Clare Meier Profile Photo
1952 Clare 2023

Clare Meier

November 21, 1952 — September 3, 2023

Rib Lake

Clare Meier, 70, of Rib Lake, is singing psalms of praise in the presence of her Lord and
Savior, following her final victory over the cancer that ravaged her earthly body these last
few months. Clare was born the first of seven children to Clarence and Eloise (Szerlong)
Nowobielski on November 21, 1952, and died September 3, 2023. She grew up on the
family farm just outside of Thorp. After graduating high school, she attended Mount
Scenario College and the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire, earning a bachelor’s degree
in biology. While she was in college, she spent a summer working at a Wisconsin DNR office
in Hayward. As she liked to tell it, she thought she was going to be outside that summer
doing field work, but the job was, instead, mostly administrative work in the office – and
Clare always hated paperwork. But one perk was the Sawyer County forester, who would
stop by the office on business. In October of 1974, Clare married that forester, Wes Meier,
and moved to the town of Spirit where he grew up and where she would spend most of the
next forty-nine years of her life. Clare and Wes loved to spend time outdoors together; in
the early years, Clare would help Wes a bit in the woods and helped to run their forestry
consultant business. She also worked as a time for as a dairy herd inspector. Clare and Wes
also tried to live a simple, self-sufficient life, with a big garden, homemade bread, and an
outhouse that was the only bathroom until the early 1980s. In 1980, Clare and Wes
welcomed their first child, Martha, followed by Andy in 1983 and Debbie in 1986. All the
kids were born at home in the little house at the end of Apple Avenue with Doc Hesse called
in from Rib Lake to attend.
Clare’s life changed drastically again in 1992, when Wes was diagnosed with colon cancer,
which Clare and he fought together for almost two years, until Wes’ death in January of
1994. Before Wes got sick, Clare had spent time volunteering for Hope Hospice, and she
decided that she would like to pursue a nursing degree, which she completed not long after
Wes’ death. She then worked for a few years as a nurse for Hope Hospice, but ultimately
decided to follow her life’s dream of working on the mission field overseas. For many years,
her and the kids has attended annual mission camps hosted by the World Mission Prayer
League where she heard about work being done around the world and developed close
friendships with many overseas missionaries. In 1999, she took her first short-term mission
trip, bringing the family for a two-week English language camp in Poland, the land that her
ancestors came from. She followed that trip with other mission short term trips to Poland
and Mexico. Though she continued to work as a nurse while her children were still in school,
in 2005 she took a leap of faith and quit her job with Hospice to enroll in Bethany Global
University for a one-year mission training program. Following her time at Bethany, she
began her search for her place on the mission field; she went with a friend she met at
Bethany to explore opportunities for setting up a children’s mission in Liberia, she spent a
few months in Bangladesh and Thailand visiting her missionary friends (including her
daughter Debbie) to assess opportunities there, and ultimately ended up deciding to leave
her home in Spirit and commit to spending a year in Chiang Mai, Thailand, sharing the
Gospel. While in Chiang Mai, Clare was given the opportunity to spend a few weeks working
among the hill tribes in Yunnan Province in China, and her memoir, “Where in the World is
Yunnan Province?” culminates the telling of her life story with that time in China. Ultimately,
however, she realized that adapting to a new culture and learning a new language all on her
own in her sixties was overwhelming and decided to return to the A-frame on Stone Lake in
Spirit and missions closer to home. Upon her return, she began development of a local
ministry called Hillside Parish Nursing, hoping to be able to provide basic health care to
those with challenges accessing it in rural Price and Taylor Counties. Recently, she had
decided it was time for her to enter her retirement years, so she stepped back to just taking

a few odd jobs to make sure the bills were paid. Just this past winter, she had begun to
dream of a small cabin in the woods on Stone Lake to spend her retirement years in. But
the Lord decided instead that she should retire early and enter into her perfect eternal home
instead.
Clare’s life was lived in the joy of the Lord, and though she endured many struggles, her
faith in the free gift of salvation through Jesus’ death on the cross was the firm rock on
which she stood. That legacy of faith will live on through the many, many lives that she
touched in so many ways and so many places.
Clare was preceded in death by her husband of just 19 years, Wes, in 1994, and her father,
Clarence, in 2016. She is survived by her seven grandchildren, Emma, Elijah, Josiah, Ezekiel
and Philip Scott and Wesley and Marilyn Gray, as well as her children, Martha (Jordan) Scott
of Spirit, Andy (Ania) Meier of La Crosse, and Debbie (Patrick) Gray of Chiang-Mai, Thailand.
She is further survived by her mother Eloise, four brothers, Ed, John, Frank and Jerry
Nowobielski, two sisters, Judy Conner, and Pat Jarocki, and by two sister’s-in-law, Marilyn
Erickson and Marie Arneson.
Services for Clare will be held at First Baptist Church in Medford, with visitation at the
church from 5:00 -7:00 PM on Friday, September 8 and 10:00 – 11:00 AM on Saturday,
September 9, and a service from 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM. Burial will be at Hillcrest Cemetery
in Spirit following a meal at the church.
The family would like to especially thank Hope Hospice & Palliative Care for being an
invaluable support as we navigated these last months with Clare, and the staff at Rib Lake
Health Services for providing care for Clare for her last week so the family could focus on
saying goodbye.
Clare’s passion in life was missions and helping those in need, so instead of flowers, we
know she would rather have you give to support a mission organization or charity helping
those less fortunate in her memory. Her daughter Debbie is currently a missionary in
Thailand, and she would be especially honored by support for Debbie in her memory.

 

Heindl-Nimsgern Funeral Home is assisting the family.

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

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Friday, September 8, 2023

5:00 - 7:00 pm

First Baptist Church - Medford

751 Grace Way, Medford, WI 54451

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Funeral Service

Saturday, September 9, 2023

11:00am - 12:00 pm

First Baptist Church - Medford

751 Grace Way, Medford, WI 54451

Visitation will start at 10 a.m. and continue until the start of service.

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Graveside Service

Saturday, September 9, 2023

2:00 - 2:30 pm

Hillcrest Cemetery

Hwy 86, Ogema, WI 54459

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