Cover photo for Clara Olena Ditton (Skaar)'s Obituary
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1925 Clara 2013

Clara Olena Ditton (Skaar)

July 10, 1925 — April 5, 2013

Clara Olena Ditton (“Skaar”), 87, formerly residing at Bozeman from 1959 through 2001, died Friday, April 5, 2013, in a nursing home in Fort Collins, Colorado, from end-stage Alzheimer’s disease. Clara was born in Beach, North Dakota, on July 10, 1925, to Edward and Anna Skaar who immigrated from Norway at the turn of the 20th century. She graduated as the valedictorian of her class in Wibaux County High School in 1942. She then attended Eastern Montana Normal School and graduated with a teaching certificate. Clara married the love of her life, George Henry (“Hank”) Ditton, on June 22, 1949, in Skaar, North Dakota. Thereafter they lived in various locales in eastern Montana, including Terry, Sidney, and Baker where she taught elementary school and he worked for Montana-Dakota Utilities. After moving to the Bozeman area and buying a farm on Bridger Drive in 1959, she taught second grade in the Belgrade Elementary School for 28 years, retiring in 1987, while Hank worked for the Montana Power Company. She graduated from Montana State University with a B.S. degree in elementary education in 1970. Clara was active in her church, the Hope Lutheran Church in Bozeman, for 42 years. She was a regular churchgoer convincing even her husband to become active in the church, and regularly attended and hosted church circle meetings. She had to leave the Bozeman area in September 2001 because of medical conditions. Clara loved classical music, attending Bozeman Symphony concerts, and playing the piano. Her efforts to instill similar passion in her two sons met with only partial success. Clara loved anything Norwegian, and thanks to one of her Norwegian cousins, an owner of a china factory in Norway, to this day has two china plates with engraved pictures of the King and Queen of Norway in the family home. She also made lefska every Christmas Eve she was here. She and Hank traveled to Norway in the summer of 1978 after visiting their oldest son serving in the Army in West Germany. Survivors include her two sons: Michael of Bozeman, and Randy of Fort Collins, a brother Albert Skaar of Billings, five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband in December 1990, and three sisters and two brothers. Visitation will take place from 9:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday, April, 10, 2013 at Dahl Funeral Chapel. A graveside service will be held on Wednesday, April 10, 2013 at 2:00 p.m. at Sunset Hills Cemetery. Family and friends, please meet at Dahl Funeral Chapel at 1:30 p.m. to process to the cemetery. A funeral service will be held at 3:00 p.m. at Hope Lutheran Church with a reception to follow. Memorials may be made to Hope Lutheran Church, 2152 West Graf Street, Bozeman, and the Alzheimer's Foundation of America, 322 Eighth Avenue, 7th floor, New York, New York 10001.

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Sunset Hills Cemetery

340 Golf Way, Bozeman, MT 59715

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