Clara Elizabeth Wadhams…March 11, 1919 – March 29, 2016


Funeral Services for Clara Elizabeth Wadhams will be held on Monday, April 4, 2016 at 10:00 a.m. at the First Presbyterian Church in Las Animas, Colorado. Reverend Mac McCune and Pastor Gary Prichard will officiate. Interment will follow in the Bent/Las Animas Cemetery in Las Animas, Colorado.

Clara Elizabeth, affectionately known to most as “Clarabeth”, was born to John and Helen (Russell) Addington, on March 11, 1919 on the family farm 5 miles southeast of Rocky Ford, Colorado and passed away on March 29, 2016 in Las Animas, Colorado at the age of 97.

Clarabeth was the eldest of 5 children, all girls. She graduated from Swink High School in 1936, continued her education in Greeley, Colorado, and received her Bachelor’s Degree in 1943. She began her teaching degree at the Horse Creek Country School, where she taught for 5 years. She then taught at the Cheraw School for 4 years. Her next job was in Las Animas, Colorado, where she taught at three schools over the years, touching the lives of many children along the way. Her career spanned almost 7 decades. In 2007, she received a certificate from the Las Animas School District for teaching sixty years in the District. Even after retiring in 1995, she continued to practice as a substitute teacher until 2008. Clarabeth prided herself on being the only teacher that taught in the Memorial School in Las Animas from the time it was opened until it was no longer utilized as a school.

Clarabeth married John William Wadhams on May 25, 1941, a union that lasted forty three years, until John’s passing in 1984. Although they never had children of their own, Clarabeth stated that all of her students from both Sunday School and public school over the years, “were her children.”  She was quoted as saying, “The best time of her life was when I was teaching children” and “If I had time to do one more thing in life, I would be teaching again.” Her hobbies included gardening, reading, and walking, but nothing was nearer to her heart than teaching.

Clarabeth was preceded in death by her parents, John and Helen (Russell) Addington; husband, John Wadhams; and sisters, Helen Phillips, Mary “Evelyn” Atwood, Jamie Aline Dazey. She is survived by one sister, Bernice Hammerquist; numerous nieces and nephews; neighbors; a host of friends; and dear to her heart: the Howe Family, the Nichols Family, Randy Losey, her church family, and two first grade students that she taught in the first year of her career, Betty (Johnson) Lingle and Wynona (Patterson) Huddleston.

Memorial Contributions may be made to Arkansas Valley Hospice in care of Horber Funeral Chapel P.O. Box 431, Las Animas, CO 81054

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