On November 9th, 2013, Clara Shirts was called back into the loving arms of Jesus. We are grateful our mother will be free from pain and will be reunited with those that have passed before her.
Clara was born on September 11, 1935 in Great Falls, MT to JP and June Tanner. She had one sister Mary Jeanne Genie. She married William Taylor in 1956 and had one child. They divorced several years after the birth of her daughter Carrie Taylor. She wed Evan Shirts in 1964 and was widowed around 1976. With Evan she had two children, Tracy and Andrea Shirts. Clara moved back to Great Falls around 1976 and lived there till 2001. In 2001 she had an aneurysm and could no longer live independently. At this time she moved to Kingman, Arizona to live with her daughter Carrie Gregory. She lived in Kingman for a few years till relocating to Phalen, California. After suffering a heart attack, Clara then moved back to Montana but now resided in Miles City where her daughter Tracy Schwarzkopf lived.
At the time of her death, Clara had been a resident of Friendship Villa in Miles City. We are grateful as a family, that our mother was shown so much love and concern by the staff. She often joke around, loved to wiggle her eyebrows and break out in song. She was given the nickname Clara Belle early on and it stuck with her. The last few months before her death, Clara was more engaged and enjoyed the teasing and joking around with staff. She started to participate in activities more and loved the group that go together to sing.
We want our mother to be remembered as a funny, caring and giving woman; She loved life and often went without to make sure her children were taken care of. She loved to sing, dance and be with friends. She had a difficult life but faced all of the challenges head on. She worked hard but always found time for friends and family. She will be greatly missed by all of us but will never be forgotten. A massive void will be felt by all of us until we are reunited once again. “It is when we forget ourselves that we do things that will be remembered” unknown author.
Proverbs 31:25-27, 31
She is clothed with strength and dignity; She can laugh at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. She watches of the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Honor her for all that her of hands have done, and let her works bring her raise at the city gates.
Clara was preceded in death by her father, John Peter Tanner, her mother June Tanner, her husband Evan Shirts, her sister Mary Jeanne Genie as well as her great grandson Madix Gregory.
Clara leaves behind three daughters: Carrie (Randy) Gregory of Phalen CA; Tracy (Mark) Schwarzkopf of Miles City, MT and Andrea (Charlie) Shirts-Billingsley of Columbus, GA. Clara also had five grandchildren: Michael (Jenn) Gregory, James Grote IV, Quinci Youngblood, Erik and Daniel Schwarzkopf. Clara also left behind one great grandchild Madison Gregory.
Graveside services will be held on Thursday, November 14, 2013 at 3:00 p.m. at the Mount Olivet Cemetery in Great Falls, MT. A reception will follow at the Midtown Motel Perkins Restaurant banquet room after funeral. Condolences may be sent to the family by visiting www.stevensonandsons.com.