Claire Thompson Raaum|
Claire Thompson Raaum, age 84, died peacefully at home surrounded by her loving family on February 5, 2013. She was born to Lindsay Levant Thompson and Rhea (Billings) in Tacoma, Washington on July 17, 1928. Claire loved the water, and throughout her childhood, she spent her summers at the family beach house on Vashon Island. She worked as a counselor for the Tacoma Girl Scout camp and was Waterfront Director for Camp Fire Girls (Camp Sealth) on Vashon Island. In the summer of 1945, as Rodeo Queen for the first annual Tacoma Rodeo, Claire was thrilled to ride a high-stepping saddlebred horse in the parade.
Claire attended Sherman Elementary, Mason Junior High and Historic Stadium High School before attending the University of Washington where she earned her BA in General Studies and Nursery School Education. Claire was a member of the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority and the Silver Fish synchronized swim team. While attending the University of Washington, Claire met Gustav, the love of her life. They were married on August 25th, 1950.
As a 5th generation Washing-tonian, Claire took tremendous pride in her ancestry. For 25 years, she shared the story of her pioneer ancestors at Puget Sound grade schools. Donning a pioneer dress and bonnet, and carrying an antique rifle, she inspired students with tales of triumph over adversity. Claire enjoyed music, singing in church choirs and community chorus for nearly fifty years. She was happiest outdoors; tending her prized roses and begonias, cross-country skiing, and rowing her little boat on Allyn Bay, trolling for the elusive sea-run cutthroat trout. The Allyn beach cabin held many family gatherings where grandchildren learned at Claire's knee.
Claire is survived by her loving husband of 62 years, Gustav, her three devoted children, David (Patricia) of Teton Village, WY, Christian (Joanie) of Redmond, WA and Lisbeth Raaum Harris (John) of Bozeman, MT, six beloved grandchildren: Jennifer, Erik, Allison, Courtney, Erika, Christopher, her beautiful great-grandson, Jackson Gould, a niece and grandnephew.
Family was at the heart of Claire's life. She will be missed beyond measure, but her spirit lives on in all who loved her. The family wishes to thank all of those who cared for Claire in the last days of her life, including Evergreen Hospice and Andelcare. Services will be held Feb. 22nd, 1 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church of Bellevue, 1717 Bellevue Way NE. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the Evergreen Healthcare Foundation, Hospice Services, 12040 NE 128th St, MS 5, Kirkland, WA, 98034-3013.
Published in The Seattle Times from Feb. 8 to Feb. 10, 2013