Clara A. Bliss, 78, of Bowman, ND, passed away on May 2, 2018 at the Southwest Healthcare Long Term Center in Bowman.Funeral Services for Clara will be at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, May 7, 2018 at the Bowman Lutheran Church. Pastor Mark Nygard will officiate with burial in the Peace Lutheran Cemetery in Scranton at a later date. There will be a Family and Friends Service on Sunday, May 6, 2018 at the Krebsbach and Kulseth Funeral Home Chapel beginning at 7:00 p.m.
Clara Bliss slipped from this life to take the hand of her Savior and join him in the eternal life, during the final hour of the day on Wednesday May 2nd 2018. Her husband, son and daughter were by her side. At the time of her passing Clara was battling leukemia and was a resident of Southwest Long Term Care. She greatly appreciated the compassion of her caregivers and the visits from family and her many lifelong friends during her brief stay.
Clara Andrea Potter was born January 22, 1940, the only child of Vernon Potter and Agnes (Jacobson) Potter, at a maternity home in Bowman, ND. There was no hospital there at the time. Although she was an only child, she never felt like one. She was alway surrounded by many cousins who were like her own siblings. Her parents also boarded a girl, near Clara’s age, for 8 years in their home during the school year.
Clara grew up in Scranton, ND and attended 12 years of school there, graduating as the Salutatorian of her class in 1958. She attended Dickinson State Teachers College, completing a degree in Elementary Education. As a young women, she helped shape the minds of many youngsters as an elementary school teacher in as far flung places as Great Falls, MT, Abercrombie, ND and in Bowman during the early 1960s.
Clara met the love of her life, and devoted husband of 56 years, Ralph Bliss, at a dance at the Flagstone Terrace. They were joined in marriage on August 19th 1962 at Peace Lutheran in Scranton. From that union, Clara and Ralph welcomed a son Jeffery Alan and a daughter Lisa Kathryn. In the early years of their marriage they lived in Abercrombie, ND and Milbank, SD before returning to Bowman. Through the last half the 1960s through the early 80s, Clara dedicated her life to being a caring mother to her children and parter to Ralph. During her spare time she took one of her favorite hobbies to the next level. Clara begain wrting pen pal letters as a child, and in adulthood corresponded with more than 100 pals at a time. She had the most beautiful script handwriting, her mailbox was always full and Christmas card time was always a joy! Ralph said, “we spent alot of money on postage, but I never said a thing.”
When Jeff and Lisa were in high school and college, Clara began her third career in respiratory therapy. She studied for her certifications through correspondence courses and provided comfort and therapy to patients at the old St. Lukes Tri-State hospital in Bowman and later at rural hospitals in Eastern Montana and Western North Dakota as a traveling therapist, for a decade.
But Clara wasn’t done yet. In the 1990’s she began her fourth career as a volunteer and ultimately as the Director of the Pioneer Trails Museum in Bowman. She enjoyed greeting the many visitors from around the country and world who stopped in and was proud of the growth and significance of the paleo exhibit at the museum. It was during this time that she became a grandmother, first to Erika and Erin, then to Aleah and Brenna. She was a doting grandmother and always made sure their latest school pictures pictures were displayed in the photo screen in her home. The gift she always asked for was a current family photo of her children and grandchildren.
In retirement, Clara enjoyed being a member of the “Red Hat” ladies and holding court, having tea and visiting with her friends at her favorite coffee place, Lasting Visions. Even as age began to rob her of her mobility, she continued to be a voracious reader having read the entire bible three times. She was also a writer, both of letters and journals. She and her cousin Andrea compiled a 300 page family genealogy and saw to it that family members each got a copy. Clara was a collector of many things: cookie jars, spoons, tea pots, anything related to butterflies and Santa Claus. Many of these she tried to send home with family when they left for home following a visit Her’s is the story of a life well lived, made rich with family and lifelong friendships.
Clara is survived by her husband of 56 years Ralph Bliss of Bowman, Son Jeff Bliss (Melissa), Minot, ND, Daughter Lisa Brennan (Brad), Dickinson, ND and Grand daughters Erin and Brenna Bliss of Minot, Erika Brennan, St. Paul, MN and Aleah Brennan of Grand Forks, ND.
She was preceeded in death by her Parents Vernon and Agnes Potter, Paternal Grandparents Sidney and Clarabelle Potter, Maternal Grandparents Jacob and Andrea Jacobson, her Aunt Borghild Wright and Uncles Alf, Erling and Trygve Jacobson.
Memorials are suggested to the Pioneer Trails Museum of Bowman.