The Evening Star, October 21, 1996
ANGOLA--Clara E. Rowe, 103, of Angola, died at 4:45 p.m. Wednesday in Carlin Park Health Care Center in Angola.
She was born in Hartford City, Ohio, Sept. 2, 1893, to Charles and Martha (Medley) Ladd. On April 26, 1922, in Hudson, she married John A. Rowe. He preceded her in death March 7, 1974.
Mrs. Rowe, formerly of Hudson, was a homemaker.
Surviving are two daughters, Betty Pike Case of Angola, and Patricia Leamaster of Middleton, Idaho; two sons, Robert Rowe of Engle, Idaho, and Neal Rowe of Boise, Idaho; a brother Irvin Ladd of Avon, S.D.; 16 grandchildren; and 16 great-grandchildren.
Private services were held Saturday with the Rev. Willard Souder officiating. Burial was in Mount Zion Cemetery, rural Pleasant Lake.
Preferred memorials are to Gideon’s International.
Johnson Funeral Home, Hudson, was in charge of arrangements.
1993, Unknown author or newspaper
Woman reflects on clean living, faith for century of happiness.
Staring down the barrel of 100 birthdays might make a person grumpy.
Not Clara Rowe.
The former Hudson resident doesn’t hear so well, just two days from the century mark. But that didn't bother her Thursday.
As she waited for conversation to reach a volume where she could join in, Rowe sat in her wheelchair at Angola's Carlin Park Health Center and hummed a little tune.
"My mother was always a happy person," Betty Casey, the only one of Rowe's four children who still live in Steuben County (rural Angola.) "She always had a lot of fun with us kids."
Clara was born Clara Ladd Sept. 2, 1893, on a farm near Dupont, Ohio. Her father, a farmer and constable, kept the family on the move, hitching his team to a Conestoga wagon every March.
"My dad liked to rent farms," said Clara. "We didn’t stay in one place too long."
Did that bother you?
"Oh, no!" said Clara. "My mother would make it interesting. She'd make sandwiches. We'd have stuffed, fresh sausage all ready to eat. And home-made bread, always" Boy that was good!"
Even tragedy turned to happiness for Clara.
"My fiancÚ died of the flu," she said. "I didn't think I'd ever find a husband."
So, at age 25, she took up her cousin Dolly's offer to visit Indiana and a farm near Waterloo. The visit changed her life.
"They had free shows on Saturday night in Hudson," said Clara. "My cousin, Johnny, he had a horse and rubber-tired buggy. That was something pretty nice!"
"He took us (Clara and Johnny's sister, Dolly) to town." And here Clara laughed. "Then he goes and takes a girl home and leaves us stranded!"
Their predicament didn't go unnoticed. Years later, Clara would learn that one young fella in a nearby restaurant said to his friend: "Hurry up and eat your pie--there's two swell girls out there."
That fella was John Rowe, Clara's husband of 52 years (he passed away in 1974.)
No, Clara said, she didn’t have any special words of wisdom to share with the younger generations. Her own longevity resulted from clean living and trusting the Lord, she said.
Then she hummed as Betty and a visitor spoke. Betty reiterated how happy her mother has always seemed. The volume of the words amounted to silence for Clara, but it seemed as if she'd been listening.
She interrupted the conversation with a chuckle and said:
"Looks like I'm never going to die!"