In Memory

Claydene Johnson (Hass) - Class Of 1945

Claydene Johnson Hass August 15, 1927 February 5, 2018. On February 5th, Claydene Johnson Hass peacefully departed this life with her daughter Cathie at her side. She was born on August 15th, 1927, in Jenkins a small mining town in eastern Kentucky. She shared this birthday with her mother, Daisy Conley Johnson, another Kentucky girl. Her father, Joseph Carl Johnson, was a North Carolina boy who got off the train in Jenkins and stayed for the rest of his life. Claydene had a happy childhood, part of a large, extended family, and attended Jenkins Independent Schools from 1st through 12th grade. After graduation, she sat for the Civil Service Exam and on New Year's Day 1946 took a bus over the mountains, then boarded a train to Washington, D.C. Claydene worked as a secretary for the Department of the Navy for more than ten years. Many young women came from all over to Washington at that time and she made lifelong friends when living in the dormitories at West Potomac Park. Claydene met Charles (Chuck) Hass while they were on a double date, each with someone else. His letters to her, typed while he was at work for the Navy, were from "the guy who doesn't know when to say Good-Nite" to "the girl who doesn't know when to send him home". Chuck and Cla, as he always called her, were married on May 6th, 1950 in the Mount Vernon Place United Methodist Church, and lived in a succession of apartments until they moved to their first home on 2nd Street in South Arlington. Carla Ann was born in 1959, shortly before they moved to Annandale. Catherine Jean arrived in 1962, completing the family. Claydene lived in the same home on Fern Lane for 50 years, and made lifelong friends in Sleepy Hollow Woods. She was a wonderful, caring mother, and we have countless fond memories of times spent together. Claydene was an accomplished seamstress, creating many beautiful outfits both for her daughters and their many Barbie dolls. She enjoyed baking and her friends looked forward to receiving a whisky cake at Christmas. Her home was warm, welcoming and neat as a pin. Claydene was always curious about how her family came to live in Jenkins. In the mid 1970's, she began to pursue her family history, eventually tracing several ancestors back to the 1600's. She enjoyed the detective work of genealogy, spending hours searching through microfiche at the National Archives and dusty books in courthouses. Every summer, she and her girls looked forward to spending time with her family in Jenkins, visiting with all of the aunts and cousins. Claydene also enjoyed playing golf, especially as a member of the 9 Hole Ladies group at Congressional Country Club. After Chuck retired, they enjoyed their time together, taking many long road trips and helping both daughters with home renovations until his death in 1997. Her beloved granddaughter arrived in 1998 and Alexa cherishes her memories of happy times spent together, especially sleepovers at Gaga's house. Claydene eventually moved to Maryland to be closer to her family, living independently until 2017; she spent her last months at Kensington Park Senior Living. We want to give special thanks to the many people there who cared for Claydene like she was a member of their own family; we are grateful for the tenderness and compassion that they showed to her at the end of her life. She died of complications from pneumonia and dementia. Claydene was unfailingly kind and she will be deeply missed by her family and friends. We wish her an eternity spent in a cozy kitchen, chatting with friends and enjoying a cup of coffee with a little something sweet, preferably chocolate. She was preceded in death by her parents, her brother Billy Wayne Johnson, her husband, and her cherished friends Claudine Elam, Kas Schroll, Caroline Tezanos, Julia Cosgrove, Beth Langley, Jean O'Neill, Lee Powell and Betsy Finnegan. She is survived by her daughters Carla Hass (State College, PA) and Cathie Gordon (Kensington, MD), son-in-law Scott Gordon, granddaughter Alexandra Gordon, cousins Lillian Howard, Fred Pack, J.B. Johnson and Truman Conley, and her dear friends Betty Prater, Becky Robertson, Mary Jane Werle, Valerie Albertson, and Elnina Obst. Claydene will be placed with Chuck at Arlington National Cemetery; plans for a memorial service are pending. Contributions in her memory can be made to The Jenkins Education Foundation, c/o Sarah Brown Treasurer, Jenkins Independent Schools, P.O. Box 74, Jenkins, KY 41537, or to a charity of the donor's choosing.