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November 10, 2029 May 24, 2015
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Obituary for JOSEPH B. CLASEN
Joseph Bernard Clasen 85, of Big Timber, slipped away peacefully to meet Jesus on Sunday, May 24, after a long battle with his COPD and his irreparable heart. Uncle Joe was born to Anthony and Katie Clasen in Twin Falls, Idaho on November 10, 1929. From this marriage were also born a sister (Charlotte) and a brother (James). After Uncle Joe's father died in 1933, Katie married Willard Black and moved to the Belfry area where a second brother (Duane) was born. Uncle Joe graduated from Belfry High School in 1947 and enlisted in the U.S. Army/Air Corp and served until the fall of 1949 when he was honorably discharged and was awarded the U.S. Congressional Medal of Victory. During WWII he was an aircraft mechanic and finished his military time as a pilot, flying supplies and wounded soldiers over the Azores and from England to Germany . After serving his country, Uncle Joe returned to the Big Timber area where he worked for a local rancher and took flocks of sheep back into the Hell Roaring/Slough Creek areas. He talked fondly of mutton, cured ham, bears and lots of open spaces. Uncle Joe began working for Western Airlines in 1951. He also flew for Alaska Airlines from 1953 to 1961, which was his most talked about professional experience.In 1961 he moved back to Seattle where he met the love of his life, Madeleine Roberts Smith, and they married also in 1961. Uncle Joe worked as a construction carpenter and Aunt Madeleine worked for Boeing until they moved back to Big Timber in 1973. Uncle Joe continued to work in construction until he retired in 1992. He and Aunt Madeleine were like two peas in a pod, camping, fishing, enjoying family and pets, traveling back and forth to Washington, and just being together until 2000, when Aunt Madeleine passed away from a massive stroke. They were married 39 years and although they did not have any children from this marriage, Aunt Madeleine had a son (William) from her first marriage. William married Marilyn Lee, and from this union came three precious grandchildren: (Julie, Holly, and William Jr.) They were the apple of Uncle Joe's eye. After losing Aunt Madeleine in 2000, Uncle Joe remained in Big Timber until his death. Uncle Joe is remembered for his delightful whit, colorful personality, and contagious smile. It was not unusual to hear Aunt Madeleine shout, "Joseph Clasen" after he had crossed the line with either a joke, a comment, a specific behavior, or loving gesture. Aunt Madeleine was the emotional one and Uncle Joe the constant. Uncle Joe enjoyed (literally) fishing, hunting, camping, being outdoors, and tinkering in his garage. He enjoyed driving his 1973 Chevy pickup and revved the motor anytime he wanted someone to look. His real pride and joy was his 1987 Lincoln! He always had it cleaned and waxed and ready to go. Uncle Joe enjoyed telling stories and just talking. He enjoyed flirting, kidding and had great one- liners! He touched the hearts of almost everyone he came in contact with. He immensely enjoyed his 18 nieces and nephews, his abundance of great nieces and nephews, and special friends. Uncle Joe was a good man and it will be difficult to not have him around. Uncle Joe is survived by: Step-son William Smith, step-grandchildren Julie, Holly, and Billy Jr. (Smith) and their mother Marilyn, all of Washington; Step-brother Duane Black of New Mexico; Nephews: Mack, Lyle, Willard, Douglas, Paul, Dennis, and Larry; Nieces: Nada, Lynn, Marna, Linda, Diana, Vicki, Jayne, and Debbie, and many great-nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by: wife Madeleine (2000); father Anthony Clasen (1933); mother Katie Black (1997); step-father Willard Black (1971); brother James Clasen (1985); sister Charlotte Howard-Pettitt (2002); and Nephew Jack Howard (2015).


11:00 A.M. TUESDAY JUNE 2, 2015



4-8 P.M. MONDAY JUNE 1, 2015


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