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
Falls. Clyde and
Claudia's interests turned more toward travel in the winter and gardening in
the summer. They wintered at their home
Claudia died 17 DEC 1986 atYuma at the age of
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
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,
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
Society, legitimate, and a
natural born blood descendent.
But what of Claudia’s mother’s
family – the Diekens.