clarentine’s Life will be held on Zoom on Sunday, December 13, 2020 at 3 pm. Please click the following link to join the zoom meeting https://us02web.zoom.us/j/6875112917?pwd=WXBCeHJLOU00Mjg1cHlkWGtBSHpMQT09. Meeting Id: 687 511 2917. Passcode: 593653.
Memorials can be made to Rolling Hills United Methodist Church, 7028 Easton Road, PO Box 347, Pipersville, PA 18947 or to the Hunterdon Care Center, 1 Leisure Court, Flemington, NJ 08822.
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