HELENA - Clara Gunhilda Martinson Edwards, 94, died peacefully on Mother's Day, Sunday, May 14, 2006, at Rocky Mountain Care Center in Helena.
Clara was cremated per her wishes. Her ashes will be buried with her husband, Lloyd. A graveside service is planned for 11 a.m. Thursday, June 29, at Highland Cemetery in Havre.
Clara was born Sept. 4, 1911, at Van Hook, N.D., which is a little town near Williston, N.D., to Olaf and Anna (Dalhin) Oppeboen. Clara received her elementary and secondary education at Van Hook, then continued her schooling in Minot, N.D., where she completed teacher's college.
Clara married Lloyd Martinson on Sept. 12, 1933. They lived at Sanish, N.D., until 1936, then moved to Inverness. Lloyd worked in the grain elevator business throughout the Hi-Line area and Clara taught school. Later, she worked as a homemaker and mother to their two sons. The Martinsons were married 31 years when Lloyd died suddenly in 1964.
Clara's second husband was Lynn Edwards, a north Chester area farmer, whom she married in 1966. When Lynn retired in 1974, they moved to Kalispell. They spent their summers in the Flathead Valley and their winters in Mesa, Ariz. After Lynn's health began to fail in 1996, the Edwards moved to the Cambridge Place retirement home in Great Falls. Lynn died in 1999. The following year, Clara moved to the Hunters Pointe facility in Helena to be closer to her oldest son and family. In 2002, Clara's health began to deteriorate, so she transferred to the Rocky Mountain Care Center.
Clara enjoyed her 15 years as a school teacher in North Dakota and Montana. Her teaching sites in Montana included Inverness, Loma, Joplin and near Havre.
Her hobbies were many. She enjoyed crocheting, sewing, craftwork and gardening. Clara and husband Lynn loved to fish from their little boat on Flathead Lake. They also enjoyed traveling and took several memorable trips to Alaska and Hawaii, among other places. During her quiet time at home, Clara enjoyed watching television, especially the Lawrence Welk show.
Clara worked hard to maintain good physical, mental and spiritual health. She liked to walk and exercise on a regular basis. Clara was always well-kept and well-dressed - best described as a “very classy lady.” Before her vision and health failed, Clara enjoyed reading. When corresponding with family and friends, she always referred to specific Bible passages in her salutation.
Clara was preceded in death by her parents; husbands; brother, Haaken Oppeboen; and sister, Mabel Keck.
Survivors include her sons, Don (Rosalie) Martinson of Helena and Larry (Linda) Martinson of Kremlin; stepdaughter, Lynda (Hap) Pleas of Missoula; five grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren; three stepgrandchildren; and several nephews and nieces.
Undesignated memorials will be given to the Yellowstone Boys Ranch, which was her favorite charity.
Local arrangements are by Rockman Funeral Chapel in Chester.