Edna Claire Rise, age 100, of Molson, Washington, passed away with family by her side, January 8, 2019, at Central Washington Hospital, Wenatchee, Washington. Edna Claire Rowton was born October 19, 1918 in Sandsprings, Montana, to Joshua G. & Viola Ann (Pollard) Rowton.
Some of Claire’s earliest memories were of the wonderful aroma of baking bread and seeing chickens floating by on the water. Josh and Viola had packed up a sheep wagon to camp in and with their three young children, Katharine, Claire and Erwin, plus 100 head of horses, were headed for the Peace River country in British Columbia. Every third day they would stop long enough for Viola to bake bread. While crossing a swollen stream their chickens were swept away, but Josh rode through the water, plucking up chickens, and when the chickens were counted, they had more than they started with!
After traveling across Montana, Idaho, and half of Washington, it was too late in the fall to enter Canada with 100 head of horses, so they settled North of Chesaw, Washington. Being the oldest, Katharine and Claire grew up doing the outside chores, working alongside their dad and younger brother Erwin, as well as helping with the household. As with young ladies of the time, both Katharine and Claire took piano lessons, learned to sew and knit and do embroidery.
Claire graduated from Molson High School in 1936, then attended Washington State University for a year. April 1938 Claire married Sidney Rise, and they moved into the family house on Rise Road that would be her home for 80 years. Together Sid and Claire raised five children, Lewis, Noris, Tom, Sharman and Kelly. Claire was a gifted seamstress and was the 4-H leader of the Molson Swift Stitchers for 30 years. She was a lifelong member and pianist for the Molson Grange and a longtime member of the Molson Museum. She taught Home Ec for a year at Molson High School. After learning how to decorate cakes from Clara Schell, Claire baked intricately decorated wedding, anniversary and birthday cakes for family and community members. Claire volunteered many hours at The Molson Schoolhouse Museum and devoted countless more hours landscaping Old Molson Outdoor Museum. She was known as the “flower lady” for keeping bouquets of fresh flowers all summer long to welcome guests to the Molson Schoolhouse Museum and for events at the Molson Grange Hall.
At 90, Claire was still tending her own beautiful flower garden plus a large potato patch. She would drive to the Old Molson Museum, devoting her time and energy landscaping around the Rise Cabin plus all the other buildings and grounds. With never a complaint, throughout her life, Claire always looked for a solution and she lived by “do as much good as you can, in as many ways as you can, for as long as you can.” Her indomitable spirit and love of family allowed us to celebrate her 100th birthday, and how she enjoyed the day!
Claire is survived by sons Noris (Tedi Lynn), Tom (Florence), Kelly and daughter Sharman (John);
grandchildren Terry, Shannon, Josh, Eric, Ryan, Valena, Amasa and Corey; plus nine
great-grandchildren. Claire was preceded in death by her husband, Sidney; son, Lewis; grandson, Shane; her parents, sister and brother.
Claire’s Celebration of Life will be a potluck for family and friends held Sunday, June 16 at 1 p.m.
at the Molson Grange Hall.