Carmen Clausen
Carmen Clausen
Carmen Clausen, 88, passed away April 7, following a brief illness surrounded by loved ones at her Boise home.

Carmen was born October 25, 1925, to Bruno and Candida Marcuerquiaga in Winnemucca. She was the youngest of 13 children and the last survivor. Her parents immigrated from Kurutxaga, Spain and built Horse Creek Ranch in Kings River Valley. They later moved to Orovada. At her father's urging, Carmen moved to town in order to attend, and graduate from Humboldt County High School. Her first job was working at the local bakery in the early mornings before school. Her favorite job was working at the movie theatre as an usherette wearing her blue suede uniform and pillbox hat.

In 1945, Carmen married Marvin Clausen, who was stationed with the Air Force in Kansas. When the war ended they returned to Winnemucca and Carmen worked for First National Bank and Marvin became Humboldt County Assessor. They had two daughters and enjoyed living in Winnemucca for 55 years. Carmen enjoyed being around her brothers and sisters and providing for her girls. She was an active member of the Winnemucca Basque Club.

After retiring, she and Marvin moved to Boise to live near their daughters. Carmen volunteered as a Pink Lady at the hospital and also at her grandsons' schools. Carmen was blessed with three grandsons and was affectionately called Amuma. She was devoted to family and loved babysitting "the boys". She taught them to read using Dick & Jane readers and attended their school and sporting events. She never spoiled them but lavished them with love and trips to McDonald's. Carmen also loved taking her grandsons back to the ranch at Orovada to ride "Old Blue" and visit her family. She wrote weekly letters to them during college and always planted a few dollars in her letters so they wouldn't go hungry. Carmen was thrilled to be a great-grandmother, and loved to tease her other grandsons to get busy and find nice girls so she would have even more great-grandchildren.

"Amuma," loved speaking Basque and everything about the Basque community. She made several trips to Lequetio, where her parents were born, and attended monthly dinners at the Boise Basque Center. She even played a part in her grandson's film, Zuretzako, about a Basque sheepherder.

Carmen liked to attend activities at the Boise Senior Center with her husband. She enjoyed her friends and was always happy to help others wearing a smile, red nail polish, and a colorful broach on her lapel.

She was strong, generous, and positive, always ready to support family, friends, and even strangers. She had such a zest for life right up to the end. The night before her death she gathered her family together and decided we all needed to sit around and tell stories. In her final hours we laughed, cried, and loved her more than ever. She will be greatly missed, but always in our hearts.

Carmen was preceded in death by her parents, brothers and sisters: Bruno, Joe, Leon, John, Julio, Frank, Henry, Mary Zabala and Connie Farmer, Grace Peluaga, Millie Graham, and stillborn, Anne.

She is survived by her husband, Marvin, and daughters, Chic Jayo (Sabino), and Trish Zubizarreta (Luis). Carmen also leaves behind three grandsons: Kepa (Amy), Josu, and Javi as well as great-grandson, Joaquin Zubizarreta, and numerous nieces and nephews.

Carmen requested cremation and her remains to be returned to her childhood home in Nevada.