The funeral service can be viewed by clicking on the link above.
IN LIEU OF FLOWERS, A MEMORIAL FUND HAS BEEN ESTABLISHED BY THE FAMILY
Clara Goeken, 97, a long-time member of the Everly community, died October 16 at the Hartley Memorial Care Center after a short illness.
Clara Marion Wilken was born September 30, 1923 in Everly to George and Clara Koep Wilken. A day later, Clara’s mother died as a result of complications from childbirth. Clara was raised by her grandparents, Herman and Anna Wilken, on the family farm west of Everly, along with aunts and uncles who were close to her in age. She graduated from Everly High School in 1941.
After graduation, Clara went to Wartburg College in Waverly, where she met her future husband, Walter Goeken of Melvin. When Walt enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1942, Clara also left school to take an office job at Rath Packing in Waterloo. They got engaged by mail during WWII; Walt sent money to his parents and had them pick out an engagement ring for Clara. Following Walt’s discharge from the Army, they married on May 19, 1946 in Everly. The couple lived in Ames while Walt was a student at Iowa State College. In 1947, they moved to Everly to begin farming.
Clara was soon surrounded by adoring men – Walt and their five sons. She was a devoted mother, and did lots of cooking, cleaning and laundry while raising their family on the farm. Her rule was if the boys fought, they had to go outside. (They spent a lot of time outside.) She enjoyed baking, and always had home-made cookies, pie and/or other desserts on hand when someone stopped by. As a grandma, Clara loved making her grandkids’ favorite things to eat and going to their sporting events and activities with Walt. For many years Clara and Walt belonged to a card club and a dance club. She was active in Farm Bureau Women’s Club, and in her later years, had fun going to Red Hat Society meetings and Sunday outings after church with good friends. She participated in aquacise at the YMCA for many years and got a treadmill in her 90s to stay active. In 2019 Clara was named Grand Marshall of the parade for Everly’s all-school reunion.
Faith was the bedrock of Clara’s life. Her baptism, confirmation, wedding and funeral all took place at Hope Lutheran Church in Everly, which is where Clara and Walt’s five sons were baptized and confirmed, too. She was a committed member of Women of Hope, and participated in monthly quilting sessions that benefitted missions. Clara prayed daily for family and friends and made sure everyone knows they are supposed to take that over for her after she’s gone.
In addition to her grandparents, Clara was preceded in death by her husband Walt in 2012 after 66 years of marriage.
Survivors include her five sons and their wives: Tom and Kathy Goeken, Everly; Dick and Rita Goeken, Hartley; John and Connie Goeken, Everly; Dave Goeken and Elizabeth Kaufman, Friendswood, TX; and Bob and Jane Goeken, Spencer; nine grandchildren: Scott (Jennifer), Kevin (Rebecca), Shannon, Ryan (Bobbie), Nolan, Clare, and Rachel Goeken; Jessica (John) Curran; and Brook (Joe) Schueller; and 15 great-grandchildren: Isaac, Helen, Kyle, Noah, Abby, Jordan, Emma and Luke Goeken; Jake and Will Schipper; Alex and Ellie Curran; and Kale, Ava and Ella Schueller; and several other relatives including her half sister, Janice Johnson of Arizona.
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