Clara Geiss

clara geiss

Clara Geiss, 92, Fargo passed away Wednesday, June 13, 2012 at Rosewood on Broadway, Fargo.

Clara Ziniel Geiss was born on February 12, 1920 to Joseph and Elizabeth (Brigl) Ziniel in St. Anthony, ND where she grew up.  She met Lawrence Geiss at a house party when she was 16 years old.  When she was introduced to him by his brother, he had his uniform on…she took one look at him and said to herself, “I am going to marry that man.”  (They were married for over 68 very happy years.)  Her mother absolutely forbid her to see him.  Clara said she was old enough to know what she was doing.  Her mother began to soften and he started showing up at the house more frequently and eventually became her favorite son-in-law.  Clara and Lawrence Geiss were married on July 20, 1938 in St. Anthony Catholic Church by Father Kolbeck.  They lived with his parents and all their children for 8 months until moving to a nearby farmhouse and farmed the land from 1939 until 1944. 

They moved to Moorhead, MN and stayed there for two years.  Eventually Lawrence found a home in Fargo and he dug the basement by hand.  Then he started building and kept adding on until he had a very nice home for his family.  They lived there until 1974.  Clara began working when the children were in school for various businesses in the evening hours.  She applied at Red Owl and the next day the Manager from Red Owl came to her present job at Brownie Bakery to see if she would work for them.  She wanted Saturdays off and so she began working at the Red Owl in the meat department.  The Red Owl Store was right across the street from St. Mary’s School where the boys attended.  Dale would come over to the store and Larry would go straight home.  Dale said at one point, “Why should I go home?—there’s no one there.”  So Clara started working in the bakery so she could work nights.  She was always there to see the boys off to school and at the door when they got home.  She worked for Red Owl for 22 years, until 1974.  She then began to work for North Dakota State University packaging Meals on Wheels in the food service.  She became the Manager of the Dakota Inn at NDSU and was active in serving authentic, ethnic meals for banquets at the university.  (Russian, Greek, German, Southwestern, etc.)  She worked at NDSU for 14 years, retiring in 1989.

Throughout all these years, Clara and Lawrence traveled.  His parents lived in Washington and his brothers lived all over the country.  They spent many vacation hours driving like crazy to get their trips in visiting family.  They were also able to visit Germany, Austria, Italy (the Vatican), Switzerland, Hawaii, and took cruises to South America, Mexico and the Caribbean.  In 2000, they started wintering in Houston, TX to be close to their granddaughter and their four great grandchildren.  Clara was very active doing Brazillian embroidery and needlework.  She and Lawrence were charter members of the St. Francis Parish in Moorhead, MN.

She is survived by her son: Dr. Dale M. (Pam) Geiss, Peoria, IL; one granddaughter: Kristin (Michael) Curran, San Diego, CA; four great grandchildren; sisters:  Alfreda Ziniel, Mandan, ND, Laurayne Miska, Mandan, ND, Irene Baer, Mandan, ND; and several nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her husband; son:  Duane; brothers:  Edward Ziniel, William Ziniel, Joseph Ziniel, Raymond Ziniel and Clarence Ziniel; and sisters:  Kathryn Olson, Frona Egybazi, and Elizabeth Geiss.  

Donations may be made to the OSF Foundation designated to the Congenital Heart Center in Peoria, Ill.

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  1. Racine Wi We would like to express our deepest sympathy to the family of Aunt Clara..
    May God bless you with cherished memories that you have of her..
    Elfreda Haider, who is Bob’s Mom, will be 99 this year and will miss her sister too…May you find peace and comfort surrounded by family…
    You will be in our thoughts and prayers.

    Bob and Carol Haider

  2. Peoria ILDr. Geiss,

    Our deepest sympathies for the loss of your mother. You and yours continue to be in our thoughts.

  3. Fargo ND
    We have been happy to know Lawrence and Clara since our moving into Twin
    Towers. They have been such nice neighbors in our building.
    We extend our sympathies to the family and friends in this time of sorrow.

  4. Moorhead MN
    Sorry for your loss. Clara was a very interesting lady and I enjoyed visiting with her. My mother was Veronica Brigl who grew up at St. Anthony. Lawrence and Clara would come to the Fingal area to visit my parents (Schlegel) and my mom’s sister, Betty (Steidl).

  5. Ipava IL.Dale and Family
    We send you our deepest sympathies for the loss of your Mother, Grandmother, Great Grandmother. I know she will be missed.
    Ray & Sharon Gepford

  6. West Fargo ND
    My sincere sympathy to you the family of Clara. I got to know Clara while working at Rosewood and my dearest friend John Holmgren,who lived at Rosewood but has now passed away also, and I would have great visits with your mother. She was a little spitfire of a personality that would make us laugh and enjoy the days. I will really miss her. God bless her memory. Sincerely, Wanda

  7. Dr. Geiss & family
    Know that you are in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.
    CVICU Staff at SFMC

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