Clara E. Gerig

January 12, 1910June 20, 2018

Clara E. Gerig, 108, of Adams Woodcrest in Decatur, and formerly of Woodburn, went home to be with her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on Wednesday, June 20, 2018. Born January 12, 1910, in Okarche, Okla., she was a daughter of the late Peter and Helena (Quiring) Engbrecht. Due to her dad’s poor health, the family moved to Sterling, Kansas in 1913 to be near her dad’s brother. Her dad died at the age of 32 due to a stroke on January 15, 1914, which made life difficult for Clara’s mother, Helena, and children Clara and Albert. Their mother then moved the family to Canada to be near her family; but didn’t like Canada so they moved back to Sterling, Kansas. In order to earn money to support the family, Clara’s mother washed dirty laundry for people. Clara and Albert had to get the dirty laundry and haul it in their wagon back to their mother for her to wash and hang up all over their house to dry. Clara was brought up in a German speaking home and had a difficult time in Kindergarten trying to learn English; however, she successfully graduated from Sterling High School in Sterling, Kansas in 1928. She had to earn money to pay her expenses by babysitting, cleaning houses, and helping farm wives with meals during harvest time. After high school, she worked at a bank. On May 2, 1931 she married Cecil C. Carpenter. He was an Army career man and on March 10, 1943 he died in Tunisia, Africa. She and Cecil had a daughter, Dolores, born October 28, 1932 and a son, Cecil, born February 15, 1937. In January 1944, Clara and her family moved to Fort Wayne; however, her children didn’t like being in Fort Wayne so they moved back to Sterling, Kansas, and stayed until 1947 when they moved to Fort Wayne again. In the fall of 1951, Clara started dating Ray Gerig on a regular basis. On March 12, 1952 she married Ray Gerig. They lived in Woodburn and were members of Woodburn Missionary Church for many years. He died in September of 1996. Clara taught Sunday school at Woodburn Missionary Church for a number of years and also served as Sunday school secretary and Sunday school treasurer for several years. She was greatly appreciated for her Christian testimony and service. She also used her bookkeeping skills in numerous business offices through the years including being in charge of Meyer Drug Store payroll department servicing 500 employees at one time. Clara was a Godly woman and always had a friendly smile for everyone. She will be greatly missed by her family and everyone who knew her. She was a loving wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and bible scholar. She is survived by her children, Cecil Clark (Bette) Carpenter of Amarillo, Texas, and Dolores Carpenter of Decatur; five grandchildren, Greg (Nada) Gerig of California, Ron (Laura) Gerig of Indianapolis, Amy Turner of Ohio, Lisa Neese and Leslie Lee, both of Amarillo, Texas; four great-grandchildren, Justen Gerig, Chad Gerig, Andrew Gerig, and Emily (Darren) Robinson; and many cousins. She was also preceded in death by her brother, Albert Engbrecht. Funeral Service will be 2:00 pm on Monday, June 25, 2018 at Woodburn Missionary Church, 5108 Bull Rapids Rd., Woodburn, with calling one hour prior. Pastor Greg Zern officiating. Burial at Scipio Cemetery, Harlan. Memorials may be made to the church. For online condolences, please visit


  • Woodburn Missionary Church


  • Calling Monday, June 25, 2018
  • Funeral Service Monday, June 25, 2018

Clara E. Gerig

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Rose Kremer

June 24, 2018

We all loved Clara very much. She will be so greatly missed at Woodcrest. What a graceful and kind woman she was!

Ruth & David Stensland

June 23, 2018

The thing I remember most about Clara is that she always had a big smile for everyone.