“She went peacefully at home around 9:05 p.m.,” Martha Hieronymus tells ArtsNash. Per a 1982 agreement her remains have been donated to Vanderbilt University Medical Center; there are continuing discussions about a possible memorial service.
“She really appreciated the outpouring of good wishes from so many people (around her birthdays and at other times),” Martha Hieronymus says. “She read her mail every day and was so happy to hear from so many wonderful folks.”
ArtsNash will update as more information becomes available.
UPDATE: Reaction to Hieronymus’ passing is starting to come in from colleagues around the country. Former Los Angeles Times theater critic and recently retired National Critics Institute Director Dan Sullivan, who toured children’s theaters across the nation with her in 1972, tells ArtsNash, “She was my role model in that she was so good for the community. She did everything she could to foster more than just the arts in Nashville…and Clara took no lip from anybody and I always admired that.”
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Nashville Children’s Theatre, the Clara Hieronymus Scholarship Fund at Tennessee Performing Arts Center, O’More College of Design or West End United Methodist Church.
UPDATE 2: One of the best quotes concerning Clara comes from a longtime member of the Nashville theater community, Danny Proctor, who posted this on Facebook: “A rare breed. We rolled our eyes and said, ‘Who cares if she didn’t like us?’ But we rejoiced when she did. Lights should dim tonight in her honor.”
UPDATE 3: The Jerome Lawrence & Robert E. Lee Theatre Research Institute which houses The Clara Hieronymus Collection at the Ohio State University Libraries has a tribute to her on its blog.
*Photo of Clara Hieronymus by Dennis Wile courtesy the photographer.