Claudia Grant Butler of Prairie Village, KS, passed away on December 24, 2019. She was born July 27, 1947, and was adopted by Bayard Martin Grant and Marjorie Beth Durwood Grant, both of whom preceded Claudia’s passing.
Claudia graduated high school from Notre Dame de Sion and attended Mont Claire College. Her uncle, Stan Durwood, founded AMC Theatres where Claudia worked in the corporate office in group ticket sales. She made many friends there and met the love of her life for 40 years, David Jetzke. David passed in October 2019, and is often the case with true love, Claudia’s health declined rapidly after his passing. Her last days were spent at KC Hospice House where she received tender and loving care until her passing. Her family and friends are very grateful for the angelic hospice staff who attended to her needs.
Claudia was the first professional clown in the KC area and taught clowning for many years. She said her purpose for being a clown was to make people smile, which she certainly did throughout her life. She was also past president of Unity Temple on the Plaza where she made many friends. Claudia was also involved in many charitable endeavors which were done quietly without fanfare.
She is survived by her beloved cat, Chester, who was graciously adopted by the family of Johanna Comes prior to Claudia’s passing. Her human survivors are her brother, Michael David Grant, her uncle, Richard M. Durwood, cousins, sister-in-law, nieces, nephews and friends. She loved and was loved by many and will be greatly missed.
Personal stories follow:
As cousins sharing similar backgrounds and family culture, we grew up more like sisters. The trust and confidences shared over seven decades were pure gold.
We played dolls, acted out imaginary stories, had sleepovers, and took family ski trips to Winter Park. Claudia taught me to count in Spanish riding up the T-bar for Cranmere and Phipps. In our 60’s we cruised Alaska on the Princess line.
Claudia introduced me to trampoline, casino and gin card games, and Camp Lake Hubert - all specialties that add keenly to a lifetime. We explored our grandfather’s house for hiding places. She danced the twist and always wore cute skirts and tops, even letting me borrow a set for a school dance.
My father taught Claudia, my brother and me to drive at 13, 12 and 11 respectively in a VW bug. We killed the motor every time at the same incline at a stop sign, waiting to cross Mission Road to drive into Homestead Country Club.
Claudia and I double-dated a few times, and also went to hear her boyfriend play lead guitar in his band - grand adventures. She worked at Hall’s in bed and bath for a while and drove a red soft top VW.
Claudia was pretty, polite and deeply sensitive. Laughing together was joyful. Godspeed, o cousin mine, thank you for being an angel in my life.
Claudia had a happy smile and was always so optimistic. She will be truly missed as a dear friend.
Mirna E. Flores
Ms. Claudia was a great person. I worked with her for almost 20 years cleaning her house, and she was a great person with me, very sweet and tender, and very lovable. I will miss her a lot, and she will always live in my heart.
Claudia's Celebration of Life Service will be from 1-3:00pm Sunday January 26th at Unity Temple on the Plaza.