Cozad Resident: Helen “Claire” Kinnan, age 94 (1918-2013)

Helen “Claire” Kinnan, 94 of Cozad, Nebraska, died Monday, March 18th, 2013, at the Elwood Care Center.

Claire was born October 9th, 1918, northeast of Cozad to Charles and Vernie (Harrington) Knauss. Claire grew up east of Cozad, where her family farmed and attended the Buffalo Grove Church. She graduated from Cozad High School in 1935 as the Valedictorian and President of her class.    

On October 9th, 1937, Claire married Ivan “Tiny” Kinnan at Cozad.  The couple made their home south of town where they farmed briefly, eventually moving to a farm site east of Cozad where their four children were born. Following the death of her husband in 1986, she remained on the farm where she managed the business along with her son, Larry. In July of 2007, she moved to Meadowlark Pointe where she enjoyed loving and caring assistance and made numerous good friends. In July of 2012, her health necessitated a move to the Elwood Care Center, where she continued to receive excellent care.

Claire’s hobbies included gardening, crossword puzzles and games and she was an avid Cornhusker fan. She was a longtime member of the Church of Christ in Cozad. She was devout in her faith and was active in her church, teaching Sunday school, and having involvement with the Missionary Society, King’s Daughters and the Priscilla Club. She was also a member of the Eastern Star for 50 years.

Claire was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Ivan "Tiny" Kinnan; two brothers, Harold and Elwood; a sister, Marie; and a son in law, Keith Pardee.

Survivors include her children, Peggy Pardee of Lakewood, Colorado, son, Larry (Vicki) Kinnan of Lincoln, Nebraska, Joan (Roger) Rupp of Johnson Lake, Nebraska and Kathy Muirhead of Omaha, Nebraska; 13 grandchildren, Denice Pardee, Darrin Pardee, Rhonda Hammond, Janna Shanno, Karma Halbgewachs, Canda Montgomery, Bart Swanson, Chad Swanson, Kurt Swanson, Nicki Finan, Kim Erickson, Lori Melhorn and Michelle Hall; 21 great-grandchildren; along with several nieces, nephews and other relatives and friends.

Visitation will be held on Wednesday, from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Berryman Funeral Home in Cozad.

Memorial services will be held on Thursday, March 21st, 2013, at 2 p.m. at the Church of Christ on Newell with Pastor Mike Dennis officiating. A private family burial will be held in the Cozad Cemetery prior to service time.

A memorial has been established in her memory. Condolences may be shared at


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