Clara Hemmingson-Long, age 93 of Philip, S.D., died Saturday, November 27, 2010, at the Philip Nursing Home.
Clara Hemmingson-Long was born Clara Helen Viola Kurth on January 16, 1917, in Philip. Her early days were spent on the Kurth homestead southeast of Philip, where she attended a country school and graduated from the eighth grade. Clara then attended Philip High School and graduated in May of 1935. While attending high school she and her sister also had to ensure the hired hands and thrashing crew were fed each day. So began her long career of cooking.
On September 29, 1935, Clara married Hollis Hemmingson of Kadoka, S.D. Hollis was one of her father's hired men. Their first home, as a married couple, was spent with Hollis' father on a farm outside of Kadoka on South Creek. After a few months living with A.J. Hemmingson, they moved to a farm outside of Belvidere, where they began their family.
In 1942, Hollis and Clara, with their two oldest children, Tony and Jeanette, moved to Kadoka. The following years their sons, David, Loren and Arnie were born. Clara and Hollis lived in Kadoka, worked and raised the family. Clara and her family were active members of the Zion Lutheran Church.
Clara worked as a cook her entire working years. In her retirement she said that her greatest accomplishments were "raising her family and cooking a lot of food for a lot of people." In Kadoka, Clara cooked for the H&H Restaurant, Kadoka Hospital and Nursing Home, and the Kadoka High School and Grade School. She also had her own restaurant on Main Street and cooked for her family and friends.
In 1969, Clara and Hollis moved to Lovington, N.M., for Hollis' health and the warmer weather. Clara continued her cooking career working for the Shamrock restaurant until she retired. She was a member of Our Saviors Lutheran Church. Clara remained living in Lovington following the death of Hollis in 1979.
On September 6, 1988, Clara married Orville "Tim" Long from Philip, enlarging her family with step-daughters Linda Kramer and Sally Cambell. Clara and Tim set up two households, one in Lovington for the winter and one in Philip for the summer.
Clara moved into the Good Samaritan apartments in Lovington following the death of her husband, Tim Long, on May 17, 1997. She remained in Lovington until the summer of 2004 when she moved back to South Dakota to live with her son, Arnie, in Spearfish. In the fall of 2006, Clara returned to her hometown of Philip as a resident of the Philip Nursing Home.
Clara is survived by her daughter, Jeanette Ernst, Bellville, Ill., son, David Hemmingson, Philip, son, Arnie Hemmingson, Spearfish, step-daughters, Linda Kramer, Burlington, Iowa, Sally Cambell Milwaukee, Wisc., 15 grandchildren and many great-grandchildren.
In addition to her first husband, Hollis Hemmingson, and her second husband, Orville "Tim" Long, Clara was preceded in death by two sons, Tony and Loren; three brothers, William, Henry and Otto Kurth; and three sisters, Betty Hemmingson, Dorothy Werner and Mathilda "Tillie" Long.
Services were held Wednesday, December 1, at Our Redeemer Lutheran Church in Philip, with Pastor Ray Greenseth officiating.
Music was provided by Marilyn Millage, pianist. Ushers were Jerry Neville and Steve Millage. Pallbearers were Todd and Sharon Hemmingson, Tammie and Marty Quinn, Tonya and John Kramer.
Graveside services will be held at 1:00 p.m. Saturday, December 4, at the Lovington Cemetery in Lovington, N.M., with Pastor Robert Catherwood officiating.
A memorial is established.
Arrangements are with the Rush Funeral Home of Philip.
Her online guestbook is available at www.rushfuneralhome.com