Clara Elizabeth Troutman Kirkpatrick

Submitted by Mary Lou Kline

Friday, January 17, 1941

The Call - Schuylkill Haven, Pa

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FOUR SCORE CLUB SALUTES NEW MEMBER IN PHILA

This week, The Call salutes Mrs. Clara Elizabeth Kirkpatrick, of Haverford Ave., Philadelphia, who is 80 years young.

This interesting personality was born May 4, 1860, in Mahantongo Valley, near Sacramento, Pa., at the saw mill, which was operated by her father. Her parents were Henry and Mary Troutman. She was married in the Lutheran Parsonage at Pottsville, by the Rev. Hay, in 1881. In 1887, they moved to Schuylkill Haven, where our subject has known great tragedy. In 1896, her husband, Chas. E. Kirkpatrick, was killed on the railroad, and one year later a daughter, Edith, was drowned at Christmas-time. Without a question of doubt, being left a widow at the age of 36 with six children, the oldest 12 years and the youngest 2 years, was quite a problem. However, a strong constitution, a determined will power and a fine sense of humor aided her in conquering obstacles and smoothing the bumps along life's highway.

Her oldest and youngest daughters are still living, Mary A. Heim, of Schuylkill Haven, and Miss Anna, who lives with her mother at Philadelphia. There is also a son, Bob, of Philadelphia. Daughters Bertha, wife of Walter Kantner, and Esther, are deceased, as well as Edith who was drowned.

There are eleven grandchildren: Mrs. William Yoder, Georgene Kantner, Mrs. John Krater, Ruth Heim, and Frank Heim, of Schuylkill Haven; Robert Kantner, of Deer Lake; Robert, John, Richard, William, and Marian Kirkpatrick, of Philadelphia. Also three great-grandchildren: Mary, Sarah and Billy Yoder, of whom she is very proud.

Mrs. Kirkpatrick was a member of St. Matthew's Lutheran Church, Schuylkill Haven, for 53 years. She now attends a Lutheran Church in Philadelphia, but never joined it. From the time of her husband's death until she moved to Philadelphia, 23 years ago, she was the janitress of the North Ward school building.

Endowed with a fine sense of humor and a most remarkable personality, she is so popular in Schuylkill Haven on her visits with her folks, that when they go to church with her, it is almost impossible to get her home, as she seems to know everybody and just can't get away from people.

She is the proud possessor of a wonderful memory, never seems to miss a thing and is and always has been quick to act in any emergency, and has always really been a neighbor doctor, as people came to her before they called the doctor, as she just seems to know what to do at all times to help others. Her health is of the best, not ever really having been ill in her life-time, and she states she hasn't the time to be ill. Her hearing is also very keen, and her sight as good as ever.

Besides doing all her own housework in a three-story house, she finds time to follow her hobby of fine sewing and crocheting. She has a little case in the baby department at Wanamaker's Store, Philadelphia, which she keeps filled with bootees, sacks, etc. Because of her love for children, every stitch in these garments is put in lovingly, because she delights to make these little garments. Within 35 years, she has completed at least 2000 pairs of bootees.

In addition to these many duties, she also finds time to make aprons and many different kinds of novelties, by hand, which she displays in the beauty parlor which her daughter, Miss Anna, operates in her home. She sells quantities of these, especially at Christmas-time. Looking back over her work, we don't for a minute doubt a statement made by her granddaughter, that she was never seen with her hands folded, doing nothing.

She is a great lover of plants, and every window in her home is filled with plants. Her favorite flower is the African Violet and there are many, many plants of this variety found throughout her home. She also has a tiny garden, in which flowers bloom from one end to the other. While living in Schuylkill Haven, she kept a large garden.

She keeps abreast of the times through her radio, never missing a news broadcast. She is also an ardent movie-goer.

Just to prove the statement that she is happy when she is busy, this past Christmas the children bought her a sweeper for a gift and, not daunted, the entire house, from top to bottom, was cleaned three times the first week.

There is nothing feeble about this remarkable woman, as when her daughter or grandchildren come to the city, she can outwalk any of them, taking them through the city until they are practically lost and must depend on her to get them back to the starting point. She delights in escalators, being very sure-footed on them. She admonishes her folks that they should pretend to know how to act on them or people would think they were "hicks".

We are indeed very happy to welcome such an active and interesting personage into our Four Score Club, even though her home is in Philadelphia. Her host of friends in town will welcome this glimpse into her life and we feel sure there will be many a clipping made of this article, just as a remembrance of a fine and true friend.

Congratulations, Mrs. Kirkpatrick, and we hope you may continue your very active life far into the future."

Gramma Kirk died in 1943, the year I was born, but over the years I have grown to know and love her, through the stories related to me by my mother. In this fast-paced world we live in, whenever I get "harried" I always think of Gramma Kirk's accomplishments, which are truly an incentive to get my work done. Click here to read her obituary and read more about Gramma Kirk.

If you recognize this family, please e-mail Mary Lou Kline.email icon

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