Violet Arvilla Claussen

Passed away on August 27, 2019

Violet Arvilla Claussen January 10, 1923 – August 27, 2019

Mom lived 96 years; some were glorious, some were a struggle, and some were “just years.” Regardless of what life handed her, VI (Six – in roman numerals) found humor, honor, love, duty, and challenges to be of equal partners in her life. She never gave up, especially on people. She said, “I can go around only once in this life, so, as much as I can, I will go around laughing,” and she did just that. The laughter was accompanied by determination, challenges to the cultural barriers of her time, a quick temper at the “wrongs” she encountered, and a relentless good humor.

She started life in Chicago, Illinois. She insisted that she lived in the “safest neighborhood in Chicago” – three doors down was the residence of a man named Al Capone. When she was seven years old, her father asked her what she wanted to do when she grew up. She told us that she thought about it for a moment, then answered that she wanted to be a truck driver, she would have four daughters, and name the first one “Arvilla.” After World War II started, she quit her job as a lathe operator in a “defense plant” and joined the Women’s Army Corps, where she became a truck driver for two years. At the end of the war, she married Sgt. Fred Claussen, and over the next ten years, they had four daughters, and she named the first one Arvilla.

She worked many jobs in her life, but her favorite was that of being a mother. She approached this “job” and its challenges with all the humor, honor, love and duty that were part of her from birth. All four daughters- Arvilla, Virginia, Nancy, and Amy- survive her. She is also survived by five grandchildren, five great grandchildren, and two great-great grandchildren. The youngest great-great granddaughter, now one year old, bears a surprising resemblance (physical) and resemblance 9personality) to her great-great grandmother. So, world, prepare for another challenge in the up-coming years, as we are sure another whirlwind is coming!

Good-bye Mom. Thank you for the gifts you gave us, the model you set for us, the love you shared without boundaries. We miss you. We will do our best to honor your legacy.

Visitation Thursday, September 5th at 10am with Funeral services following at 11:00 am at Howell Edwards Doerksen, 1350 Commercial St SE, Salem, OR 97302


  • Visitation Thursday, September 5, 2019
  • Funeral Service Thursday, September 5, 2019


Violet Arvilla Claussen

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