Born December 29,1930 in Blossburg Hospital to the late Ellery and Addie (Skinner) Watkins, Clesta was the fifth youngest of their six children. She was predeceased by her husband, Robert John Raker on March 1, 2011 and her sisters Viola Houghtaling and Winifred Brugger, and by her brothers Forrest, Vernard, and Leslie Watkins.
Clesta graduated from Little Marsh High School in 1948. Before her marriage, she worked at Owlett’s Store in Keeneyville, Galeton Production in Galeton, and her parents’ gas station and store in Little Marsh.
On August 20, 1953 Clesta married Robert (Bob) John Raker, a farmer in Liberty. During her time farming with her husband, she and Bob received the Cooperators of the Year award from the Tioga County Conservation District in 1983. The family farm was also recognized as a Century Farm and a Tree Farm.
Clesta was a member of the Friedens Lutheran Church and the Friedens Ladies Aid. She was an Inspector of Elections on the Jackson Township, Lycoming County, Election Board from 1973 to 2005. Clesta also served as the Democratic County Committee Woman for Jackson Township from 1986 to 2006.
Clesta enjoyed reading, embroidery, cooking, traveling, making maple cream and maple sugar, and spending time with family and friends. She was kind, hard-working, even tempered, loving and generous, loved children and took great pride in her family.
Clesta is survived by her children David and his wife Kathleen of Williamsport, Jane and her husband Marty Horowitz of Alexandria, Virginia, Caroline and her husband Bill Hepner of Lewistown and Celeste and her husband Jeff Dillen of Silver Spring, Maryland. Also surviving are grandchildren Asa Wible, Amy Horowitz, Sidney, Benjamin, and Dashiell Dillen, Christopher David and Robert Raker and Michael and Matt Hepner. Additionally, she is survived by numerous nieces and nephews and great nieces and nephews including great-nephew Mike Taylor Jr.
Family and friends are invited to call Sunday, October 28th at Friedens Lutheran Church, Liberty, from 1 p.m. until the time of funeral services at 3 p.m. The Reverend Richard Adams will officiate. Burial will follow at Friedens Lutheran Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made to Friedens Church Memorial Fund.
To send flowers to Clesta's family, please visit our floral section.