A. Clare Brandabur

A. Clare Brandabur

ISTANBUL, Turkey – Dr. Agnes Clare Brandabur of Istanbul, Turkey, died in Fremont, Calif., on March 6, 2015, at peace and surrounded by her family.

Agnes Eileen McSharry was born Aug. 23, 1929, in Greeley, Neb., to Walter Ignatius and Mary Vincent (Sargent) McSharry. She spent her childhood in Nebraska and Seattle, Wash.

Clare will be remembered by all who knew her as a vibrant and independent spirit, a passionate teacher, a principled and vocal champion of human rights and above all a lifetime scholar. She was devouring books from the stack at her bedside until her last hours.

Clare was a citizen of the world, fiercely proud of her Irish heritage and always nostalgic for the sand hills of Nebraska. The lives of her seven children were enriched by her love of nature, music and great cooking. She had a terrific sense of humor and could laugh at herself.

Dr. Brandabur received a B.A. from Seattle University, an M.A. in philosophy from Xavier University and a doctorate in comparative literature from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, where she taught for 12 years.

From 1981 until her passing, Clare lived and worked overseas, holding positions at Birzeit University, West Bank, Palestine; Al-Ba'ath University, Syria, as a Fulbright Professor; Bilkent University in Ankara, Turkey; the University of Bahrain (also as a Fulbright Professor); and at Yarmouk University, Irbid, Jordan.

Most recently she settled in Istanbul, where she taught at Dogus University and at Fatih University, where she was a full-time faculty member until her death.

Dr. Brandabur has published articles on Thomas Hardy, William Butler Yeats, Naguib Mahfouz, Michael Ondaatje, George Eliot, Benjamin Disraeli and John Fowles. Her work explored archetypal criticism and mythology, contemporary Arabic literature, post-colonial criticism, feminism and human rights issues.

Recent work includes studies on images of women in post-colonial literature and the works of George Eliot, D.H. Lawrence, Yeats and Yasar Kemal. Her writing has been published in English, Arabic and Turkish. A book of her essays is planned for release later this year by Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

Clare was preceded in death by her parents; her sisters, Teresa McSharry and Maralyn Bertis; and her former husband, Dr. Edward James Brandabur.

She is survived by her children, Dr. Melanie Brandabur, Theresa Brandabur (John Herm), Jean Znidarsic (David), Susan Brandabur (William Puetz), Paula Hughes (Thomas), Keiran Brandabur Langer (Adam) and Matthew Brandabur (Virginia Bellis).

She enjoyed her nine grandchildren, Christopher and Andrew Wilcoski, Michael and Christian Znidarsic, Ares and Anais Langer, Tazwell and Cordelia Brandabur and Stella Puetz.

Also surviving her are Clare's siblings, Anna Mae Livingston, Roger McSharry, Janis McSharry, Rita Rambo and Carol McSharry; and many nieces and nephews.

Clare had friends and colleagues around the world, including lifelong chum, Laura Jean Jacoby; dear friends, Lucia Stevenson, Shirley Epir, Mohamed Bakari, Barry Thauraud, Kimberly Brooks-Lewis, Yesim Bedlek, Haidar Eid and many others.

Clare's family wants to thank caregivers Lourdes Cataag and Rose Troibio for their kind and unstinting care during her last days. She did not need flights of angels, just two.

In lieu of flowers, please buy your mom some flowers or a good book.