Claudia Gertrude Willhite, daughter of Andrew and Marie (Wall) Guenther, was born on Easter Sunday, April 20, 1924, on their farm southeast of Brandon, Minnesota. She graduated salutatorian from Barrett High School on May 29, 1942. After graduating from high school, Claudia worked at miscellaneous jobs
including nurses' aide at the Deaconess Hospital in Minneapolis. She married Leonard Ora Willhite on September 20, 1943, at Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church in Hoffman, and they made a life together in farming. They traveled extensively, spending many winters in Phoenix, Arizona, and four years frequently driving back and forth to Vernon, British Columbia, Canada, where they owned a 10-acre apple orchard. Claudia belonged to the Ladies Aide and Homemakers, and had many hobbies including sewing, painting, gardening, and family history research. She also volunteered as a Sunday school teacher. Having a real heart for others, Claudia always had a kind word for everyone. She truly had the gift of hospitality, and no one left her home without at least lunch and a cup of coffee.
Claudia died April 1, 2014, at the home of her daughter, Janice Anderson, with her four children by her side. She would have been 90 on Easter Sunday.
Claudia is survived by her children: Janice (Dennis) Anderson, Leo Willhite, Darlene (Doug Robinson) Willhite, and Pamela (David) Watson of Mesa, AZ; twelve grandchildren and fifteen great grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Leonard; two sons; daughter-in-law, Charlene; a sister and two brothers.
Funeral Service: 10:00 AM Saturday, April 5, 2014, Zion Lutheran Church, Hoffman.
Visitation: 5-7 PM Friday, April 4, Erickson-Smith Funeral Home, Hoffman.
Burial: Zion Cemetery, Hoffman
Erickson-Smith Funeral Home, Hoffman