Claire and Norma Hobart Memorial

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PLAIN VIEW FARM, RURAL BRYANT, SD, PRESENTS:

CLAIRE AND NORMA HOBART MEMORIAL

The Lord's Musician, Composer, School for the Blind Founder and Teacher, and Itinerant Concerteer, With his Helpmate Norma, Nurse, Teacher, Driver, and "Beloved Seeing Eyes"

Collected songs and printed songbook of Claire Hobart:

Songs composed by Claire Hobart:

Ruth Stadem Harrington and her husband Tom took Claire Hobart to "view" the International Garden of Peace on the U.S.-Canadian border, and Claire was so inspired (though blind, and he could only hear it described to him by Ruth and Norma) he wrote his remarkable song "Garden of Peace."

As Claire writes in his preface to his songbook, Mrs. Bergit Stadem told him that her husband's last words were, "Jesus is here." She was not in the room of the hospital where her husband was taken for his last hours on this earth, so she could not have heard them herself, it has been reported to us. However, she was in the hospital, waiting and no doubt praying strenouously for her very ill husband, and surely God spoke them to her heart, and she was present in spirit at the beginning of his Heavenly Homegoing, able to hear what he was expressing, either audibly or inaudibly, even if no human ears were present able to hear them! Our God is able to do anything, even this, and far more! The Bible tells us so, in instances too numerous to mention here. A most godly woman of prayer, Bergit Stadem did not say such things lightly to such a dear Christian friend as Claire Hobart. She spoke of what she knew had occurred. Claire was so inspired by these last words of his dear friend Alfred Stadem that he wrote this new, wonderful song.

Claire and Norma Hobart labored for ovr thirty years at their School for the Blind called The Light of the World in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico. Claire taught Braile in several languages, and piano, as well as the fundamentals of Christian belief and faith and doctrine. Their students were poor, blind Mexicans who would never have received such training in Braile in Mexico. Many had never left their homes, or did so very seldom. The school was free, and Claire wrote and performed piano recitals across the country to raise money for the school's expenses. The Hobarts' reward in heaven will be great, for such sacrificial labors for the Lord and in love for the blind and visually impaired Mexican people, sharing the Gospel with all of them, which was their greatest gift to them.

The LALM-Affiliated School for the Blind in Laredo, Texas and Mexico, founded and run by Claire Hobart:

Claire teaching an individual blind student music on the piano:

Here now are the Hobarts telling about the school in the LALM Clarion, Summer 1986 issue:

"HOBART HAPPENINGS," by Claire and Norma

La Luz de Mundo--"The Light of the World"--a preliminary school for the blind was founded 37 years ago in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico. A modest three-room cement and adobe structure has imnparted the light of knowledge to countless numbers of Nuevo Laredo's blind.

Over the three decades the school for the blind has been in existence, it has given blind people of all ages a chance to get a basic education free of charge. While the school doesn't offer diplomas, it acts as a stepping stone so ambitious students may get the fundamentals and pursue more education. Several students have gone on. Some have studied in colleges and Bible Schools in the United States.

The idea for a school for the blind grew out of a need. By hearing about other blind people who had never gone to school, Claire and Norma Hobart decided to establish a school of their own. The classes offered include: Spanish Braille, English as a second language, history, the Bible, biology, music and crafts. They meet three days a week from 9:30 to 3:30 p.m., October through May.

Most of the student-body was acquired by word of mouth, from one student to the other. A dozen students are enrolled this year who range in age from 10 and up.

Many of these students had never left their home before. One student, who was past 40 years, learned to read Braille.

In addition to Claire, three other teachers are also blind. All were once Hobart's students. They started out with the Hobarts and later went on to pursue higher education. Each teacher uses his/her specialities to teach the students simple pleasures like playing the guitar, for instance. It's a good instrument for them because more people can get it, it's affordable and they love it.

Claire teaches the Bible and, appropriately, music, which has been a major part of his life. He's been playing the piano for 70 years. Because the school doesn't charge tuition, they must have another source of income--Claire's music.

He has always made a living by giving concerts, which he usually does during the summer. Claire learned to play the piano when he was just two years old.

Even though music plays such a large role in Claire's life, the school is a priority with both Norma and him. They believe it is very important that the blind be educated. This school also provides an outlet to these handicapped people as a chance to interact with others like themselves. Some are practically homebound except for school.

Although the Hobarts are getting up in age, they don't like to think of retiring but to keep going as long as they can. It should be noted the importance of help-mates. Claire in his teaching and music, but also Norma's responsibilities. She is the only person in this school who has eyesight so, naturally, such depends on her.

Remember this work of love in your prayers that the school may continue to bring "light" to the bind in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico.

Sacred Concert by Claire Hobart

Christmas 1993 Letter by Norma Hobart:

"Christmas 1993 Letter," by Mrs. Norma Hobart

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