Clara DeHaas, 105, a resident of Idaho County for nearly 100 years, died on February 28, 2008, at Grangeville Health and Rehabilitation Center (GHRC), of infirmities of age. News reports surrounding her 105th birthday suggested Clara may have been Idaho’s eldest citizen.
She was born December 19, 1902, in Manhattan, MT, a daughter of John and Hilje Workman. When she was six years old, the family moved to Grangeville. During those subsequent years, she was able to transition from her native Dutch language to English and begin school in the Grangeville area. Clara loved learning and often shared tales of her childhood school experiences.
She married William DeHaas on October 11, 1922, and they farmed in the Grangeville area until their retirement in 1974. In 1997, Clara became one of the first residents of The Beehive in Grangeville, where she enjoyed the opportunity to have constant companionship and someone else to prepare the meals- something she had done for countless farm folks over the years.
Clara’s Christian-based faith remained the foundation for her life. She was a founding member of the Grangeville Christian Reformed Church, enjoyed fellowship with family at the Grangeville Christian Church, and thoroughly enjoyed singing hymns. While living at the Idaho County Nursing Home and GHRC, Clara often led the meal time prayers. Sundays were marked by Clara donning a dress and attending afternoon church services with her children in the GHRC dining room. Clara enjoyed the many activities presented by GHRC and treasured the opportunity to serve as an ambassador while riding in the 2007 Border Days parade.
Clara’s personal diaries also reflect her strong interest in flowers. Even in her latter days, she would awaken and ask to smell the fresh flowers on her nightstand. Friends and family remember Clara for her easy-going, sweet personality and her sheer delight in visiting with her extended family and friends.
Survivors include her sons living in the Grangeville area, John (Susan), Frank (Rosella), Don (Myrna), Bernard (Barbara), and Gary; her daughter, Sharon (Cork) Hogaboam, in Connell, WA; daughters-in-law, Georgia DeHaas Earp and Carol DeHaas of Grangeville, and son-in-law Bob Fischer of Bismarck, SD. She is also survived by 31 grandchildren, 55+ great grandchildren, and 2 great-great grandchildren, to whom she has imparted great wisdom.
She was preceded in death by her husband, William, who died in 1980; children and spouses, Gerrit Richard, Marion (Freida), Robert DeHaas, Betty (Ken) Forseth, Patricia Fischer; four grandchildren and one great grandchild. Siblings John Workman, Joe Workman, Gerrit Workman, Tena Vrieling, Jennie Hoogland and Lavina Likkel also preceded her in death.
Funeral services will be held Saturday, March 8, 2008, at 1:00 p.m., at the Blackmer Funeral Home in Grangeville. Burial will follow at Prairie View Cemetery. Visitation will be held Friday, March 7, 2008, from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m., at the Blackmer Funeral Home.
Family suggests memorial contributions may be made to the Grangeville Christian Church Building Fund or to the Grangeville Christian Reformed Church’s Memorial Fund.
Condolences to the family may be sent to www.blackmerfuneralhome.com.