Cover photo for Clarice Ruth Jacobs's Obituary
Clarice Ruth Jacobs Profile Photo
1909 Clarice 2014

Clarice Ruth Jacobs

December 11, 1909 — July 8, 2014

She was born December 11, 1909, to Hattie Jane (Brockway) Girard and Philip Girard. She was the youngest of seven children all girls except one. It was a Kansas farm family hardworking and God-fearing. Clarice milked cows, collected cats and rode to her country school in a horse-drawn buggy. She accompanied her mother on her Wednesday pilgrimage to the Missionary Society at their church. The ladies quilted at these meetings for charity, and it was there that Clarice was introduced to her life-long hobby of quilting. Her mother made certain that each of the girls received piano lessons. Their teacher came to their rural home to give them lessons. There was both a piano and a pump organ in their parlor. Clarice had a gift for playing. When she was high school age, she rode the train from the nearest small town to Clay Center, the county seat and the geographical center of the continental United States. There she boarded with a family during the week to attend high school. She returned by train to the farm for the weekends. Her high school friends loved to hear her play the jazzy songs of the day and admired her ability to play the piano, so they persuaded the local theatre manager to hire her to play for the silent films. She graduated in 1927 and to celebrate that milestone, one of her older sisters, who was a teacher in Wichita, invited her to spend a week in the big city where she had the opportunity to join the throngs of people welcoming Charles A. Lindbergh to town. She took a picture of him with her box camera. Lindbergh was visiting towns and cities across the U. S. after his heroic solo flight across the Atlantic. Clarice then went to St. Francis in Western Kansas to be with another sister who needed help with a new baby. It was from this sister that she learned to make her famous cinnamon rolls. She was hired as a telephone operator there at an old-fashioned two-position switchboard. She also continued to play the piano, for time with a little dance band. It was in St. Francis that she met Joe Jacobs whom she eloped with in 1931, just as the Great Depression was getting a strangle hold on the country. The following year their daughter, Jorice, was born. A few years later the little family moved to join the rest of the Jacobs family in Beaumont, California. Joe worked in construction, first with his brother and later with Clyde Hayes, a general contractor in Redlands. It was Clyde Hayes who persuaded Joe and Clarice to move to Redlands a move for which Clarice was eternally grateful. She loved Redlands for its weather, its mountain views, its beautiful old houses, its musical concerts at the Redlands Bowl and at the University, its orange groves, its historic past. She and Joe affiliated with the Church of Christ at Olive and Nordina and later the State Street Christian Church, where she was a lifelong member. World War II brought changes their lives as it did to everyone s. Clarice began to work again at the telephone office (California Water and Telephone). She switched from quilting to knitting socks for Joe and crocheting tablecloths and doilies. Gas rationing meant that people carpooled for recreation. Harry and Alice Beguelin and Lloyd and Ruth Witter invited the Jacobs family to go on many outings with them. (Harry and Lloyd both worked at the Ford agency and had bigger cars than the Jacobs family!) After Clarice retired, she and Joe did a lot of fishing at the Salton Sea and at Big Bear, where they kept a trailer. In 1981 they celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary with their daughter s family at their home in Redlands. Joe Jacobs died in 1985 after a long illness. It was then that a neighbor invited Clarice to join the quilting group at University Methodist Church, where she met many lovely ladies who enriched her life with their warm friendship. They quilted, they talked, they laughed, they quilted, they celebrated birthdays and they quilted. Clarice walked a great deal throughout her life. (One reason she walked was that she didn t like to drive!) She often walked downtown from her home near Highland Avenue. Sometimes she walked to work at the Telephone Company. After retirement, she walked several times a week to Gerrard s Market on Center Street. On her 90th birthday, she walked to downtown Redlands and home again! She continued to walk and to quilt into her nineties. She made dozens of cookies at Christmas to share with others. The cinnamon rolls were shared at Christmas and at Easter with neighbors and her family until she brought a formal proclamation to a family Christmas party in 2005. She declared that she was abdicating her role as the family baker of cinnamon rolls in hopes that someone else in the family would take on the task. No one ever did. The challenge was too great! Clarice was able to play the piano until about two months before her death on July 7, 2014, at the age of 104. Her family always asked for concert at the end of each visit. She played a medley of old tunes Yes Sir, that s my baby, Memories, Roses of Picardy. It had to be You, I love you Truly. She always ended with a song written the winter she was born, Carrie Jacobs-Bond s The End of a Perfect Day. She is survived by her daughter, Jorice, and her husband Joe Maag, grandsons Tim Maag, Ted Maag and his wife, Holly and great grandsons, Jacob and Edward. In lieu of flowers, donations may sent to A.K. Smiley Public Library, History Room or Kimberly-Shirk Association.

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