A Celebration of Life for Clara J. Haba, 88, is planned in West Seattle next Saturday (March 25th). Here’s the remembrance her family is sharing:
Clara Josephine Haba passed away February 8, 2017, at Keiro Northwest in Seattle.
Born June 29, 1928, the second of six children, to Joseph and Eva Fitterer in New England, ND. The family moved to Yakima, WA, in 1946.
Clara met and married Henry J. Haba on July 3, 1948. Henry and Clara moved to Anchorage, AK, driving their brand-new 1949 Pontiac. She drove in the snow to get her driver’s license.
Clara had many jobs throughout her life. She worked as a waitress, cannery worker, Christmas help at the West Seattle Post Office, retouching photo negatives, modeling clothes from Louise North Apparel at Spencer’s Restaurant in West Seattle. Finally deciding on a career choice, she obtained her GED, then enrolled at the Cosmetology College in West Seattle, graduating at the top of her class in 1966. She then went to work for several major downtown Seattle department stores. Clara had many regular and loyal customers while working at Macy’s, where she retired after 20 years. Always wanting to keep busy, she then worked an additional nine years as the retired nuns’ beautician at the St. Joseph Residence (Providence Mt. St. Vincent). Her own hair seemed to grow upward and a hurricane couldn’t move it.
The family spent early years ice skating at the Civic Ice Arena. Clara was also a sunbather. Then came water-skiing in their 14’ ski boat, mostly at Lake Sammamish. The whole family also learned to snow ski and went on several ski vacations. The whole family in the same ski class should never happen. Only Clara could ski down a hill at such a slow speed and then crash into the lift line. They also traveled throughout the U.S., visiting 25 states and internationally covering 10 countries and seven times to Mexico.
The family lived in 10 different residences, half of which Henry built himself. This is where Clara used her talent for decorating and interior painting. You could come home and find the living room a different color. You would never forget what you look like as there was a mirror in every room. Entertaining, she loved and held many Halloween, Christmas and birthday parties. She was also an accomplished seamstress using her 1952 Singer, sewing everything from a boy’s suit, doll clothes, drapes, to her favorite, tableware and pillows. She was also obsessed with trim, lace and fringe. We all enjoyed listening to her play the piano (by ear). She was known for her stylish wardrobe, high heels and “can’t leave home without lipstick”; a store-bought item would soon be altered with a different look. She had the most beautiful smile.
Clara kept a clean and organized house, making all family meals and “sack” lunches, also famous for her homemade pies and cakes. They belonged to a dance group, which Clara loved. It being potluck, all demanded she bring her baked beans or cabbage rolls.
Clara is preceded in death by her parents (Joe & Eva), son (Eugene), brother (Louis), and sister (Matilda). She is survived by her husband of almost 69 years, Henry, and her daughter, Charlene, both of West Seattle. Also by sister (Viola) of Redmond, WA; brother (Frank & Sharon) of Yakima, WA; and brother (Donald & Pat) of Atlanta, GA; survived by over 30 nieces & nephews and great ones.
Donations in Clara’s memory may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association. Special thanks to Keiro Northwest for the professional and gentle care given to Clara. A Celebration of Life will be held on March 25, 2017, from 2-6 pm at the West Seattle Eagles, 4426 California Ave SW, Seattle. Go to Dignity at forestlawnseattle.com.
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