Clara Laura Horst

Published 12:16 am Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Clara Laura Horst, 84, of Middletown, Iowa passed away suddenly November 11, 2009, at Desert Regional Medical Center, Palm Springs, Calif., where she was vacationing with her daughters.

Born February 13, 1925, to Francis M. and Laura E. (Orton) Sawyer at home in Sawyer, Iowa. Clara grew up on the family homestead, attended Sawyer and Denmark schools, and worked away from home on the Whitmarsh farm from the age of 10.

She became a Christian and was baptized in 1938 at the First Christian Church, Ft. Madison, Iowa later becoming a member and primary Sunday school teacher at Oak Street Baptist Church, Burlington. She was currently attending Harmony Bible Church.

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Clara first married William H. Henthorn, December 2, 1944, in Fresno, Calif. and was later divorced. On August 17, 1979 she married William R. Horst in Middletown. They later moved to Picayune, where they were members of the First Baptist Church of Picayune.

Clara worked at Sheaffer Pen Company, Ft. Madison, during World War II, and later at the Midwest Biscuit Company, Iowa Ordnance Plant, Ross Electronics, and finally the Burlington School District as a school bus driver for 18-1/2 years. She also served as treasurer for the town of Middletown for a number of years.

She was a mom and mentor to the neighborhood children and to those who rode her school bus. She enjoyed baking and cooking and being a loved and loving wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. She also enjoyed horseback riding, beginning with her days of working on the farm and continuing on with riding many of her brother Edward’s horses.

She was preceded in death by: her parents; one brother, Edward of Denmark; daughter by marriage, Marilyn Wagner of rural West Burlington; and husband William R. Horst.

Survivors include: her two daughters, Cynthia Joy (James) Hail of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho; Mary (David) Houtz of Middletown; and one son, Mark (Ann) Henthorn of Muscatine, Iowa; one daughter by marriage, Janet (Alan) Baird of rural Sperry, Iowa; grandchildren: Eric, Jennifer, Jonathan, Jim, Elizabeth, Gina, Will, Lindsey, Brian and Billy; and four great-grandchildren: Zachary, Zoey, Daniel and Drew. Other survivors include: her brothers ,Tom of Seattle, Wash.; Frank of Ft. Madison; and sisters, Kathryn Jackson of Burlington and Edith Junk of Pueblo, Colo.; and numerous nieces and nephews.

The family will receive friends from 5-7 p.m. Wednesday at Lunning Chapel.

The service for Mrs. Horst will be 10 a.m. Thursday at Lunning Chapel with the Rev. Jason Unzicker officiating. Burial will be in Middletown Cemetery.

Memorial may be made to the Great River Hospice, West Burlington.

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