Clara Enola Berger Felton passed peacefully on June 4, 2021, at the Discovery Care Center in Hamilton, MT. Her life of 95 years was the epitome of a life well-lived. Born to parents Oliver and Edna (Morehouse) Lamb on November 1, 1925, at the family homestead in Winner, MN, she was one of 16 siblings raised on the family farm and brought up as a devoted member of the Faith Lutheran Church.
Faced with the challenges of the Depression, the hard and arduous work of farm life, and finding her way amongst a large family with limited means, she emerged as a formidable young woman. As a teenager, she left the family farm and school to look for work, eventually making her way west to Montana, following in the footsteps of her older brothers.
In Havre, MT, Clara met her first love, the kind, dapper, and gentle-natured Roy Berger, who, like her father, was a homestead farmer. They married in the spring of 1944 and split their time between the farm and town life in Havre. Together they raised two beautiful daughters, Carol (Wavrick) and Donna (Whitney). In 1964, well after the girls were grown and out of the house, Clara and Roy amicably parted in divorce. Roy never remarried and continued to adore Clara from afar until his passing in 1970 at the age of 69.
While still living in Havre, Clara met the charming, gregarious and handsome Don Felton. Clara and Don were married in the summer of 1967. With the marriage came seven step-children and a far more active life. For nearly a decade, they remained living in the Havre area. Don helped Clara manage her farmland, given to her by her first husband Roy, until 1977 when they relocated to a smaller farm nestled in the scenic Bitterroot Valley of Hamilton, MT.
Clara, also known as “Dottie,” reveled in the daily routine of farm life, doting on her farm animals, including her beloved horse Apache, dogs Barney and Lady, numerous chickens, roaming peacocks, and wild farm cats. Family members vividly recall her natural prowess at growing impressive vegetable and flower gardens year after year. Friends and relatives happily enjoyed the fruits of her canned goods, bountiful home-cooked meals, signature crescent rolls, and long lazy afternoons gazing at the bird- feeders and taking in the good company of others while admiring the collage of plants adorning her screened-in porch.
She and her husband Don loved to fish, camp, dance, and travel by RV in their spare time. Together, they were enthusiastic members of the Good Sams RV Club and would often spend their summers exploring new places and visiting friends and family spread across the country. Clara especially enjoyed attending family reunions and visiting her long list of siblings and beloved nieces and nephews. She and Don took their last RV trip together in 2010 to attend a family reunion in Dillon, MT. After Don’s passing in December 2011 at the age of 93, Clara forged on living alone and tending to her gardens well into her early 90s.
Throughout her life, Clara was known for her determination, stubbornness, grit, scrappiness, and self- reliance that would come to define her longevity and the valuable hard-knock lessons she passed on to all those around her. Inevitably, the end didn’t choose her, she chose it. She decided it was time, said her goodbyes to loved ones, and peacefully returned to her maker.
Clara will be missed by family and friends and always remembered as a formidable woman who told it to you straight.
She is survived by her sisters Ruth Otto of Lewistown, MT, and Etta Erickson of Baudette, MN; her daughter Carol Wavrick of Havre, MT; step-children: Annie Bulman of Havre, MT, Kathleen Subry of Helena, MT, Sally McAuley of Puyallup, WA; Robert Felton of Belt, MT, Steven Felton of Nipomo, CA; numerous grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and lots of greats…
Clara is preceded in death by late husbands Roy Berger and Don Felton; her beloved daughter Donna Mae Whitney; step-daughters: Lillian Sebey and Donna Dittmer-Common; brothers: Charles, Leo, Edward, Joseph, James, Irire, Theodore; sisters: Edna Veradell Gudvangen, Loria Mae Lamb (3 days old), Stella Moen, Mable Major, Minerva Nelson.
On July 24, 2021, a memorial service is being held by her grandchildren Stephen Whitney III and Hannah Whitney Lissette in the Bitterroot Valley, Montana. A private family prayer service will be held at the Corvallis Cemetery at 4:00 pm, followed by a 5:30 pm friends and family reception at the venue ‘Homestead on McVey’ in Victor, MT.
An additional private graveside family service will be held in late August or early September by daughter Carol Wavrick in Havre, MT.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Clara Enola (Lamb Berger) Felton, please visit our floral store.