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Obituary: Lundin, Clair

SUNDAY, NOV. 11, 2012

(Age 93)

Clair Albin Lundin, 45 year resident of Spokane Valley, and original owner of Lundin’s Violins passed away October 24, 2012 at the age of 93.

Clair was born a twin (Grant) to Fred and Selma Lundin, who were Swedish Immigrants that met through the Swedish Lodge in Spokane, (VASA) and eventually settled in Hidden Valley, outside Rathdrum, Idaho where they homesteaded, running a farm and logging.

Clair and his twin brother Grant joined older brother, Erik, age nine, and stepsister, Vera Larson, age 16, July 9th, 1919.

Clair spent his youth attending school, and working on the farm and in the woods.

It was understood that from the age of nine years old, the twins were expected to do the work of a full grown man, and by all accounts did so.

As boys, they held a penchant for music, and traded 2.5 cords of wood they cut for a violin they saw hanging in the window of the local barber in Rathdrum.

As boys, they attended pie socials and grange dances, and eventually the twins provided music for these dances on fiddle, guitar, banjo and pump organ.

Clair did receive some music lessons from the high school music teacher by age 14, and got in his 10th grade education as well, while Grant was commissioned to stay on the farm helping their father.

While still a teen, Clair won the Kootenai County Fair Fiddle Contest, with Grant backing him on guitar.

Through the years, Clair competed in many fiddle contests in the Northwest, winning many trophies.

After WWII ended, Clair joined his brother Grant in running an automotive garage in Spokane Valley.

Clair married Berniece Kassens, a school teacher, in 1947, and they ran a farm and did logging near his boyhood home.

Alvin, born in 1949, twins Ernie and Selma, 1952 and Arvid, 1956 completed the family.

Clair and Berniece suffered the loss of their two oldest sons at ages five and six.

In the mid 1960s, Berniece completed her Master’s in Teaching at Eastern University, with an endorsement in special education.

They bought property in the Pasadena Park neighborhood, where she resumed teaching at Pasadena Elementary.

Clair worked for Grant at the Antique Auto Ranch, and then began Lundin’s Violin repair business in 1971.

Upon his retirement in 2002, the business was sold to his son, Arvid, and was moved from the Millwood address to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, where it continues today.

Seven years ago, Clair moved to Orchard Crest Assisted Living.

Two years ago, Clair was awarded Master Fiddler award for his contributions to the Old Time Fiddling Community.

Clair continued to attend fiddle workshops, teaching anyone interested in old-time fiddle music, and a regular fiddle jam held each Thursday evening at the Elk’s Lodge in the Valley.

He is preceded in death by his parents; siblings, Erik, and Vera; his children, Alvin, Ernest, and Selma Grace; wife Berniece, and twin Grant.

He is survived by his son, Arvid; and twin granddaughters, Ruana and Lenna; special nieces, Carla (Lundin) Carnegie, and Christina (Lundin) Dolven, as well as several other nieces and nephews; and his cousins, Vern and Roy Larson.

A memorial is planned Saturday, November 17 at 2pm at Opportunity Presbyterian Church, N. 202 Pines Rd.

followed by a finger food potluck and fiddle jam.

April Pierce and Marilyn Beck will be officiating.


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