FARMINGTON — Nellie Clarabelle Laws Jennings Dicus, age 94, of Farmington, passed away on Friday, October 31, 2008, at Presbyterian Manor. Born in Valley Forge, MO, on March 26, 1914, to the late Alice Mae (Griffin) Laws and J.B. Laws, Sr., Clarabelle was the middle child of five children. She was first married to Harry F. Jennings and later to William E. Dicus. She was predeceased by her husband, William Dicus, and brother, J.B. Laws Jr.
She is survived by her children, Harry L. “Sonny” Jennings and wife, Elma of Farmington and Alice Mae Settle and husband, Keith of Zionsville, Indiana, stepdaughters, Shirley Estes and husband, Jack, and Joan Wulfert, all of Perryville, MO; sisters, Leanna Patterson (Bill) of Affton, Dorothy Miles of Cape Girardeau, a brother, Leeman Laws (Mollie) of Edgewater, Maryland; seven grandchildren, three step-grandchildren, fifteen great-grandchildren, five step-great-grandchildren, two great-great-grandchildren and a step-great-great-grandchild, one niece and one nephew.
Clarabelle graduated from Farmington High School in 1932 and was elected May Day Queen that same year. She attended Flat River Junior College. Throughout her lifetime, Clarabelle belonged to the Junior League, Fortnightly Club, Business and Professional Women’s Club, Beta Sigma Phi, Nancy Weber Garden Club and PEO, holding various offices in these organizations. She previously taught the Young People’s Sunday School class and Vacation Bible School at the First Baptist Church where she was a member.
About 1949, she and her sister-in-law, Polly Laws, opened a dress shop named Laws and Jennings. They sold the shop shortly after her marriage to William Dicus on January 5, 1952. Clarabelle and Bill shared a special relationship that truly defined the meaning of love. Setting a standard for what a successful marriage should be, they pursued their passions in life together. Side by side, they traveled to Aruba, Europe, Africa, South America, Central America, Mexico and Canada. They spent their winters in Florida for years until Mr. Dicus was unable to go. She loved spending time with her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren despite most not living in the Farmington area. After her husband passed away, she moved to independent living at the Presbyterian Manor, later moving into assisted living.
Clarabelle always had her arms open for her family. She provided inspiration and a love of life that was infectious and inspiring. Her entire life consisted of giving and loving. Goodness and generosity were hallmarks of her personality. Her focus was on her faith, her family and the needs of others. She died as she lived; enduring, grieving and moving on; living as the best person she could be every minute she was alive. Clarabelle was a gracious and elegant lady. She will be missed by all whose lives she so graciously touched. Words cannot be obtained to accommodate or relate the love her family has for her. We thank you for touching our lives. God Bless You and Keep You. You loved and were loved so much.
The family will receive friends on Wednesday, the 5th of November from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the First Baptist Church of Farmington, followed by a celebration of Clarabelle’s life at 1 p.m. with Dr. William Miller officiating. Burial will be in the Knights of Pythias Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, contributions in her memory may be made to the First Baptist Church Building Fund, the Good Samaritan Fund at Presbyterian Manor or to the charity of the donor’s choice. Funeral arrangements are under the direction of Cozean Memorial Chapel. Obituary and online condolences at www.cozeanfuneralhome.com