Clara Ruth Fessel, age 76 of Defiance, was called to the arms of her heavenly savior while surrounded by her loving children, on Friday July 10, 2020 at Mercy Defiance Hospital.
She was born May 23, 1944 to Carl and Ruth (Taylor) Kruse at Defiance Hospital, and she grew up on the Kruse farm on the outskirts of Cecil Ohio. There she helped her mother care for her baby brother Richard as her father worked on the Nickelplate Railroad line. In her teenage years, she came to Defiance with Richard to live with their older brother Carl. She attended school and worked as a waitress at Buds Restaurant. That is where she met the father of her children, Lee Rigg. She graduated in 1963 from Defiance High School, and Married Lee in 1964. Clara worked as a machine operator at the Zeller Corporation for 20 years before retiring. She then began a career as a home health care expert. She worked for Interim Healthcare for another 18 years as a private home health aide for many families in and around Defiance. Her work was a reward to many people as well as her own heart.
In 1989 she married Herbert Fessel who preceded her in death on May 9, 2018. Her marriage with Herb has blessed her with 4 step-children, Steven, David, Barbara, and Bruce. Clara was a member of St. John Lutheran Church in Defiance, VFW #3360 Auxiliary, and Moose Lodge #2094. Clara was a devoted mother to everyone, she never met a stranger, and was always quick to make a new friend. She enjoyed karaoke, camping, and spending time on the front porch of the home that her and Herbert shared together for many wonderful years. Her greatest love was her family.
She will be sadly missed by her daughters, Kelly (Rod) Derrow and Shelly Rigg, both of Defiance, and her son, Lauren Rigg.
Clara leaves behind ten grandchildren, six great-grandchildren, and her brothers, Carl (Livonia) Kruse, George (Margene) Kruse, all of Defiance, and, Paul (Cookie) Kruse of Cecil, Ohio.
In addition to her parents and husband, she was preceded in death by her brothers, Robert, Earl, Richard, and Joseph Kruse.
Visitation will be held from 11:00 am to 12:00 noon on Wednesday, July 15, 2020 at St. John Lutheran Church in Defiance. All are welcome. A funeral service will follow at 12:00 noon, with Pastor Kurt Mews officiating. Entombment will take place immediately after at Riverview Memory Gardens Mausoleum. Responsible virus protection measures are encouraged. For those who wish to honor Clara while maintaining social distancing, you can join the funeral outside of the church in your vehicle and accompany her to her final resting place where she has requested to be “Slid into the wall on the top row where no one can steal my flowers.”
Schaffer Funeral Home assisted the family with arrangements.
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