Jan. 25, 1931-Sept. 22, 2016
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Jean Ellen Rawson Clem was not just one in a million, she was one in 200 Million. Jean was born an identical triplet - a very rare gem indeed - on a small farm on the outskirts of Wamego, Kansas, on Jan. 25, 1931. They survived the first night together for six months until Junie, the youngest died of complications. This was the beginning of the famous 'Rawson Twins', Jean and her identical sister, Jo. Sometimes they would 'switch' on each other's date without the boys knowing and report back to the other. Jean even went on a "switch date" with Jo's future husband (but that's another story).
After Jean and Jo graduated high school, they went on together to business school in Manhattan, Kansas. After graduation, Jean went to work for the Farm Bureau in Lawrence, Kansas. While looking through the records of the various field agents, Jean discovered a young field agent, Clarence "Bud" Clem. Thinking he was handsome, Jean called Bud and told him that his boss wanted him to come into the office for a meeting and then proceeded to tell her boss that Bud wanted to meet with him. That first meeting led to the first date and so began Jean and Bud's 60-year infatuation with each other. They eloped on Valentine's Day.
Life brought her and Bud to Bozeman, Montana, where they lived for the rest of their lives, mostly in their home on the banks of Bear Creek, just East of Bozeman. Here they would raise three children, Bill, Carma and Richard. Jean guided them through country school, 4-H, DeMolay, Rainbow Girls and, of course, flower gardening, farming and raising animals. Jean was initiated into Lily of the Valley Chapter #4, Order of the Eastern Star where she served for over 50 years, including being named Worthy Matron in 1984. Seeing a demand for her services in the public sector, she quit a job at MSU and formed her first business, MIZ in Downtown Bozeman. She was enlisted to work for First Lady Pat Nixon during her Yellowstone Centennial visit in 1972. Another of her many creative outlets was writing stories for children. Jean created "The Story Lady" for KBMN radio in Bozeman. Jean and Bud also started Western Trails, developing their own BBQ sauces and much more. An avid gardener and painter, Jean's vivaciousness spilled over into her personal style which was definitely NOT Midwestern, nor was it Montanan. Her fashion was flamboyant all through her life with her later years being known as the 'Red Hat Jeanie'.
Jean developed Adult Onset Diabetes in her mid-60s and struggled with the disease. Always ready with a smile and an 'Ohhhh, it's so good to see you!', she would sing to staff at Highgate and loved to be by the front door, greeting people as they came in. She loved being around everyone.
Jean is survived by her sister, Jo Ott, Robert Rawson (Edith), children William 'Bill' (Bobbi), Carma Sinerius (John), Richard (Bette), grandchildren Daniel, Gregory, Frank (Sherry), Diana (Jim), Brandi, and great-grandchildren, nieces, and nephews.
Memorial services will be held Thursday, Sept. 29 at 1:30 p.m. at Dokken-Nelson Sunset Chapel with a reception to follow at First Presbyterian Church.
The family asks in lieu of flowers a donation be made in Jean's name to the Shriners Hospital, 911 W. 5th Ave., Spokane, WA 99204 or the
, P.O. Box 11454, Alexandria, VA 22312.
Arrangements are in the care of Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service. www.dokkennelson.com
Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service
113 South Willson Avenue
Bozeman, MT 59715
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle on Sept. 28, 2016