May 11 was a special day for one person in Champlin. Clara “Claire” Murphy, a resident at Encore in Champlin, celebrated her 100th birthday.

Her day included her favorite meal for lunch, cake and a “visit” from family and friends in the form of a drive-by car parade.

It was a bright, sunny afternoon as Claire sat on a bench and waited for her parade to begin.

“I’m getting anxious,” Claire said. “I just want the parade to start.”

Her family and friends drove by in cars decorated with balloons and signs wishing her a happy 100th birthday. Claire waved and thanked everyone as they drove by.

A 100th birthday is something to celebrate. Many things have happened during Claire’s lifetime. Since 1920, she has experienced marriage, children, growing up during the Great Depression, technology advancements, astronauts in space and on the moon, to name a few.

She grew up in Marion, Ohio, and has also lived in Illinois, California and Minnesota. But she has lived in the Champlin area for more than 30 years. Both she and her husband grew up in Ohio.

Claire was married to a minister who was in charge of several different churches throughout the years. He quit once and went to work in a school for a time but returned to the church later. They have six children.

One of Claire’s favorite memories is summer vacations. She said she “loved going to a resort every summer with her kids.” She also liked to fish and as she got older she enjoyed watching the grandkids play.

When asked how she felt turning 100, Claire responded, “ It doesn’t seem possible.”

She felt very proud of the family she has and knows they loving and caring individuals. “I’m very blessed,” she said.

She did offer some advice for life. Claire said she would “encourage the youth to grow in spiritual maturity, to look to Jesus example to pray and love each other and others.”  She said she would tell them to live a life that would please him. She also said, “I don’t know the future but I do know the person who does know the future and that’s important.”

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