Powder River Examiner -

Clo Wiltse

 

December 20, 2018

Clo Wiltse was born in Arnolds Park, Iowa as "Chloryce Jerene Ode" to Carl and Leila Ode. She was joined by a sister, 7 years later, Sondra (Soni) Koskela (Marvin).

The Ode family moved to Grand Island, Nebraska, where Clo met Gary Wiltse, who would become her husband after both finished college and Gary completed his military service.

Clo earned a bachelors degree in Home Economics, with a minor in Interior Design.

Gary and Clo married June 9, 1957 and they moved to Quietus, Montana to begin ranching. Clo was teaching in a rural school there, and supporting Gary as they grew their ranch together. Mark Wiltse was born in Sheridan, Wyoming in Feb of 1959, followed by a sister, Lynn, in May of 1960.

In 1964, the Wiltse family moved to the Stacey, Montana area, where they bought a ranch and settled into their home. Clo taught Home Economics in Broadus, Montana, and was active as an advisor for several clubs. One of Clo's high school classes won a national menu planning contest that allowed her and her sister to visit Europe, and the class to travel to Boston! She was the first to teach sex education in Broadus and became proficient at using computers and writing computer programs for the Home Economics field. Later, she represented Oxford press in marketing and instructing educators on their education focused software. Taking one of Clo's classes was always an experience – she could get high school students to sing and dance and cook gourmet meals. She could get grown adult computer students to make pompoms with computer paper edges and do cheers!

Gary and Clo maintained 2 households during the time Clo taught school, one in Broadus and the home base on the ranch. She fed crews and with endless energy kept both places clean and functioning. Every holiday she would hold a "tea" and would make 50 dozen or more cookies of every variety imaginable – She would bake and freeze for months. The community would be invited and it would be a grand celebration of the season.

Gary and Clo enjoyed traveling to exotic locations, but Clo's favorite times were when she and Gary toured the Western United States on a Gold Wing motorcycle, enjoying the open air and the new experiences. Traveling with her husband, mother, sister, grandchildren, and children provided great memories for all who shared Clo's life. She leaves a legacy of sharing joy in new experiences and people.

When Gary and Clo retired, they did extensive research, and settled on Brandon Wilde in Augusta, Georgia. They arrived at Brandon Wilde, as Clo would say, "like the Clampetts" – everything tied onto and in the pickup bed that was their ranch vehicle. Gary and Clo made a home at Brandon Wilde, where both got involved in activities that included: Being Resident Council President, tending the rose garden, setting up an "oldtimers" meeting for long time Brandon Wilde residents, Establishing "Bits of Broadway", which allowed Brandon Wilde residents to participate in skits, songs, and just have great fun, setting up the business center, making the chapel banners, working in the Brandon Wilde Shop, and making and selling jewelry.

Although Georgia was far away from their Montana roots, they made frequent visits to their family and friends in Montana and were later joined in Augusta by first one granddaughter, then another and her family, and finally by her daughter and husband. Clo wrote a book about the fires that destroyed the Montana ranch buildings, called "From the Ashes Come the Memories: Memories of life on a Montana ranch". She loved her life in Montana and approached her retirement in Georgia with the same passion as she did most things.

After fighting with Multiple myeloma for over a year, Clo passed peacefully November 16, 2018 surrounded by her family at Brandon Wilde, in Augusta, Georgia.

Clo shared a statement: "If you can celebrate my life, do not mourn it's passing." We celebrate her life and strive to share her joy in life events.

 

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