Claudia Jeanne Wayne, Geneva

Published 3:40 pm Saturday, January 22, 2011

The memorial service for Claudia Jeanne Wayne, of Geneva, will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2011, at the Community Lutheran Church in Geneva. The Rev. Carrie McElfresh will officiate. Friends may visit with family from 4 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday at Bonnerup Funeral Service in Albert Lea, and one hour before the service at the church.

Claudia Wayne

Claudia Jeanne Wayne came into the world kicking and screaming on Nov. 10, 1951, and left it peacefully, in the arms of her loving family, on Jan. 20, 2011, from complications arising from her 15-month battle with melanoma. She faced this disease with dignity, humor, grace and courage. Left to cherish her memory are husband Jeffrey from Geneva, mother Joy Herringer from Lake Maud, her daughters, Katherine Laudon of St. Paul, and Emily Laudon of Rochester, brothers Paul (Bonnie) Herringer of Rapid City, S.D., Jay (Aranka) Herringer of Lakewood, Colo., and Lee (Wanda) Herringer of Bemidji. Also survived by in-laws and out-laws, nieces and nephews, and Venus, Jupiter, Mischief and Miss Kitty, the abandoned dogs and cats that call our house their home. Preceded in death by her father, David Herringer, and sister-in-law, Jeanette Pospesel.

Claudia graduated from Moorhead High School in 1969, and the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy in 1980. She owned and operated Laudon Drug during the 1980s, the first woman in Minnesota to be a sole proprietor of an independently owned pharmacy. Claudia married Jeffrey on Oct. 24, 1992. She sold Laudon Drug, and she and her daughters moved to Geneva. She loved living in Geneva and would joke that the only way she was leaving her home was feet first.

Claudia was unselfish to a fault and always put the needs of her family before her own. Her daughters were her treasures and more important to her than life itself. She had a keen intellect and was a voracious reader. She was a champion of the underprivileged, the forgotten and the disenfranchised. Her passions were many, her spirituality deep. She was open-minded, tolerant, worldly and loved travel. About the only thing she could not abide was cruelty in any form.

Claudia loved animals of all shapes and sizes. If there was an animal in need of a home it could find one at her door. On their first Father’s Day together, when most fathers receive golf shirts, Claudia and her girls gave Jeff a black tomcat they had adopted at the Humane Society. Claudia wanted to leave the world better than the way she found it. The world may not seem better, but our world was improved beyond measure. Her presence in our lives has had a profound effect. The impact of her absence will be just as great. We did not say goodbye to her that terrible afternoon as her life slipped away. We kissed and hugged her, told her how much we loved her and told her it was OK for her to go, we would be all right and we would see the Queen of Everything later.