Claudia J. Roach, age 75, of Stillwater, passed away peacefully at her home in the presence of her daughter on April 11th, 2019. A service to celebrate her truly unique life will begin at 1:30 p.m. Friday, April 26, 2019 at the First Presbyterian Church of Stillwater, her spiritual home and a place she loved. Strode Funeral Home and Cremation is in charge of the arrangements.
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Born Claudia Jo Moersch on November 9, 1943, she spent her childhood on her family’s dairy farm in Calumet County, Wisconsin. After graduating from Goodrich High School in 1962, she moved to Kansas City, Missouri where she made her life for 47 years.
Claudia served as a flight attendant for Central and Braniff Airlines during the 1960s. Her days as a flight attendant fueled her love of travel and she reminisced often about her trips to Brazil, Germany, Spain, China, and Hawaii.
Following her time with the airlines, she went on to build a longtime career in Real Estate, Life Insurance and Financial Services. She was a fierce salesperson whose hard work and success in a male-dominated industry was an inspiration to other women. She excelled as an administrator, and was known as a gifted mentor. Claudia ultimately retired as a Regional Trainer for Metropolitan Life and then remained active by providing preplanning services through Strode Funeral Home, following her move to Stillwater in 2009.
A true original, Claudia had a penchant for bourbon, cigarettes, fine suits and jewelry. Her razor-sharp wit and jaw-dropping humor were legendary, such as her frequent reference to her “acquired allergy to airline pilots”. Anyone who knew her can tell you how special and unforgettable she was. And, although she was small in stature, you simply couldn’t miss her. Who else but Claudia would wear a St. John’s suit and a full-length chinchilla coat to the grocery store!
Claudia had a servant heart. She was a devoted member of the First Presbyterian Church of Stillwater, where she served as a Deacon and contributed her time and talents. She was actively involved in the Second Mile Sewing ministry, where she loved to knit beautiful prayer shawls, the Community Breakfast ministry, and taught Life Skills classes to adults in the Stillwater community. She spent several years as a volunteer at Stillwater Medical Center and is estimated to have knit nearly 1,000 caps for babies born there. Claudia also had a tenderness for those living in the shadows of mental illness and often opened her home to those in need.
Claudia was married and divorced, describing herself as the mother of three children and proud Nana to a grandson. Her family includes her daughter Dr. Whitney A. Bailey, son-in-law Scott, and her grandson Eli, the undisputed apple of her eye. Claudia’s two other children predeceased her, Jason B. Hatfield (1968-2002), a daughter who died at birth (1967). Claudia also leaves behind her beloved big sister Ann Serpe and husband Tony; her two nieces and their families, Laurel Kling and husband Steve and Lynn Cornwell and husband David. Until her death, Claudia enjoyed enduring relationships with and also leaves behind her two step-daughters and their families, Monica Sickman and Russell and Terri Boyd and Clark. She is predeceased by her parents, Wilbur and Marcella Moersch.
On behalf of the family, Whitney and Scott wish to express deep gratitude to The First Presbyterian Church of Stillwater for their loving support of Claudia over the past decade, including her journey toward death. Also, of special note is the team at Golden Oaks Village and Companion Hospice who cared for Claudia in the most tender and thoughtful ways.
Those who wish to honor Claudia’s life with a gift may do so by contributing to the First Presbyterian Church of Stillwater, 524 S. Duncan Street, Stillwater, Oklahoma 74074.