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Clarabelle F. Baum – Dyersville

Clarabelle Frances Baum, 98, of Dyersville, Iowa passed away Wednesday, April 21, 2021 at Urbandale Health Center, Urbandale, Iowa. Visitation will be held on Monday, April 26 from 6-8 p.m. at Kramer Funeral Home, Dyersville. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, April 27 at St. Francis Xavier Basilica in Dyersville with burial in the church cemetery.  The livestream link for Clarabelle Baum funeral:

Clarabelle was born January 26, 1923 in Dyersville, Iowa, the daughter of Joseph Loes and Frances Gerken.  She married F. Gerald Baum on November 25, 1948 in Dyersville. He preceded her in death in 2000.

If you need a role model for positivity, gratitude and faith, look no further. As a devout Catholic, Clarabelle continually spoke of the importance of counting your blessings. She had a great sense of humor and added levity to every day. She endeared herself to everyone she met.

Clarabelle was a visionary for the city of Dyersville and the role of women within it.

In 2003, Clarabelle was named Dyersville Woman of the Year. She also received the governor’s volunteer award for the state of Iowa. She was the first woman lector at St. Francis Xavier Basilica, first woman to be on the Parish Council, first woman to be on the Beckman School Board, and it was her efforts that resulted in daily mass being offered at Beckman High School. She was very involved in the Dyersville Historical Society, which she often referred to as the “Dyersville Hysterical Society,” and was an instrumental force behind the Dyers-Botsford House.

Clarabelle became the first secretary for St. Francis Xavier Basilica. She stepped into the office, set up bookkeeping and the rest is history.  She seemed to know everyone’s phone number by heart!  Clarabelle loved the work environment and the priests for whom she worked, always feeling valued.

Clarabelle was active in Catholic Daughters of America and volunteered at the hospital gift shop. Among her passions were playing bridge and performing as “Arabelle” the clown for 10 years, as a member of Clowns of America. She and Gerald participated in several faith formation programs, such as Christian Encounter Weekend (CEW), Marriage Encounter, TEC, and local prayer groups.

Survivors include her children: Kenneth (Joetta) Baum of Denver, CO, Elizabeth Baum-Ferree of Des Moines, Diana (Dave) Kent of Davenport, Laura (John) Baum-Parr of Walker, MN.  Clarabelle is also survived by 9 grandchildren, and 9 great grandchildren. She and Gerald were the “adopted” grandparents for the Arnie and Joyce Bries family, who were also a source of delight to them.

Clarabelle was the last survivor of her siblings Harry, Lorraine, Jan, Mary, Madonna, and Francis. As she would say, “Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner”!

Memorials may be made to the Ellen Kennedy Living Center, Dyersville Historical Society, or to the charity of your choice.  Cards and letters may be mailed to Kramer Funeral Home, 750 12th Ave. Dyersville, IA  52040 c/o Clarabelle Baum.  Online condolences may be left for the family at

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