Claudia Minnie Dennington (Heatherly) (Dill) (Clendining)

Claudia Minnie Dennington (Heatherly) (Dill) (Clendining)Female View treeBorn: 1912Died: 1981
Father: Andrew Frank LawrenceMother: Letha Abigail (Dennington) Lawrence
Children: none
Siblings: James Floyd Lawrence, Wilma Irene (Lawrence) McGrew, Edna Mae (Lawrence) Ellison, Melvin Lawrence


Claudia, Wilma and Edna Lawrence – Sisters

born 1912 AR  died 1981

Remembering Members of My Amazing family

by Ron Ellison

Claudia Dennington (Heatherly) (Dill) Clendining  I would say she was the matriarch of the family. 

The first time I remember being aware of my Aunt Claudia was when our family returned to Oklahoma from California. That must have been around 1947. (I was around 6 at this time) In fact we lived with them for a while until we could find a house.

I learned that Claudia (being the oldest of five children) was the substitute mother for her two brothers and two sisters. Their mother was sent to a mental institution when her children were young. 

When we arrived from California she was married to my Uncle Clifford J. Heatherly. I had heard that Clifford sold moonshine back in the depression days and it was what kept much of the family going in hard times. They say he managed somehow to just stay one step in front of the law and never got caught.

Claudia loved children although she never had any of her own except being a mother to her siblings. However she was never short of advise on how to raise her nieces and nephews.

I liked to go to her house for several reasons. She and her husband Clifford were light hearted and fun to be around. They made me feel important, something I didn’t feel I was getting  at home.

Many times I remember Claudia walking with Jack (my brother) and I to a Dairy Queen a few blocks from there home and Welding Shop at 4148 E. Admiral Place in Tulsa. Other times Claudia would send me to the corner grocery store to buy cokes and cigarettes for her.  In those days I would take the old empty bottles to trade in. Other times I would bring her and my mother magazines that I dug out of the paper collecting dumpster at the Fire Station down the block.  

They had a wonderful dog named “Trixey” . How I loved to play with their dog. She had a funny habit of chasing her tail around and around.  She loved to go to the lake.  She would run to the water and jump in then splash with her paws and try bite the water that the splashes made.  This was their “child”.  It was a sad day when she got too old and Clifford ask my mother to take her to be put to sleep.  He just could not bring himself to do it.  He was very soft hearted. 

It was fun to go to the lake with them. Best of all when It was without my parents. My dad made such trips a nightmare. (That’s another story) Clifford always had a boat and he would let me steer it at times.  This was a lot of fun for a young boy. 

When I became 16 Uncle Clifford took me around to look for a car.  Only a couple of weeks later he passed away.  It was a very emotional time for me. 

After Clifford died I was not as close to Claudia mostly because I did not feel as excepted by her later husbands. But I will always have fond memories of my Aunt Claudia.  

Share on Facebook