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100 CANDLES: Josephine "Tootsie" Claus

Josephine "Tootsie" Claus

Josephine "Tootsie" Claus will celebrate her 100th birthday with a gathering of family and friends at 2 p.m. today in the second-floor multi-purpose room at Benedictine Health Center, 935 Kenwood Ave., in Duluth.

Tootsie was born May 3, 1909, in Kent, Minn., to Emma and Anton Davidson and moved to Duluth at an early age.

She married Walter Claus on March 4, 1929, and they lived in Duluth Heights and on nearby Kruger Road for more than 60 years. They had two sons: Dale (Mary) of Hermantown; and James (Susan) of Duluth. Tootsie and Walt had been married for 72 years when he passed away in 2001.

Tootsie is the last of seven siblings. In the early years she worked at the telephone company, Big Duluth and at both St. Mary's and St. Luke's hospitals. Tootsie's great-great-granddaughter, Lily Claus, was born on Dec. 23, 2008, and family and friends also will celebrate the family's five living generations.