Helene Claudia (Spencer) Kirkpatrick
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Helene Claudia Spencer was born July 16, 1875 in Dallas, Texas to Lewis Mortimer and Mary Julia (Siceluff) Spencer. She was the only child of her parents who moved to Oklahoma Territory in the area that later became the town of Yukon, Oklahoma.
In addition to her Oklahoma education, Claudia’s attended a boarding school and later Monticello College in Godfrey Illinois. On June 27, 1900 she married Dr. Elmer Ellsworth Kirkpatrick. After a month long honeymoon the couple resided in Oklahoma City where Dr. Kirkpatrick had established a dental office and dental supply business.
Claudia gave birth to their first child, Lewis Spencer, on May 15, 1901 and to their second son, Elmer Ellsworth Kirkpatrick, Jr. on Aug 17, 1905. Their third son John Elson was born February 13, 1908.
The Kirkpatrick’s attended First Presbyterian, at Ninth and Robinson in Oklahoma City with Claudia joining in 1908. She would later become a member of the Westminster Presbyterian Church in Oklahoma City.
In 1910, Claudia and her husband purchased a cabin in Green Mountain Falls, Colorado. She would give birth later that year in October to Claude Siceluff. Claudia and the boys spent several summers at their cabin, often traveling by train or with Dr. Kirkpatrick driving them.
The Kirkpatrick family grew once more in 1918 with the birth of Mary Elizabeth. Claudia continued to travel to Colorado with the five kids until Spencer’s graduation from West Point and then with the three remaining brothers and Mary until 1925 when Elmer and John went to orientation at West Point that summer.
After her mother died in 1928, Claudia moved her father to Oklahoma City where she helped take care of him until he died in 1931. Years later, in 1935, Claudia asked her daughter Mary then living on the East coast to return to Oklahoma to help care for Dr. Kirkpatrick who was suffering from a heart ailment. After he died in March 1936, Claudia sold the family home at 501 W. 13th Street in Oklahoma City.
With invitations from each of her children to spend time with them at their homes now spread throughout the United States, Claudia never lacked for family. She continued to stay at the family cabin in Colorado during the summer, but otherwise she returned to Oklahoma City to stay with relatives before traveling to visit another one of her children. In the fall of 1939 she began staying with Dr. Kirkpatrick’s sister, Albertina in Oklahoma City.
In a 1941 while her sons and son-in-law John Dean “J.D.” Moorman were at war and their families moving around, Claudia stayed at the Huckins Hotel in Oklahoma City. She would often join the Army Ladies Club for sewing and attend the Oklahoma 1889ers Society meetings. She remained at the hotel until March 1942. When her daughter Mary and her daughter, Claudia, returned to Oklahoma City, they rented an apartment with Mrs. Kirkpatrick. The three of them also visited the cabin for the summer.
After Mary’s husband J. D. died in December 1944, Claudia continued to live with Mary and her children until around 1947 when her daughter remarried. In October 1948 she began living with her son John and his wife Eleanor and daughter Joan in Oklahoma City but always returned each summer to Green Mountain Falls.
On July 29, 1957 Claudia suffered a stroke at her beloved summer cabin and later died in a Colorado Springs hospital. Her funeral took place in Oklahoma City with internment at Fairlawn Cemetery.