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Published: Thursday, 4/13/2006

Humane Society helper was banker

Harriet Clemens, 63, a longtime Toledo Area Humane Society volunteer who channeled expertise gained during her banking career into society fund-raising events, died of cancer on Monday in the Hospice of Northwest Ohio, South Detroit Avenue.

Mrs. Clemens of Sylvania learned she had cancer about 14 years ago and, as an early recipient of a bone marrow transplant, traveled to Cleveland for treatment.

"She was an amazing fighter to have made it this long," her daughter Sonya Inderrieden said.

Mrs. Clemens was a former real estate agent and was working to re-establish her license when she became ill most recently.

She prayed during her illness to St. Francis of Assisi. She rescued animals - "There are still one dog and two cats at the house," her daughter said - and she even went on calls with the humane society's cruelty investigation officers.

Mrs. Clemens served for four years as finance chairman of the humane society's annual formal fund-raising event, the Furball.

"She had a lot of financial experience," said Natasha Bailey, humane society director of operations. "With some of our big fund-raisers, she was a big help."

But Mrs. Clemens was eager to take on any volunteer duty, whether helping customers with pet adoptions or answering phones.

"She was so much fun," Ms. Bailey said. "She loved animals. When she worked at the front desk, she loved the interaction people had when they were finding a new pet and helping them do that.

"She was a very strong personality. She was a go-getter," Ms. Bailey said. "She wanted to learn everything so she could help in every department."

Mrs. Clemens' duties over a 26-year banking career included client services officer and cash management sales manager. She worked for Capital Bank and the former Society Bank & Trust, among other institutions. She advised clients - individuals, businesses, and religious communities - on saving and investing options. She liked the freedom of being out and calling on customers.

Mrs. Clemens was a former secretary of the Toledo Area Cash Management Association.

She was born in Camden, N.J., and was 14 when her family moved to Defiance. She was a graduate of Defiance High School and attended Defiance College.

After coming to Toledo, she sold homes for DiSalle Real Estate and the former Arnold Realty.

She and her husband, James, enjoyed their travels to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, and the Phoenix area. They also took an Alaska cruise.

Two favorite pastimes, her daughter said, were spoiling her granddaughter and gardening. "She always had a new flower bed going up in the yard somewhere," her daughter said.

Mrs. Clemens was a board member of the Huntington Community Center in Sylvania.

Surviving are her husband, James Clemens, whom she married on Dec. 2, 1961; daughters, Anita Wott and Sonya Inderrieden; father, G. Harry Ladik; brother, Kenneth Ladik, and a granddaughter.

Services will begin at 11 a.m. today in the Walker Funeral Home.

The family suggests tributes to the Toledo Area Humane Society.



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