Claida Gower

Obituary of Claida Marie (Shillingburg) Gower

Claida Marie (Shillingburg) Gower, 90, passed peacefully and went home to be with the Lord on Wednesday, June 5, 2024, in Charleston, West Virginia. Claida was born on July 1, 1933, in Shallmar, Maryland, to the late Ida Mae Shillingburg (Winston) and William Lyons. In addition to her parents, she is preceded in death by her husband, Roy Adam Gower, two children from her previous marriage, Danny DeCost and Janie DeCost Gonzales, and her sons-in-law Richard Parker and William Harris. Those left to cherish Claida’s memory include her daughters Bonnie Grimm (Jerry) of Kingwood, Teresa Parker of McCurdysville, Marcella Riley (Tony) of South Charleston, and Natalie Harris of McCurdysville. She also leaves behind many wonderful grandchildren, great-grandchildren, a special sister-in-law Francis Gower, and son-in-law Charles Townsend. Claida was a strong, smart, and beautiful person. She worked at the Sterling Faucet factory in Reedsville, W.Va., for nine years before becoming a homemaker. She met Roy at the Preston County Buckwheat Festival. They married in 1962 and moved from Kingwood to the farm in McCurdysville in 1972. They shared many happy years working on the farm raising cattle, riding horses, and tending to bountiful gardens all while Roy worked in the coal mines. Claida loved animals, especially horses and kittens, and she took pleasure in watching the hummingbirds visit the feeder on their veranda. She made the best homemade bread and biscuits to go with Roy’s gravy. They were active members of the Jakes Run Assembly of God and strong supporters of the United Mine Workers of America. Some of her happiest memories were spending time with family and friends at church picnics, singing with the church choir, and going to Gower family reunions. She also delighted in hosting Kentucky Derby watch parties. Claida’s life story is marked by grit, humor, and resiliency. Her memory will forever be a beacon of strength and love for those who had the privilege to know her. In 2022, Claida moved to Kanawha Place in Charleston to be closer to Marcella and Tony. On summer afternoons, they liked visiting in the scenic courtyard where there is a small garden and bird feeders. When the weather was chilly, they played cards in the recreation room while listening to old time country music. The family would like to thank Claida’s friends who stayed in touch as well as the staff at Kanawha Place, especially Brenda, Derrick, and Lucy, for helping her live life to the fullest in her last days. The week before she passed, we went to the lawn of the State Capitol to watch fiddle players at the Vandalia gathering and were in Kanawha Place’s courtyard for a Memorial Day cookout, laughing and petting therapy ponies. Claida was a remarkable woman who will be greatly missed. Arrangements have been entrusted to the Ford Funeral Home, DeGarmo Chapel, 207 Second Street, Rivesville, WV 26588. Friends will be received at the funeral home on Saturday, June 8, 2024 from 10a.m. until 11a.m. The funeral service to honor her life will be held at 11:00 am on Saturday in the funeral home with Pastor Allen Donham officiating. The Committal service will follow at the McCurdysville Cemetery. Online condolences may be to the family at