Claudia Larson, 89, of DeKalb, passed away peacefully Saturday, Aug. 16, 2014, surrounded by the love and prayers of her family.
Claudia was born on March 19, 1925, in Black Oak, Ark. During her childhood, she and her mother made their way to Memphis, Tenn., where she graduated from Memphis High School in 1943.
After graduation, her free spirit led her to take a train to Chicago, where she made a life of her own, taking flying lessons, piano lessons and attending cooking school.
It was at a Fourth of July picnic in 1951 where she met Clarence Larson. There were fireworks in their eyes, and they were married Dec. 1 of that year. Claudia and Clarence were blessed with two children, Nancy and David, while living in Chicago. Expecting their third child, they moved west in 1956 to settle in St. Charles, where Wayne was born.
Once in St. Charles, Clarence worked days as a carpenter and Claudia worked nights at Illinois Bell as an operator. Several years later, two more boys, Robert and Edward, completed the family. Having five children was a career of its own, and she dedicated her life to her kids.
Clarence and Claudia were involved in scouting and all of their children’s school activities. They found themselves helping Playmakers behind the scenes. While Clarence built the sets, Claudia would help cook for the entire cast. It was there that Calico Kitchen was born. Claudia made her business a great success for over 25 years, serving at parties, weddings and weekly lunches for both St. Charles and Geneva Rotary Clubs.
After her husband was taken from her by cancer in 1989, Claudia kept herself busy with sewing and knitting, and enjoying her family. She was an excellent cook, known for her endless supply of cookies. She enjoyed Scrabble, the Sunday crossword puzzle and card games with her grandchildren.
Her best friend was her miniature Schnauzer, Pepper; they were the neighborhood ambassadors, making friends everywhere they went.
Travel was a favorite pastime, and Claudia traveled extensively. She and her beloved friend Gretchen travelled to Hawaii, Hong Kong and the Orient. She made her way to Ireland and France, travelling to England with her son Robert and to Brazil with David, and she and Nancy went on an Alaskan Cruise. She took her grandkids to Disney World and ventured to North Carolina to see the Cape Hatteras lighthouse move. Her last trip was to Las Vegas to hit the slots one last time.
Claudia was a master gardener and loved tending her flower gardens. She truly loved her family, continuing to take care of everyone, doting on her grandchildren all of her days. She is gone from this Earth but will never be forgotten.
Claudia is survived by her five children, Nancy Faber, David (Tara) Larson, Wayne Larson, Robert (LeaAnn) Larson and Edward (Julie) Larson; nine grandchildren, Josh (Debbie) Faber, Becky (fiancee Chris Fack) Faber, Kimberly Larson-Osborn, Daniel, Anthony, Sean, Eric and Ivan Larson, and Emily (Robert) Hansen; and four great-grandchildren, Travis, Ryleigh, Alexis and Ulrich.
Claudia is preceded in death by her husband of over 38 years, Clarence; and her mother, Gladys.
A visitation to celebrate her life was held Sunday at Conley Funeral Home, Elburn.
In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established in Claudia’s name. Checks may be made to the “Claudia Larson Memorial” and mailed in care of P.O. Box 66, Elburn, 60119. Tributes may also be forwarded to the family at the same address or on the web at www.conleycare.com.