Tanya Claassen passed away peacefully on Aug. 10, 2014 at the Thomas House in Perham.
Tanya was born Tatiana Timofeeva on May 19, 1926 in Prague, Czech Republic (formerly Czechoslovakia). She was the only child of parents Boris and Marie Timofeev. She experienced WWII and subsequent occupation of troops as a teenager. Tanya reunited with her father, Boris, in New York City after the war ended. He had immigrated to America before the war.
Tanya attended Hunter College in New York City and graduated with a degree in French. She found employment teaching French at the New York Institute for the Blind. It was there that she met her future husband, Robert Emmet Claassen. Their marriage was blessed with three children: Linda, Raymond and Randi. Robert passed away in 1966 and Tanya returned to teaching in the New York City area before the family moved to the Perham area in 1969 to live closer to extended family.
Tanya furthered her education during the summer months, obtaining a special education certification. She taught primary grades at St. Paul's Lutheran School in Perham during the school years of 1969-1971. The family then moved to Sauk Rapids, Minn., close to where Tanya began full-time employment. She discovered her vocation as a special education instructor for the St. Cloud School District and worked in this capacity until her retirement. With her children grown and flown from the nest, Tanya moved to Des Moines, Iowa to thoroughly enjoy her first two grandchildren. She returned to Perham in 2003 when her health began to fail.
Tanya had many great loves including nature walks, cats, art, opera and classical music. She had respect for all life and enjoyed sharing her passions with others of all age groups. She was the gentlest and strongest of souls and will be dearly missed.
The family is grateful for the compassionate care shown to Tanya during her lengthy residence at the Thomas House in Perham.
Tanya was preceded in death by her husband, Robert.
She is survived by her three children: Linda Claassen (grandchildren, Robert Propstein and Kathryn Propstein) of Polk City, Iowa, Raymond Claassen of Ottertail and Randi Claassen (grandchildren, Heather Claassen and William Claassen) of Henning, Minn.
Visitation will be held Wednesday, Aug. 13 from 5-8 p.m. with a prayer service at 7:30 p.m. at Schoeneberger Funeral Home. Visitation will resume on Thursday, beginning at 1 p.m., followed by the funeral service at 2 p.m. at Schoeneberger Funeral Home. Burial will be held at St. Paul's Lutheran Cemetery in Perham.
Schoeneberger Funeral Home - Perham is handling the arrangements. For online condolences, visit www.schoenebergerfuneralhome.com.