Clarice “Snooks” Elaine Graham, 87, of River Falls, WI, died Saturday, January 2, 2016 at Kinnic Health and Rehab. She was born to William Clyde Olson and Clarice Natalie Nelson Olson in River Falls, WI. Her childhood home with vintage front porch railing still stands on Falls Street. Friends and family knew her by her nickname, “Snooks.” She sported sassy white majorette boots as she led the River Falls High School marching band up Main Street in 1946.
Clarice married her high school sweetheart, George Timmerman. Falling in love with a country boy meant moving to a 210 acre farm in Roberts. The welcome arrivals of Greg, Carol, Paul and Don gradually filled the farmhouse.
Tragically, Clarice was widowed in her early thirties when George was killed in a car accident on April 22, 1958. A drunk driver took a life and changed a young family forever. In profound ways we cannot comprehend, a community of good neighbors embraced Clarice and her children, then ranging in age from 7-years-old to infant. The farm changed hands and a move was made back to River Falls for much-needed help from extended family.
Clarice remarried on July 11, 1959. An interesting homecoming occurred for her and the kids with this marriage to John Graham. The union brought the family back to the same farmhouse and 210 acres in Roberts. Included in the second marriage was a live-in mother-in-law, Grandma Mona Graham, who possessed a tiny stature and a large heart. Lori arrived, and the Olson-Timmerman-Graham family became a potpourri of cousins. Life was busy with three generations under the same roof. When visitors drove up the driveway they were always welcomed. Coffee and cookies, or a full meal, appeared without fuss.
Clarice was the elementary school secretary for many years. Every student at St. Croix Central called her “Mrs. Graham.” She was the go-to lady from start to finish of the school day. With quiet efficiency she seemed to run SCC from her desk and phone. Lunch tickets & Bandaids were distributed, crying students who missed the bus were calmed and report cards were typed. She and John were dedicated SCC fans, often attending sporting events regardless of their own kids’ participation.
In 2001 Clarice was widowed again, and just months later mourned her daughter Carol, who lost her battle to cancer. Clarice downsized, left the farm and returned to her hometown of River Falls.
Parkinson’s took over her physical frame, but Clarice still found joy in her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Caregivers described her as kind & sweet. Those were qualities she always owned. Those of us who knew her saw past her frailty. We understood her beautiful history of perseverance and strength in adversity, the force of family, and a quiet faith in the coming of better days. Some of her last words were, “I love my kids.”
Forever in our Hearts.
Snooks ~ Mrs. Graham ~ Mom ~ Grandma Clarice
She is survived by her children, Greg (Dawn Pace) Timmerman of Hudson, WI, Paul (Shelly) Timmerman of Wilson, WI, Don Timmerman of Baldwin,WI, and Lori (Bob) Morris of Roberts, WI; son-in-law, Jerry Somsen of Baldwin, WI; brothers Donovan (Ruth) Olson of Chippewa Falls, WI and Ken “Butch” Olson of River Falls, and one sister, Peggy Boles of River Falls; grandchildren, Molly, Pete, Sarah, Joe, Anthony, Cayla, Andrew, Megan, Anna, and Carolyn; great-grandchildren, Mya, Wyatt, Nolan, Eli, and numerous nieces, nephews, and extended family.
A gathering of family and friends will be 3:00-7:00 PM, Monday, January 11, 2016 at Cashman-Hill Funeral Home, River Falls, WI. Private interment at Warren Cemetery, Roberts, WI.
Cashman-Hill Funeral Home and Cremation Services of River Falls, WI is assisting the family.