Cover photo for Athelia Clingan's Obituary
Athelia Clingan Profile Photo
1930 Athelia 2014

Athelia Clingan

October 10, 1930 — February 16, 2014

Athelia Sweet Clingan, 83, passed away peacefully in her sleep February 16, 2014 after a decade-long journey through Alzheimer's disease. She will be known as a lady who embodied her name of "Sweet," kind to all she encountered. She was born Oct. 10, 1930, in Kansas City to Louise Annette Van Dervoort Sweet and Robert Lockwood Sweet. She graduated from Southwest High School in 1947, attended Bradford Junior College in Haverhill, Mass., before becoming a proud Pi Beta Phi at Kansas State. She worked, after graduating with a degree in Home Economics, as a teacher before her marriage to Melvin Clingan and the birth of her four children.

A lifelong community volunteer, Athelia, was devoted to Pi Phi, serving as the president of the KC Alumni club and being honored as its Pi Phi of the Year in 1998. She also served as a member of the Board of Governors of the Arrowmont School of Arts & Crafts, a Pi Phi philanthropy, from 1986-91 and as local chairwoman of the 1995 Pi Phi National Convention. She was a BOTAR in 1951, a member of the Jr. League of Kansas City throughout her life and its vice-president in 1968-69. She also served as a member of the Children's Relief Association, and volunteered at the Delano School as a member of the Eleanor Shutz Memorial Library group.

Athelia took great pride in her Kansas City heritage. Her father, Bob, founded the R.L Sweet Lumber Company in Kansas City, and he and his mother were founding members of Country Club Christian Church, where Athelia was a life-long member and chair of the Board of Elders in 2003-04. She cherished the connections she had throughout her life of her many high school and college friends.

In 1995, Athelia had the forethought and generosity to become a cabin donor at the YMCA of the Rockies' Snow Mountain Ranch near Winter Park, Colo., where her grandchildren spent many years together on vacations with Gamatia. She also enjoyed traveling to experience Broadway plays and went on several Elderhostel adventures, even experiencing a hot air balloon ride in Africa.

Athelia was proceeded in her death by her father and her mother. She leaves a sister, Marilyn Sweet Newton (Washington, D.C.), her four children and their spouses, Sandy Clingan Smith and Steve, (Nashville, TN); Scott Clingan and Steffy (Houston, TX); Kim Clingan Bastable and Jack (Leawood, KS), Marcia Clingan Shearer and Todd (Atlanta). She also leaves 9 grandchildren, Leigh Foster (Blake), Jenn Sunderland, R.J. Shearer, Evan Clingan, Emma Shearer, Ryan Clingan, Michelle Sunderland, Kasey Smith, and Alex Smith. She also leaves four nephews, Bob, Bill, John and David Kiene and their families.

The family is grateful to her compassionate staff at Clare Bridge of Leawood and the personal care of Gwen Cure and Jan Wirtz in her final years.

Visitation will be at Johnson County Chapel, 11200 Metcalf Ave, Overland Park, Kan., from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Friday, February 21, 2014. A memorial service will be held in the Country Club Christian Church chapel, 6101 Ward Parkway, Kansas City, at 10:00 a.m. Saturday, February 22, with a private burial for family to follow. The family requests memorial contributions be made to the Alzheimer's Association, Country Club Christian Church; Arrowmont School of Arts & Crafts (Gatlinburg, TN) or YMCA of the Rockies.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Athelia Clingan, please visit our flower store.

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