TRENTON -- Clara Alvina (Eggeling) Waterman was born July 15, 1914 on a farm north of Culbertson, Neb. Her parents were Alvin John Eggeling and Emma Ida (Wittwer) Eggeling. At age 95, Clara passed peacefully to her rest on Oct. 28, 2009, at Community Hospital in McCook, Neb.
Clara was the elder of two children. She attended a rural elementary school, and then took her first three years of high school in Culbertson. Her senior year was completed by taking correspondence courses at home. It was Clara's unfulfilled dream to continue her education and become a nurse. In the early thirties, her parents relocated to a farm southeast of Culbertson. There they became survivors of the renowned Republican River flood of 1935. She worked diligently on the family farm helping her parents with the many duties of rural living.
On March 21, 1939, Clara and Roy Clinton Waterman were married by Pastor H. F. Ramelow, in McCook, Neb. They rented and later purchased a farm located seven miles southeast of Trenton. That farm became their home for the rest of their lives. There Clara and Roy raised five children, cared for their livestock, milked their cows, harvested grain crops, and lived the full measure of life in rural Nebraska. Clara spent over 70 years on that farm. People of southeastern Nebraska still talk about the crippling blizzard of 1949. Clara and her children were in the thick of that monster storm, and it came when her husband was sick and under hospital care some 500 miles away.
Clara and Roy were blessed with one daughter, Lois, and four sons: Robert, Kenneth, Wilbert and James. In January of 1946, Clara and Roy joined the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Trenton, and they maintained that connection for the rest of their days. Clara's faith in God was unwavering. Church fellowship and worship were always important to her. Bible study and prayer were hallmarks of her life, and she gladly shared her faith with others both by precept and personal example. The strength and character of Clara's womanhood was reflected in her caring ways throughout her long life. She cherished her family and she was devoted beyond measure. We are grateful for her length of years with us, and her life will continue to inspire those of us who remain.
As a loving mother and an ever-affectionate grandmother, she primarily spent her years tending to the matters that make a house a home. Yet, she enjoyed some adventures as well. For instance, she traveled numerous times to Omaha, Neb., and she traveled to both the east and west coasts whenever there were grandchildren's graduations to celebrate. She took her opportunities to walk the beaches of both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. She reveled in viewing New York City from atop the Empire State Building, and she relished the scenic power of Niagara Falls. At the age of 60, Clara obtained her driver's license, and she didn't flinch at attending an Indianapolis 500 race. She rode her stationary bike for over 1,000 miles, and at 80, she hiked right up to the top of Trails Ridge Pass.
Clara even found adventure in her flower and vegetable gardens. She worked hard and enjoyed sharing the fruits of her labors. She loved to crochet, cook and bake. Her noodles, cheese balls, mashed potato dishes, baked pies and cookies were always called for.
She cared tenderly for her husband, Roy, who suffered a long battle with cancer. He preceded her in death by 35 years when he succumbed on Sept. 7, 1974. In the last five years of her life, Clara handled broken hips and declining health with dignity and grace, never complaining about the discomfort and the encroaching limitations.
Clara was preceded in death by her parents, Alvin and Emma Eggeling, her husband Roy, and her brother, Alvin C. Eggeling, Jr.
She is survived by her daughter, Lois Waterman of Omaha, Neb; her sons: Robert Waterman of Riverside, Calif, Kenneth Waterman and wife, Gail of Columbus, N.J., Wilbert Waterman and his wife, Marybeth of Rancho Mirage, Calif., James and fiancée, Wanda Dickinson of Oberlin, Kan.; eight grandchildren: Geni Waterman-Walton and husband Chris, Bruce Waterman and wife, Kate, Holly Waterman, Robbie Waterman, Susan Waterman-Hampton, Kevin Waterman, Destiny Waterman and Shanna Waterman; nine great-grandchildren: Samuel Walton, Lily Walton, Hayley Waterman, Marc Waterman, Michael Waterman, Paige Waterman, Alyssa Hampton, Kayla Hampton and Benjamin Walter. She is also survived by Vicki Waterman, Darlene Nothnagel, Fran Waterman, Allan Rarick, Glenn Reasland, and a host of nieces, nephews and friends.
Services will be Tuesday, 10:30 a.m., with Burt Blackwell officiating, at the Seventh-Day Adventist Church in McCook. Burial will follow at the Culbertson Cemetery.
Visitation is Sunday 1-6 p.m., and Monday, 9 a.m.-9 p.m., at Herrmann Memorial Chapel in McCook. The family will receive friends and visitors from 6-9 p.m., Monday.
Following the burial, a luncheon will be served at the Trenton community room.
Herrmann Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.