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Thank you for your support during this difficult time. Please enhance this tribute to Clara Belle by adding your memories and photos.

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Kotrba-Smith Funeral Home

Kotrba-Smith Funeral Home
101 Gerkin
Gregory, SD 57533
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Memories & Candles

“Marian and Linda, so sorry for your loss, your are in our thoughts and prayers. She will be forever in your heart, may you remember the good times...Read More »
1 of 8 | Posted by: Ben and Vicki Fischer - Millboro, SD

“Our deepest and sincere sympathy to a great and wonderful lady in our lives. She always had a smile for everyone. She made our flowers for our...Read More »
2 of 8 | Posted by: AL AND JEAN PESEK - thornton, CO

“My sincere sympathy to Clara Belle's family, she was a wonderful and sweet lady. She baked several cakes for me and I and my daughters were lucky...Read More »
3 of 8 | Posted by: Lynne Duling - Gregory, SD

“Love and prayers for all so so sorry she will be missed ”
4 of 8 | Posted by: Marcia Clark - Reno, NV - Family

“Dale and family - Thinking of you and your family at this sad time. Our sympathies - Grant & Kara ”
5 of 8 | Posted by: Kara Duncan - Sherman, SD

“Leeann, The Class of 1973 extends our heartfelt sympathy. Please let any of us know if you need anything. We are here for you. ”
6 of 8 | Posted by: Class 73 GHS Classmates - Gregory, SD

“To my cousins and your families I feel your sadness and pain at this time. I will miss Aunt Clara Belle too very much. She was my rock and go to...Read More »
7 of 8 | Posted by: Charlotte Piper - Wood, SD

“Aunt Clarabelle I know you are soaring with the angels! Thank you for all the wonderful memories . ”
8 of 8 | Posted by: Karen Stieben - Loveland, CO


Clara Belle (Clark) Pavlis was born on April 22, 1927. She was the fifth child of Walter and Cynthia (Morley) Clark and the last surviving of their eight children. She was born in Healy, KS and moved to Wood, SD with her family at about the age of three. She passed away with her family by her side on October 7, 2016, in Sioux Falls, SD, at the age of 89.

Clara Belle attended school in Wood, SD. Just short of graduating her mother became ill and she quit school because she was needed at home to help her. Her biggest regret was that she never got to finish high school.

The family gradually made their way to Bovee, SD and while she was working at a cafe/hotel in Platte, she met Lawrence. They were married on January 16, 1945 and shared over 49 years together until Lawrence passed away in July of 1994. Clara Belle and Lawrence made their home in Geddes, SD and to this union five children were born, Larry, Linda, Lester, Dale and Leann. Clara Belle was a typical farm wife and enjoyed canning from her garden, raising chickens and baking her famous kolaches. She loved to see all the pretty jars of fruit lined up on the cellar shelves. She also worked many jobs in Geddes as a cook in the cafe, school lunch cook and Melmer's Market. She did sewing for others and raised and dressed (sometimes 400 chickens) and sold them for extra income.

On January 1, 1968 they moved to Gregory, SD. Her first job here was as a receptionist for Dr. Fogel. When her oldest daughter got married she made all the dresses, artificial flowers, cake and decorations for the wedding and that was the beginning of a new occupation. She started doing her wedding business in her home as a side line and it soon blossomed in to a business on Main street, Clara Belle's Bridal and Florist. She enjoyed her business for almost 18 years before her health required her to retire from it.

She then spent her time working at the cap factory, in activities at the Nursing Home, and making porcelain dolls. She was proud to say that she had made 20 dolls for all her daughters, grand-daughters, and great-grand daughters. And she had also donated a doll every year for 20 years to the Geddes Civic Club to sell chances as a fund raiser for the cemetery.

She was a member of the Gregory United Methodist Church, the Dallas Legion Auxiliary, and a 50 year member of the Order of the Eastern Star. She looked forward to her monthly meeting with her friends in the Valley Reading Circle and playing cards with her many friends.

Clara Belle was very creative and her heart was much larger than her stature. Her sense of humor would show through at any given moment. If she didn't get to spend time at her sewing machine she didn't feel like she had accomplished anything that day.

She loved her family dearly and that love was returned by all. She is survived by her children Larry (Jody) Pavlis, Linda (Marion) Ishmael, Dale (Cindi) Pavlis and Leann Schrader; grandchildren Denise (Karl), Stephanie (Kyle), Mike (Kate), Clay, Heather (Brett), Nichole (Chad), Lee (Aimee); 24 great¬grandchildren Brennen, Jason, Casey, Bryason, Jenna, Elysia, Rhett, Tyler, Savannah, Baylor, Damian, Alex, Xavier, Marianna, Isabella, Elizabeth, Elijah, Sean, Ashley, Abigail, Amber, John, Kassie, and Lexi; great-great grandson Carter; sisters-in-law Boots Clark, Betty Channel, Dorothy Clark, and Lorraine Augspurger; brother-in-law Bill Pavlis; and many nieces and nephews.

Preceding her in death were husband Lawrence, infant son Lester, granddaughter Diane, her parents, seven siblings Christina, Virginia, Charles, Clifton, Cleve, Clayton, and Calvin.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Funeral services for Clara Belle Pavlis of Gregory were held Wednesday, October 12, 2016, at 10:30 a.m. at the United Methodist Church in Gregory, SD with Pastor Royal Archer officiating. A prayer service was held Tuesday evening at Kotrba-Smith Funeral Home.

Velma Harmacek, Diane Smith, Eileen Caldwell, and Norma Springer were in charge of registration.

Music was provided by Bette Fogel, pianist, and Geoff Smith, soloist, singing "Precious Lord Take My Hand" and "Mansion Over the Hilltop." Congregational Hymns were "Sweet Hour of Prayer" and "How Great Thou Art."

Clara Belle's granddaughters were in charge of the flowers.

Casket Bearers were her grandsons Mike Schrader, Clay Pavlis, Lee Schrader, Karl Tonsager, Brett Dawson, and Chad Pinkston.

Interment was in the Pleasant Lawn Cemetery, Geddes, SD.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

She Is Gone

You can shed tears that she is gone
Or you can smile because she has lived.
You can close your eyes and pray that she will come back
Or you can open your eyes and see all that she has left.
Your heart can be empty because you can't see her
Or you can be full of the love that you shared.
You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday
Or you can be happy tomorrow because of yesterday.
You can remember her and only that she is gone
Or you can cherish her memory and let it live on.
You can cry and close your mind.
Be empty and turn your back
Or you can do what she would want;
Smile, open your eyes, love and go on.

---David Harkins