Cover photo for Clara E. Szell's Obituary
Clara E. Szell Profile Photo
1929 Clara 2022

Clara E. Szell

August 28, 1929 — April 19, 2022

Clara E. Széll of Essex, Vermont, died of heart failure at the University of Vermont Medical Center in Burlington, on April 19, 2022, a few months short of her 93rd birthday. She was born in Csanádpalota, Hungary, the only child of Sándor Molnár and Mária Gazsó. She acquired the Hungarian equivalent of an MSci degree in Chemistry at the University of Szeged, Hungary, where she met her future husband, Dr. Thomas Széll, an Assistant Professor of Chemistry at the University. They married on August 28, 1952, in St. Matthias R.C. Church in Budapest. They lived and worked for almost two decades in the city of Szeged, where their two daughters were born. Clara worked at the labs of an an institute in charge of quality control of agricultural produce and products. In 1970, having accepted an invitation to lead the Science Department of the United Nations International School, Thomas took his wife and teenage daughters to New York. Eventually, they became American citizens. In the U.S., Clara worked as a Chemist at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York. In 1989, Thomas and Clara retired early and moved to Essex, Vermont, to be near their grandchildren. Clara was a devoted mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. Together with her husband, she eagerly took on a lot of child care, grew bountiful gardens, and enjoyed the beauty of the Vermont landscape. They were parishioners of St. Pius X R.C. Church in Essex. Clara was a movie fanatic, great knitter, crossword puzzle solver, and lover of Hungarian poetry. She knew many of these poems by heart. She loved to travel, especially to her native Hungary and Transylvania to catch up with family and friends. Clara produced many a delicious feast and was ever an elegant and stylish lady who was always aware of the latest fashions. She was warm-hearted, vivacious, and a great hostess. She is pre-deceased by her parents and her husband. She is survived by her children, Timea Széll (Judith Weisenfeld) and Agnes Hibbs (Michael), her grandchildren, Thomas Hibbs, Julia Collins (Shane), Peter Hibbs (John Cruisce), and John Hibbs, and her great-grandchildren, Keith and Oliver Collins. We will never forget her sweet smile and ardent affection for all her family and friends (human and animal, both).
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