Clara June Jacobson, 64, died Monday, April 9, 2012, at home in Billings. She was born to Robert and Velma Martin in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on November 3, 1947.
Throughout her life and in her battle with ALS, Clara exemplified the fruits of the spirit. Though she didn’t need the daily reminder, she kept this list on a hand-written slip of paper attached to the bathroom mirror: love, joy, peace, faithfulness, gentleness, kindness, and forgiveness.
Clara graduated valedictorian of Tucumcari High School and received a B.A. in Elementary Education from Wichita State University, where she was a member of the Alpha Chi Omega sorority. She met the love of her life and husband of almost 40 years, Richard, while they were both working in Yellowstone Park. They married on June 10, 1972, in Pratt, Kansas, and built a home together in Basin, Wyoming, where Clara spread joy through teaching music and singing at church. Their first son, Martin, was born in 1977 in Basin, and their second son, William, was born in 1979. The family moved to Billings in 1981, where they built another house and made the family’s home. Their third son, Timothy, was born in 1983. Clara raised the three boys with faith and love, and met the challenge of keeping the peace.
After the boys were old enough to go to school, Clara returned to the classroom as well, where she was known in School District 2 for her gentleness and kindness as, over the years, she tutored dozens of children to learn to read and understand math. She retired from the district in 2011. Clara was a faithful member of the Billings Church of Christ and helped in the Cradle Roll room for many years.
She enjoyed crafts, camping, snowmobiling, and gardening, but the greatest joy in her life was spending time with family. She was overjoyed to know her first grandson Isaac, born in September 2011.
Everyone who met Clara loved her because she lived a life of grace and forgiveness whether it was a time of happiness or a time of trial. After the diagnosis of ALS in 2010, she kept another hand-written note on the refrigerator: “What ALS cannot do…It cannot invade the soul, suppress memories, kill friendship, destroy peace, conquer the spirit, shatter hope, cripple love, corrode faith, steal eternal life, silence courage.”
She was preceded in death by her parents, Velma and Robert. She is survived by her husband, Richard; sons, Martin, William (Jennie), and Timothy (Julie); grandson, Isaac (Timothy/Julie); sisters, Angie and Julie (Mike); brother, Robert (Lori); and many aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and cousins.
The casket will be open at Michelotti-Sawyers for visitation on Thursday and Friday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m., and prior to the service at the church. Funeral Services will be held at the Billings Church of Christ, on 10th and Alderson, at 10 a.m. on Saturday, April 14. Interment will follow at Sunset Memorial Gardens.
Memorials may be given to the Muscular Dystrophy Association in Clara’s name.
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