Clara Shoff

Clara Christine Shoff, born August 16, 1924 in Meta, Missouri, the youngest child of Casper and Catherine Ortbal, passed away on January 15, 2016 at Kavanagh House in Des Moines.

Clara grew up in southern Texas. She met her husband, Clarence, who was serving as a Captain in the Army Air Corp. during WWII in Hawaii. Clara was employed by the Civil Aeronautics Board. They were married in April, 1946 in Colby, Kansas where Clarence owned a candy and tobacco distributorship. In 1957, the family moved to Jefferson, Iowa where they owned and operated a farm. After Clarence’s death in 1974, Clara moved to Des Moines to be closer to her daughters. Clara loved remodeling and decorating her homes, flowers, gardening, and traveling to visit her extended family.

Clara was preceded in death by her parents, her husband Clarence, their son James Kenneth, and her four siblings and their spouses. Those who remain to cherish her memory include her son Jerry (Marti) of Cedar Falls, daughters Patricia (Thomas Salsbery) of Clive and Janet (Robert Fessler) of Cumming, six grandchildren, six great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.

Visitation was held at Iles Dunn’s Chapel on Wednesday, January 20 from 4 to 6:00 p.m. A mass of Christian Burial was held at St. Augustin’s Catholic Church in Des Moines on Thursday, January 21 at 10:30 a.m. A graveside service will be held in Jefferson.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to The Homestead in Altoona, HCI Kavanagh House Hospice or Anawim Housing. The family wishes to thank the doctors and nurses at Mercy West Lakes, and Clara’s caregivers at HCI Kavanagh House Hospice and Edgewater.  Online condolences are welcomed at

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