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Claudia Ketcham (1897–2008)

WATERLOO, Iowa—Claudia F. Ketcham, 110, of Waterloo, Iowa, died Monday, Oct. 20 at her home.

She was born Dec. 1, 1897, the daughter of Thomas and Sarah (Boxwell) Smith. She married Clarence “Whitey” Wren on March 19, 1917. He passed away on Aug. 17, 1954. She later married Rev. Harry “Pop” Ketcham and he preceded her in death.

Mrs. Ketcham was a homemaker. She did missionary work with her husband Rev. Harry Ketcham and also was a senior companion in Waterloo for many years. She was a charter member of Hagerman Baptist Church in Waterloo.

Claudia loved being with people. According to her great- and great-great grandchildren, she would always hold people’s hands and kiss them on the cheek. She was always heard saying, “Bless your heart.”

It is rare to have the privilege of knowing someone who had a foot in three centuries. She was 10 when Henry Ford started producing Model Ts, and she was 14 when the Titanic sunk in 1912.

Claudia was preceded in death by her parents; both husbands; a daughter, Rosemond, in infancy; a sister, Pearl Hickman; and six half brothers and half sisters.

Survivors include a daughter, Betty Wood of Waterloo; three grandchildren, Jorja (Danny) McMillan and Vicki Olmstead of Waterloo, and Sue Hughes of California; seven great-grandchildren, Lori McMillan, Lisa Sage, Dale McMillan, Darren Cook, Diane Healey, Shari Timm, and Kenny Olmstead; and 16 great-great grandchildren.

Services were held Oct. 22 at Hagerman Baptist Church, Waterloo.

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