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1921 Richard 2011

Richard Clower

August 5, 1921 — July 23, 2011

As I sat with Grandpa on those last days, I often saw him staring off into the distance. I wondered what he was thinking, how he was feeling, and how I could ease his pain. When I asked him what I could do for him, he simply replied, #8220;Give me tender, loving care.#8221; I embraced his frail shoulders, gave him a kiss, and told him how much I loved him. In that moment we agreed on how many great times we had together. Grandpa went out of his way to spend quality time with all of his grandchildren. These are moments that I will cherish for the rest of my life; going out for long scenic drives in the country while he told us stories both of fiction and tales of his childhood, driving golf carts in Red Lodge while he played a round of golf, playing cards, and simply seeing him in the stands at our sporting events while he cheered us on are just to name a few. All of his grandchildren and children were truly blessed to have such an amazing mentor in their lives. He taught us right from wrong and showed us how to live a life of character. I think I can speak for us all in saying that Grandpa#8217;s words will always be close to our hearts. Richard Dalton Clower was born in Atlanta Georgia to William and Norie Clower. He grew up and went to grade school and high school in Winston Salem, North Carolina in which he holds some of his fondest memories. It was in Winston Salem that Richard found his passion for running. He was a track and field star in high school and continued running well into his 80#8217;s. His family moved to Southern California in 1941. He went to work for Lockheed, which built Hudson Bombers for Great Britain and the US. After Pearl Harbor, he decided to join the Navy, and became a Submariner. He was so proud of his military service and filled anyone who would listen with great stories. He was honorably discharged in December of 1945. Richard met his wife of 59 years, Betty Zupan shortly after the war. They settled into life in Los Angeles. They had two daughters, Mary Louise and Beth. Richard attended LA Community College, and then went on to California State University. He completed his education at USC with his Masters in Education. He began his teaching career at Stanford Ave. School then moved on to administration at 99th Street School in inner city LA, a rough area he managed with ease. It was here that Richard found his enthusiasm for education and love for helping others in need. It was also here that his daughter Beth learned what a gentle, kind man he was; always for the underdog, always finding ways to clothe and feed his students, and never battling his obstacles with hatred, but love for others. His next assignment was principal at Elizabeth Street School in Cudahy, CA. This was the largest elementary school in the US with 2,500 students. Here he was mother and father to many, but especially to Mia Watson and Rhonda Smith, two girls he was so proud of and so honored to know. He retired in 1977 and moved to Red Lodge, MT, and the home town of his wife Betty. He held Red Lodge close to his heart as well as the close friends he made while living there. When Betty#8217;s health started to fail, they moved to Bozeman to be closer to family. Richard lived in Bozeman for the last 10 years. In these years he became a friend to many and shared his life#8217;s adventures with all that would take the time to hear about them. He found his home away from home at the Ridge Athletic Club and we are so thankful for those employees who gave him their time and love. He continued running in the Senior Olympics till his body told him he couldn#8217;t handle it anymore. Richard#8217;s life of 89 years came to an end with family at his side at Spring Creek Inn on Saturday, July 23rd. Richard was preceded in death by his parents, wife Betty, his brother William Clower, grandson Jeff Murphy, and nephew Troy Clower. He is survived by his brother Tom Clower (Betty) of Sacramento, his daughters Mary Murphy (Tom) of Livingston and Beth De Shazo (Jeff) of Bozeman. He is also survived by seven grandchildren, Kelly Murphy, Mike Murphy, (Livingston) and Katie Peal (Mike) of Gillette, WY, Christy Kirkpatrick (Pete) of Mountain View, CA, Ryan De Shazo (Jamie) of Portland, ME, Jason De Shazo of Denver, CO, and Jennifer Unger (Luke) of Bozeman, MT. In addition he is survived by 12 great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his brother and sister-in-law Tony and Shirley Zupan of Red Lodge/Bozeman and numerous nieces and nephews. To My Grandchildren I hoped to accomplish several things by writing this letter. First, your grandmother and I were not born old. We were babies, young children, and young adults. As strange as it seems we also had different emotions at different times in our lives. We cried and we laughed, we were sad and we were happy. We had the same feeling as you, only had them at a different time. Our feelings may have been different because of the time we lived, but our emotions were the same. Sometimes we did some smart things, but sometimes we did some dumb things. Sometimes we knew our parents and our grandparents didn#8217;t understand us and didn#8217;t even try to. Maybe you have had the same feelings as we had. There is one emotion all of us can agree; your grandmother and grandfather loved you very much. Have a wonderful life and enjoy your grandchildren as much as we have enjoyed ours. Sincerely, Grandpa A Memorial service will be held at 4:00 pm on Wednesday, August 3, 2011 at Dahl Funeral Chapel. A reception will follow at the Beall Park Recreation Center.

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