The Sidney Sun-Telegraph - Serving proudly since 1873 as the beautiful Nebraska Panhandle's first newspaper

Clara Lessig

1938 to 2014


Clara Lessig

1938 to 2014

Clara Lessig, longtime Gurley resident, passed away peacefully on Jan. 2 inHuntington Beach, Calif., a few days after celebrating her 99th birthday.

Clara was born on Dec. 22, 1914 to Steven Jairus and Bessie Flora, the first child to be born in the new town of Gurley. She lived nearly her entire life in the Gurley area.

Clara married Earl Lessig on July 10, 1938 and enjoyed over 40 years of happy marriage together.

She attended Grace Lutheran Church in Gurley and was a devoted and active member of its congregation.

After graduating from high school, she attended Midland College.Beginning in a one-room schoolhouse in Cheyenne County and ending in Gurley, Clara taught kids of all ages for over 40 years. At the age of 50, she even went back to school herself to earn her degree in education from Chadron State College.She was a dedicated teacher/educator and beloved by several generations of students.

Following retirement, she traveled extensively to spend time with her children and grandchildren, taking over a dozen trips to Asia and Australia.Her family was very important to her and she was not about to let a few thousand miles get in the way of seeing them.

After 95 years as a Nebraskan, Clara sold her house in Gurley in 2009 and moved to California to live with her daughter, but always retained her Cornhusker roots. Clara traveled back to Gurley last summer to attend the town's 100th anniversary celebration, where she was also honored as the first Leyton Foundation Outstanding Alumnus.

She was preceded in death by her beloved husband Earl and son Verle.She is survived by daughter Lynette Wright and husband Dave of Huntington Beach, Calif. with grandsons Taylor and Brady and wife Katharine; son Van and wife Sandy of Sugar Land, TX, with grandson Zach and granddaughter Niki; sister-in-law Verna Flora of Denver, and numerous nephews and nieces.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, the AIDS Foundation Houston, or a charity of your choice.

A celebration of Clara's life will be held at 3 p.m. on Sat., Jan. 18, at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Sidney.Family visitation will be from 1 to 3 p.m. before the service.


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