May Josephine (Kafka) Drga Clawiter passed away on Sunday, March 25, 2012, from natural causes, at Big Sandy Medical Center.
Viewing will be held at Holland & Bonine Funeral Home on Friday March 30, 2012, from 11 a. m. to 4 p. m. Her funeral service will be at 1 p. m. Saturday, March 31, at the United Methodist Church in Big Sandy. Pastor Ross Rettig and May’s grandson, John Drga will officiate. Burial will follow at Big Sandy Cemetery. A fellowship luncheon will be held in the Big Sandy Historical Society Museum immediately after the graveside services. Suggested memorials include Big Sandy United Methodist Church, Historical Society, Medical Center, the Senior Center or to a charity of your choice. Services and arrangements have been entrusted to Holland & Bonine Funeral Home.
May was born May 16, 1918, on a farm near Assiniboine, Mont, just southwest of Havre, to George and Josephine Kafka. She was the first child of three children. Her childhood was spent on her parents’ homestead farm, and she attended a local rural elementary school. Her mother taught her to speak, write and comprehend the Czech language, which provided her lots of joy in writing to distant relatives, which led to travel to the Czech Republic. May attended Havre High School and graduated in 1936. While in high school, May participated in the school's music courses and in later life enjoyed playing the accordion for her children.
May attended Northern Montana College for a brief period and worked part time at the Deaconess Hospital. Later she worked for the McNamara ranch headquarters, known as the White House, and met Frank Drga. They married in 1940 and made their lifelong home in the Iliad area southeast of Big Sandy, farming and ranching. May lived on the ranch until 1990, when she and Frank moved to Big Sandy to better provide care for Frank. Frank died later that year.
On Nov 28, 2004, May married Max Clawiter. They enjoyed volunteering time at the Big Sandy Museum and served on the museum’s board. They enjoyed traveling together, cooking and most of all playing cards. May found joy in her life with her family and relatives, her love of the garden and being involved in community organizations and events. She was active in the Big Sandy Senior Citizens, Hopp-Iliad Homemakers Club, Rebekka’s, Farmers Union, 4-H and the Methodist Church.
She was preceded in death by her husbands; her parents; brothers, Lada and George Kafka; and two sons, George (Paula) and Don (Linda).
May is survived by daughter, Barbara (Larrie) Chigbrow of Los Alamos, N.M. ; and sons, Robert (Carol) of Waukesha, Wis., Fred (Karen) of Miles City, Mont., and James (Marla) of Big Sandy. She also had 13 grandchildren, Amber (Joel) Peters of Stevensville, Mont. ; Laura Drga of Miami, Fla., Jenica (Scott) Wolski of Wauwatosa, Wis., Nola (John) Rocha of Cheyenne, Wyo., Karl (Ashli) Drga of Miles City, Mont., Kyra (Dustin) Werner of Carson, N.D., Todd (Rachael) Drga, of Austin, Texas, Kalima (Willi) Abreu of Manassas, Va., John, David and Scott Drga of Big Sandy, Christina (Tyson) Meeks of Middleton, Idaho, and Michael Chigbrow of Bamburg, Germany; and six great-grandchildren.