Longtime South Wasco County resident, Claire Kelly, died peacefully in her sleep April 5, 2013.
She was born Dec. 14, 1920, to Antoinette (Dueber) and John Casey in Portland. Although her birth name was Clara, in her adult years she chose to go by Claire because she thought it more “chic.”
After graduating from Immaculata Academy in Portland, she attended Northwestern Business College. Her lifelong dream of getting a four-year college degree went on the back burner because of the Great Depression and World War II.
After World War II began, Claire and a lifelong friend boarded a bus for San Francisco where they lived and worked for the duration of the war. For the first two years she worked in a civilian position for the Navy at Treasure Island, then jobs in the San Francisco Business District.
After the war, she returned to Portland. In late 1951, while visiting friends in Maupin, Ore., she met Veril Kelly at a Christmas party on Juniper Flat. They married Oct. 1, 1952.
Even though farming provided the primary income, she often worked off the farm. She worked in many capacities, including at the microwave station on Criterion; Bear Springs Ranger District; and The Dalles Cherry Growers.
She was an accomplished cook. She also had talent and creativity for painting with watercolors.
She is survived by her husband, Veril; daughters, Irene (Jim) Jerome, John Day, Ore.; Laura (Al) Mitchell, Kent, Wash.; Helen (Greg) McGranahan, Custer, S.D.; granddaughters, Amanda and Katherine Mitchell, Monterey, Calif.; and numerous nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to Southern Wasco County Ambulance Service, P.O. Box 125, Maupin OR 97037 or Juniper Flat Rural Fire Protection District, 80501 Highway 216, Maupin OR 97037. A memorial service is planned Saturday, April 27, at 11 a.m. in the Maupin Legion Hall. A potluck reception will follow.
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