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Hedy Hermine Claus, 83, longtime Watsonville resident passed away March 24th, 2015 at her home in the care of her husband and son.

Hedy was a native of Baden bei Wien, Austria. She grew up there with her sister Erika in the tumultuous times leading up to and through WWII. From a very young girl, she developed a love of adventure and all things alpine. After the war she moved to Sankt Johann im Pongau, Austria where her love of mountaineering and skiing continued.

In 1956, at 24, she immigrated to America, following her sister to Watsonville; she met her husband and built her family. Watsonville would be where she spent the remainder of her life. She enjoyed a 32 year career in the banking industry, beginning at the original Pajaro Valley National Bank and finally retiring from Wells Fargo Bank in 1989. She began as a bookkeeper and teller, then loan officer, and finally a personal business banker. She took pride in her business integrity and the thorough caring service she provided her many customers and friends.

She was active in the community right from her arrival in Watsonville beginning with the Soroptimists Club, Young Ladies Institute, Bowling Leagues and Venture Club where she made lifelong friends.

She always made time for family vacations to enjoy Tulare, Yosemite, Clearlake, Camanche, Lake Tahoe, Hawaii and several trips back to her homeland of Austria. In retirement she toured Europe, visited Japan, Canada, Mexico, and not long ago made bucket-list trips to see the Grand Canyon and Niagra Falls. For many years she was active on the Watsonville High School Foundation Board, was a long time member of the German-American Club of Santa Cruz, Pajaro Valley Historical Association, and the Wells Fargo Retirees Club.

Her retirement passion though was truly golf; she never missed an opportunity to hit the links with her family and friends, and was a long time member of the Casserly Ladies Golf Club. She looked forward to the weekly golf game and lunch with the ladies until she could no longer make the rounds.

She is survived by her devoted and loving husband of 48 years, Hans Ullrich Claus of Watsonville, son Erik Ullrich Claus and daughter-in-law Kim Claus of Gilroy, grandson Zachary David of Gilroy, nieces Karen and Linda Jennings of Watsonville, great nephew Jacob Armintrout of Chico, great-niece Kristy Jennings of Watsonville, and great-great niece and nephew Jocelyn and Dane.

Visitation will be held at Mehl's Colonial Chapel on Tuesday, March 31st from 9-11 am with the Chapel Blessing to begin at 11 am. Burial will follow at Pajaro Valley Memorial Park.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Moreland Notre Dame School, 133 Brennan St, Watsonville (http://www.snddenca.org) or to the Pajaro Valley Historical Association, 332 East Beach St. Watsonville (http://www.pajarovalleyhistory.org)

Funeral Home
Mehl's Colonial Chapel
222 E. Lake Ave. Watsonville, CA 95076
Tel. (831) 724-6371
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