Claire Mataia

Photo of Claire Mataia

Claire Susanne Kueffer Mataia, 41, went to be with the Lord on February 24, 2024, after a bus accident in Arusha, Tanzania.
Claire was born in Lawrence, Kansas, on November 22, 1982, to Steve and Pam Dummermuth Kueffer.
As early as she could, Claire was forever active at her church and community serving others. Claire graduated with honors from Baldwin High School in 2001. She attended Baker University for her BS and MS in elementary education. She taught elementary in the Baldwin School District for many years until resigning in 2014. For a short time, she served as church secretary and children’s church director at Mustard Seed Church (now Rev City Church) until answering the call to serve as a missionary for Youth with a Mission (YWAM).
While with YWAM, Claire taught English (ELM) to other missionaries in Lausanne, Switzerland, for five years and spent three years teaching and serving refugees in Africa. During her time in YWAM, she received a MS in Global Pioneering Leadership from the University of the Nations. She met the love of her life, Paulo Mataia on the mission field. They were married in a lovely ceremony where she just beamed with joy on May 20, 2023, at the YWAM base in Kansas City, Missouri.
Claire’s fingerprints and footprints are all over the globe from her time as a missionary with YWAM. She met so many wonderful people and absolutely loved what she did. It seems impossible to write about who our Claire was, her impact, and how very much we will miss her. Hard to describe her love, joy, and laughter. There will always be an empty chair in our lives; a wonderful wife, great daughter, loving sister, amazing aunt, and caring friend. We are tremendously proud of her, blessed she was shared with us, and awed that her last day on Earth she spent worshiping our King. We hold on to the hope that this is not “goodbye,” but “see you later.”
Claire is survived by her husband, Paulo and his three children, Deborah Lynne, Gracelynn, and Mana; her parents, Steve and Pam Kueffer; her six brothers, Clint and Sarah Kueffer, Chet and Elizabeth Kueffer, Cy Kueffer, Caj and Hannah Kueffer, Clad and Kelsey Kueffer, Chip and Morgan Kueffer; one sister, Chloe Kueffer; many nieces and nephews; and lots of family and friends.
Claire was preceded in death by her brother, Kyle Kueffer.
A celebration of life service was held on Saturday, March 23, 2024, at Rev City Church, 700 Wakarusa Drive, Lawrence, KS 66049.
A burial was held at the Vinland Cemetery.
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Published March 27, 2024