Nieghborhood Spotlight: Clara Iverson


Clara Iverson turned 96 years young on Friday, May 29, 2020!

Clara moved to Angle Lake in 1924. Together with her husband Gene they eventually purchased the old log house at the north end of the lake. There they raised their 4 kids. The lake and the Shore Club were centered in their lives. During her recorded interview for StoryCorps.org, Clara proclaimed that living on the lake was the source of many of her most cherished lifetime memories.  

In the earlier days on Angle Lake, the whole lake froze over nearly every winter. Clara recalls frequent bonfires aglow during those winter evenings, sharing hot dog dinners and even hot buttered rums with neighbors as they skated under the moonlight! 

Even today, Clara still wants to “dip” into Angle Lake as much as possible this summer, although she acknowledges that her famous Jack Knife and Swan Dive days may be behind her now.  She enthusiastically remembers the thrill of having competed in Angle Lake’s annual 4th of July championship swimming races with Billie Jones & Betty White, who were also long time residents! Her cousin, Bob Holmstrom, often rejoiced that there were no girls swimming against the boys at that time! He was certain that Clara and her girlfriends would have easily outperformed the boys!


Now, at the age of 96, Clara is still looking forward to paddling around Angle Lake in her pink kayak and maybe even partaking in a lap or two in her very rare 1920’s vintage Willits Brothers Canoe hand-built on Day Island in Tacoma. 

Her award-winning homemade apple pies stopped when the old apple tree blew down a few years ago and the accordion she played at beach fires for so many years has gotten a little too heavy for her but she can still sing The Beer Barrel Polka!

She has a clear memory of her hospital room at age 10 where she lay quarantined and paralyzed with polio.  Her father tapping on her window. He had climbed his fireman’s ladder to show her the bicycle he had bought for her recuperation! A series of firemen performed an express delivery of a new serum from Portland; it was transported from one fireman to another in their personal cars with the trip completed in mere hours and injections performed to her spine before the day was over!  And yes, the bicycle helped with her recuperation efforts, that and her determination and the personal efforts from those firemen drivers! 

Residing fulltime now in Solstice Senior Living in Normandy Park, the facility is still in quarantine with visitation restrictions in place, preventing the ability to meet with neighbors. However, if you have time to send her a card it would be much appreciated and certainly enjoyed! 

Cards and letters may be left in the box located outside the Solstice Center main entry doors or can be mailed to the following address:

Clara Iverson
17623 1st Ave. S. Rm 115
Normandy Park, WA 98148

It is due to her wisdom, enthusiasm, inspiration, and a positive “GO FOR IT!” attitude that Clara turned 96 on Friday, May 29, 2020! And we salute you! Wishing you a very Happy Birthday.

Due to COVID-19 forced cancelation of our ALSC summer events, we hope to continue building community by shining a spotlight on notable neighbor accomplishments. If you have great news to share, please send an email to anglelakesc@gmail.com so that all can join together in celebrating your success.

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