Obituary: Mary Helen Fierro Klare Oct. 15, 2019


Mary Helen Fierro Klare passed away with her family by her side on October 15, 2019 in Los Alamos, NM.

Mary Helen was a gentle soul, beautiful wife and mother, amazing musician, and friend. Born in El Paso, Mary Helen was raised by her loving parents, Jose and Aurora Fierro.

Among her many achievements, Mary Helen was valedictorian of her high school class in El Paso, graduated from Texas Western College (UTEP) with a Bachelor’s Degree in Music, and earned her Master’s Degree in Music from the University of Colorado Boulder.

In 1969, she came to Los Alamos to teach orchestra in the public schools and met her husband-to-be, Ken Klare. Music was her greatest passion and Mary Helen had a generational influence on classical music in Los Alamos and beyond. Mary Helen was a lifetime achievement award winner from the American String Teacher Association, an Allstate judge, and a published writer and poet. She recently enjoyed writing reviews of Santa Fe Opera performances for the Albuquerque Journal. Mary Helen performed with the El Paso Symphony, Roswell Symphony, San Juan Symphony, Santa Fe Symphony, and the Performance Santa Fe Symphony. She participated in Kato Havas’s master class in England and received level one certification at the Orff Schulwerk in Canada.

Mary Helen will be deeply missed by her family and many close music and writing friends. She was preceded in death by her parents Jose and Aurora Fierro, brother Joe Robert Fierro, and niece Nicole Renee Everett. She is survived by her husband Kenneth Klare; son Perry Klare; brother Gary Fierro; sisters Marta Lytle, Irma Weaver, Debra Contreras, Melinda Fierro, and Elizabeth Ellis; 12 nieces and nephews; 22 grandnieces and nephews; and one great-grandnephew. Mary Helen thanks Dr. Salim Amrani for his guidance, support, and care.

The Vigil Service will be held at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church in Los Alamos on Tuesday, October 22, 2019 at 5:30 p.m., with classical music performances by some of her closest friends. All are welcome. A Mass of Christian Burial will take place on Friday, October 25th, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. at the small Our Lady of Carmel Chapel, located on the Mt. Carmel Cemetery grounds at 401 S. Zaragoza Rd. in El Paso, TX. Mary Helen’s interment will immediately follow the Mass at noon, when she will be buried alongside her parents at Mt. Carmel Cemetery. Mary Helen’s family has entrusted her care and services to Rivera Family Funeral Home of Los Alamos.

Below is an excerpt from one of Mary Helen’s recent poems, “Summer Sestina,” published in the Spring 2019 edition of Trixter, NNMC.

Summer’s evening pleasure is sitting out on the rambling wood deck

with my son Perry. I sip wine, he drinks his IPA, and we discuss life

and its many facets. We gaze at the horizon, the fleecy billowing clouds,

while dinner waits inside; and we wait for the sun’s fiery arm in the sky

to splash oranges, lavenders and pinks from its rainbow palette of music.

We drink, converse and pause to marvel at the fanfare of intense color.


When we linger, we see the first stars come out. A prelude to celestial music,

Venus and the Big and Little Dippers appear behind dark, wispy clouds.

Walking up to the iron railing, we feel the splendor of the night sky’s life.

Perry looks for the constellations on his mobile and I sit and view the colors

of his screen flash in rhythm with the pungent, yellow flickering of the deck  

citronella candles; I imagine myself a glittery constellation riding the sky.