Clarabell Huffman was born in the Township of Pleasant, South Dakota in 1926. Her parents moved to Lakeside in the late 1930s. Her Father, Gus Hoffman, and Mother, Clarabell, opened the Lakeside Department Store on Maine Avenue and ran it for many years.
Clarabell attended Lakeside Elementary School and graduated from Grossmont High School. She met her soon to be future husband, Charles Cray, at the USO . . . he was a handsome Marine. They loved going to the Wagon Wheel Dance Hall (at Mission Gorge and Magnolia in Santee) Hall to dance the nights away. She was an accomplished piano player and singer. Charles told stories of him arriving at her home for a date and standing outside to hear her sing while playing the piano.
They were married at the Lakeside Presbyterian Church (Olde Community Church) on Maine Avenue and later had three daughters, Karen, Cheryl and Linda. The family bought a home on Julian Avenue, next door to Eileen Carender and lived there for over 50 years.
Clarabelle was an active member of the Presbyterian Church, while it was still on the corner of Maine Avenue and Parkside Street. She was also active in the Woman’s Club of Lakeside and the Lakeside Historical Society with her friends, Bobbie Pogue and Dixie Landsdowne.
No formal services are planned as per Clarabelle’s request. Donations may be made to the Lakeside Historical Society at 9906 Maine Avenue, Lakeside, CA 92040.