Clara Eloise (Berlin) Holmes passed away on Friday, December 1, 2017 at the Montgomery County Memorial Hospital in Red Oak, Iowa. Clara was born on August 29, 1930 in rural Essex, Iowa to Robert Earl and Leta Ethel (Gilbert) Berlin, being delivered by her Aunt Clara Straight for whom she was named. She was the youngest of nine children.
Clara grew up on the Berlin family farm and attended Goff Country School through the eighth grade. She graduated from Coburg Consolidated High School as valedictorian in 1949, having received honors in basketball as well as being editor of the school paper. Following graduation, Clara worked as a telephone operator for Northwestern Bell in Shenandoah before moving to Eugene, Oregon to work and be with her sister Vera. She returned to Shenandoah shortly before Allen's return from his service in Korea, and they were united in marriage on March 21, 1954 at the United Methodist Church in Shenandoah. The couple made their first home one-half mile east of the Holmes family farm where Allen grew up, the farm that would eventually be their home.
Clara and Allen had three children: David Allen, Sandra Kay and Daniel Lee. Clara was a homemaker, Sunday school teacher/superintendent and later worked as the church secretary for many years, but her greatest joy was being a wife and mother as well as working alongside Allen on the farm.
Clara was very active in the church, being a long-time member of Emmanuel Lutheran in Shenandoah and she enjoyed the ladies circle and her weekly bridge games with friends very much. She was also a member of the Norwich Social Hour for many years.
Clara was preceded in death by her parents, Robert and Leta (Gilbert) Berlin, brothers Melvin (Blanche), Manzel (Grace), Robert (Marjorie) and Kenneth (Irene); sisters Hazel (Lloyd) and Daisy (Floyd) and brother-in-law Orville Williamson.
Clara is survived by her husband Allen Holmes of Shenandoah; children David (Danette) Holmes of Prescott, AZ, Sandra Swope of Shenandoah and Daniel (Connie) Holmes of Shenandoah; grandchildren Erin Holmes of West Des Moines, IA, Alex Holmes of Merriam, Kansas, Jacob Holmes of Ames, IA and Kassandra Holmes of Prescott, AZ; brother Raymond Berlin of Essex; sister Vera Williamson of Eugene, OR; as well as many other relatives.
Celebration of life funeral service will be held 10:30 am, Thursday, December 7, 2017 at the Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Shenandoah.
Visitation with the family will be held from 5:00 pm until 7:00 pm, Wednesday, December 6, 2017 at the Hackett-Livingston Funeral Home in Shenandoah.
Memorials may be directed to the Emmanuel Lutheran Church.
Burial will be held in the Essex Cemetery in Essex, Iowa.
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