Florence Elizabeth Claassen, 92, passed away Friday, Jan. 5, 2018, of natural causes.
Florence was born to Walter and Mary Buri on July 26, 1925, and grew up on the family farm in Colfax. She graduated from Colfax High School in 1943. She received her nursing degree from Sacred Heart School of Nursing in Spokane in 1947.
She returned to Colfax and married Archie Claassen on Dec. 20, 1947. They moved to Clarkston, where rather than pursuing a career in nursing, she took on the duties of a farm wife.
Mom loved to cook and bake and at Christmastime there were always "peppernuts" for family and friends. (pfeffernusse is a German cookie that was passed down through the Claassen side.) Her rose garden and flower beds gave her much joy. She loved to announce how many blooms had been on her prize peony each year (more than 100).
Mom loved to play board games and continued to do so with her grandchildren. She satisfied her interest in nursing by volunteering as a "Pink Lady" at Tri-State Memorial Hospital in Clarkston for 30 years. She religiously wrote in her "daybook," recording weather, grain prices and every piece of news related to each day. We have boxes of these books.
Mom and Dad enjoyed the wonderful things that the Lewis-Clark Valley has to offer, like trips to the Blue Mountains for Christmas trees, mushrooms, snowmobiling with friends and parties at uncle Dan's cabin. They never missed a performance or game that their grandchildren were in, as well as lots of civic theater musicals and dance concerts.
Mom and Dad moved from the farm and into town in 1980. They were active in the Cranker's Club with Archie's 1950 Ford. They traveled in their motor home to Alaska, and even camp-hosted at a few state parks. Mom and Dad were avid Washington State Cougar fans, with season tickets for both football and basketball. Mom loved to keep track of all the statistics.
They were longtime members of the First Presbyterian Church in Clarkston. Coming from a family of singers, mom was in the choir. When she wasn't singing like a bird, she was chirping. Mom was known for her "gift of gab." A loving wife, mother, friend and grandmother, she has left us many fond memories.
She is survived by sons Steve (Kathryn) Claassen and Keith (Sam) Claassen, all of Clarkston; sister Lucille Willson of Colfax; brother Earl (Ann) Buri of Spokane; grandsons Leif (Rikki) Claassen and Pierce Claassen, all of Clarkston; granddaughter Erika Claassen and her partner, Joshua Hawks, of Boise; great-grandsons Grady and Landry Claassen of Pampa, Texas, and Braxton Claassen of Clarkston. Florence was preceded in death by husband Archie and brother Dale Buri.
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Friday at Clarkston First Presbyterian Church, 1122 Diagonal St., Clarkston.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to Tri-State Memorial Hospital Foundation or Clarkston First Presbyterian Church. Please visit the online guest book at www.merchantfuneralhome.com.