Clara Ann Van Eck, age 96, of Portage died Monday morning, January 29, 2018. Clara was born October 22, 1921 in Paw Paw, the daughter of Charles and Grace (Nower) Castle. She was a member of the First United Methodist Church of Kalamazoo. She was married to William Prater who was killed in WWII in 1943. Clara served in the Women's Army Corp for two years. In 1984 she retired from WMU Continuing Education Department after 13 years. She was married to Garrett Van Eck, Jr. in 1946 until his death in 2004. Surviving are her three children; Nancy (Paul) Keck, Grand Haven; Chuck Van Eck, Portage; and Judy (Cortland) Ray, California; seven grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews. Clara was preceded in death by her parents and two sisters: Jean Sauer and Florence Howe. A memorial service will be held Saturday, May 12th, 11:00am at Langeland Family Funeral Homes, Westside Chapel, 3926 S. 9th St., Kalamazoo. Memorials may be directed to Association of the Blind and Visually Impaired, 702 W. Kalamazoo St., PO Box 30007, Lansing, MI 48909 or to Rose Arbor Hospice, 5473 Croyden Ave., Kalamazoo, MI 49009.