Claudia Irene Lewis

Wife of John Willard O’Connell

And Clyde Hill

Claudia Irene Lewis was born 8 DEC 1908, in the Bad Rock community, nearColumbia Falls,MT.  She graduated fromColumbia Falls High Schoolin 1927.

Claudie married John W. O'Connell 12 JUN 1936 atKalispell,MT, and the couple resided inGlacier National Park, where they both were employed. Later the family re-located toColumbia Falls where John served as mayor from 1946 through 1949.  The family moved toAlaska in 1950 where Claudia's husband served as a member of the Alaska State Legislature and as the mayor of the city ofSitka.

Claudia and John shared a lively interest in politics and both were active in the Democratic Party, attending the 1960 Democratic National Convention inLos Angeles as Alaskan delegates.  Claudia was also magistrate and coroner inSitka for 20 years.  John died14 FEB 1971, and is buried atSitka.

After her marriage to Oregonian Clyde Hill 9 DEC 1972 atReno,NV, Clyde and Claudia remained inSitka for several years.  The couple retired in 1978 to 16 acres of the original Solomon Walter Lewis homestead in the Bad Rock community outsideColumbia Falls.  Clyde and Claudia's interests turned more toward travel in the winter and gardening in the summer.  They wintered at their home inYuma,AZ.

Claudia died 17 DEC 1986 atYuma at the age of 78.  Clyde returned her ashes to the Sitka Sound the following spring.  Clyde died6 FEB 1990, atSpringfield,OR, of pneumonia.  He also had cancer.  Funeral services were conducted by the wife of his stepson, Rev Dianne O'Connell, and his ashes, too, were returned to Sitka Sound.

Clyde, born11 JAN 1914, inMarcola, OR, was survived by his children by his first marriage, Wayne Hill of Eugene, OR, and Cathy Mock ofLaGrande,OR.  Wayne has two sons, Scott and Brandon, and a daughter, Heather. Cathy has one daughter, Amie.  Clyde had married a third time, to Elda Scott,17 MAR 1989, inYuma,AZ, and was survived byElda, as well.

Claudia was survived by her daughter Mrs. Donald I. (Jerry Anne) Peterson of Bellevue, WA; her son Charles Lewis O'Connell ofAnchorage, AK; and eight grandchildren.

Among Claudia's interests in later years, shared with her sister Mrs. John (Edith)Taylor, was family history.  It lead to her membership in the Daughters of the American Revolution.  A dedicated Democrat, it is probable that Claudia did not always agree with the more conservative politics of the DAR, but she, her sister, and her daughter each nonetheless joined the organization.  Claudia's membership number is 703126; she was admitted10 OCT 1986.

"The National Society Daughters of the American Revolution was organized in 1890 by patriotic American women.  They believed that the descendants of those men and women who helped to establish our government had the awesome responsibility of preserving the heritage of a freeAmerica so valiantly won by their forebearers."

One must be 18 years old or older and have absolute proof that an ancestor served with unfailing loyalty to the cause of American Independence, as a sailor, soldier, or civil officer in one of the several Colonies or States, or as a recognized patriot, or rendered material aid thereto, providing that the applicant is personally acceptable to the

Society, legitimate, and a natural born blood descendent.

But what of Claudia’s mother’s family – the Diekens.

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